Cinque Terre – The Five Lands

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Manarola

Ever since I saw a picture of Manarola, one of the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre, I wanted to go there and check it out. The region is located in Liguria, Northern Italy and as beautiful as can be.

It’s easily accessible through the airport in Pisa – that’s probably why there are tons and tons of people squeezing around those tiny streets and alleys that give the little towns their unique flair. But that is literally the only downside. If you get there early in the morning you’ll have the place all by yourself since most tourists just come by on the train for the day.

We stayed at a place in Corniglia, located right in the middle of the five towns and – for me most importantly – the least touristic one. Our hotel was awesome… Very authentic, not as pricey as most of the others, but with a big roof top terrace overlooking the ocean. The owners are a cute old couple, the wife being responsible for the bookings, the husband, Angelo, has to lead the guest up lots and lots of stairs to get to the apartment building. And you could tell, he was not so keen about his part of the job 🙂

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Roof top terrace view

So now, besides drinking wine, eating pizza and being amazed about stunning views – what is there to do?  The answer is easy: You hike around between the five towns. There are nice pathways that connect them. Easy ones along the coast line, and less easy ones that take you up to the top of those hills and cliffs in between the places. No matter which path you choose, one would be prettier that the other. As a side-plus: the “common crowd” uses the train to get from town to town, hence the hiking routes are quite less frequented and you can enjoy the pure nature until you get back into the hussle .

Most places also have beaches where you can chill out after all that mountain climbing and hiking and try their local foods and drinks in one of the many bars and osterias. The ligurian white wine is worth a try as well as a glass (or even bottle?) of  Limonchino – their local lemon liqueur.

The weather hasn’t been the best, when we went there in April, so we had to skip the beach time but despite the occasional dark clouds, drizzle and wind the views are still amazing and maybe even more dramatic. Luckily the sun came out every now and then so I just had to wait a little for the perfect light to take my pictures.. But it was well worth it even though Ryan (my husband) did sometimes get annoyed about it. Here are some of my pictures – look for yourself….

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