Once we had spent a few days in Rome, hopping a train to Cinque Terre was next on our Italian To Do list. After a brief struggle of trying to figure out the train table, we made it aboard and rode through the Italian countryside, the farms passing by our windows like a Renaissance museum in fast forward, eventually landing in Riomaggiore. The Cinque Terre is five towns on the northwest Italian coast – each with their own slightly different flair – connected by a series of footpaths, railroads and boat routes.
We set up shop in the most southern town, Riomaggiore. We had arranged to stay in a little apartment via AirBnB. Sometimes booking a place to stay online is a crapshoot – you see pictures online and read reviews, but you never really know what you’re getting yourself into until you get there. In this case, we got ourselves into a whole lot of postcard-esque views, a stunning patio with the tiny bustling town below, and a great breeze from the nearby harbor.
After we got off the train we were a bit hangry, so we got ourselves some pizza tout suite. It was just your run-of-the-mill cheese pizza, but after hours of empty bellies, this pizza tasted like an offering from the Roman gods.
Every morning I would go down to the bakery below our apartment and get a croissant and a cappuccino. It was such a lovely, calming way to start the day.
The first day we took the boat from Riomaggiore to Vernazza. It’s cheap and great way to get between towns. Once there, we explored the town, then hiked from Vernazza to Moterosso. Parts of the Cinque Terre trail were closed for repairs, so we were unable to hike the whole thing (also, it was hot as balls and there were about a million stairs on the trail from town to town, so I was secretly glad we weren’t able to do the whole thing on foot).
Moterosso is the beachy and snazzy town, with high end restaurants and shops. There were tons of umbrella chairs that we were too cheap to rent, so I ended up cozying up in the shade of a large rock next to a bunch of other cheap Italians and settling in with a book.
By the end of the day, the sun and hike had taken it out of us. We rode the inter-town train by to Riomaggiore and took a nap, before eating our weight in pizza and falling asleep before 11.Going to bed early sometimes makes you feel like you’re missing out – but in this case, I was all too glad to hit the hay, as we were heading back out early the next day to explore more of the Cinque Terre.