If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to step into a picture straight off of Pinterest, you'll just have to add Cinque Terre to your bucket list of destinations to visit. More beautiful than any picture I've seen, the lens of my camera only captures a fraction of the vibrant Italian Riviera. If you're unfamiliar with Cinque Terre, it is made up of five villages along the coast of Italy touching the Ligurian Sea. Of the five villages, we stopped at two, the first being Riomaggiore. Lined with colorful houses paired with a backdrop of sea and sky, the views were breathtaking.
Riomaggiore's iconic colorful buildings were tucked perfectly into the mountain side and made for an ideal destination for visitors to dine and shop. This time of year attracts a multitude of tourists, which I'd prefer to avoid, but its beauty completely covered the fact that thousands of others were within the same 100 square foot radius as me. Our visit in this village was quick, a merely thirty minutes until we had to catch the train to Monterosso.
An optional hike was available for us to take which I hear is amazing, but the girls and I opted for the beachside instead. The extreme heat and steep hiking paths didn't seem like the best combination for those of us running on little sleep. We do plan on returning to complete the hike in cooler weather so we can enjoy the beauty of Cinque Terre from above.
So, we headed to the beach, piña coladas in hand and soaked up the sun. The water was cool and super salty, but none the less refreshing. We took turns swimming out to a giant rock (or what some considered to be a cliff) and enjoyed leaping into cool sea next to some very courageous Italian children who were doing beautiful flips and Olympic dives into the water next to us (seriously, they were talented).
Most of the day was enjoyed both in and out of the water, surrounded by bobbing boats in the distance and plenty of strangers to keep us company, some of which became friends.
About an hour before departure, we dried off and stopped by the nearest restaurant and enjoyed delicious sandwiches topped with the best pesto I've ever tasted. Just a tip- if you're planning on eating while here, keep in mind that most restaurants close between three and six o'clock to prepare for dinner so grab lunch early so you don't miss out!
I couldn't have planned a better first day trip than one to Cinque Terre. The bus ride was inexpensive and lunch rang up to only six euros! I would definitely consider this a must visit if you're nearby or want to visit somewhere that'll take your breath away. Until we meet again, Cinque.