Cinque Terre

After Pisa the weather cleared and we arrived at our stop for the night, La Spezia. La Spezia is the gateway to the Cinque Terre, five little villages clinging to the cliffsides on the Mediterranean coast right at the top of Italy. We hopped on the train to explore and managed to get to two of the villages. It was the most relaxing time I’d had all holiday, mainly because of this:

My first paddle in the Mediterranean, at Monterosso. Anyone who’s known me for a while will know that me + water = bliss. Even if it’s just my feet. There’s something very cleansing and calming about it. It was also surprisingly warm!

The villages are accessible by rail, by boat in summer, and they are also connected by a series of walking tracks, including the famous “Lovers Walk” between Riomaggiore and Manarola. Unfortunately because of the rain there was a landslide risk and the walks had been closed. Another thing on the list to do later. I think next year I will spend a few days walking between all the villages. It’s only a max of 1.5 hours between each one, but I wouldn’t mind going at a nice leisurely pace. I will go in the off season again though (mid-spring or early autumn) because I loved how quiet the villages were, and apparently they get packed in high season.

The picture postcard shot (Manarola):

Dinner was back in La Spezia, the local speciality of penne with pesto Genovese. After dinner consisted of a gathering in the local laundrette. And that was our final night in Italy.

Stay tuned for:

– Nasty in Nice!

– Charming Cannes!

– Where to go in Monaco! (ok, that one’s lame. But YOU just try to alliterate, pun or rhyme “Monaco”)

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