If you've been following me on Instagram you know that I recently spend a couple of weeks in Europe. We had a wonderful time in Spain, France, and Italy, and today I'm sharing my photos and tips from our day in Cinque Terra.
If you have never heard of it, you have likely seen photos of the very picturesque villages dotted with colorful buildings on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Cinque Terre translates to "the five lands" in Italian, and they all are beautifully charming lands.
We saw all five from our boat, but stopped and visited three: Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare.
Cinque Terre is in the Ligurian region of Italy and at different times in history, was governed by the Italy and France, as this region borders France. We boarded a tour bus from Livorno and proceeded to the first village. Did you know that pesto and focaccia were invented in the Liguria region of Italy? My love for Italian food runs deep and I really enjoyed and appreciated exploring the culinary history of Italy.
Our first stop was in the village of Manarola. We walked down to the town from the parking lot at the top of the hill. It was a beautiful view even from the top. All of the houses and streets seemed to be gathered together to meet the sea.
We passed by some very old houses and really enjoyed the timeless scenery. This home has a water wheel for one of the many lemon tree groves that sit on the terraces of the coastline.
We made our way down to the town and did not get very far before one of the cafes beckoned to us. We stopped at Trattoria La Slogliera for a delightful charcuterie platter and some wine. They had an amazing seafood menu that I would love to explore on another visit. It was a little early in the day for wine, but after all, we were in Italy!
My friend, Anthony, was just about to dig in to this while I snapped the photo. I had to be fast but I wanted to share it with you! The meats and cheeses were fresh and luscious and made a wonderful breakfast.
On the Italian Riviera
Next we went by boat to Vernazza. This village welcomes you with a festive and large village square on the bay which is incredibly inviting as you step off the boat.
There was a lot of chatter, laughing and the aroma of authentic Italian food in the air. The colorful umbrellas and buildings seemed to be greeting us. Here you can see many of the lemon trees on the terraces of these homes. They have made good use of the land on the cliffs.
In this village there are many restaurants and really cute shops and one special gelato bar. Gelateria Vernazza has been around since 1986 and has some fabulous treats to offer! They use local and organic ingredients to make some incredibly delicious gelato. They even have a special flavor that you can only get in Cinque Terre.
I wish I could share the taste of this with you - it was so good!
Next we went to Monterosso al Mare by boat.
Monterosso al Mare
This village is the only of the five to have a sandy beach. There is a
Here we had an amazing and authentic lunch at Ristorante Al Crugio, a great place for fresh seafood and pasta.
I had some wonderful homemade ravioli that was authentic and flavorful. So good and I can still remember how good it was even now! I recommend that you try this restaurant if you are in the area as the staff was very kind and the food was lovely.
We relaxed and shopped around the town. So. Many. Cute. Shops.
After all that shopping we relaxed a bit and stopped at Enoteca Eliseo Wine Bar for a little vino.
Like many of the wine shops, Limoncino is (a lemon-flavored liquor made from lemon peels) is also available all over the village.
The wine was excellent, by the way!
Each of these villages have a lot in common they have wonderful family run eateries, beautiful lemon groves and great walking trails. My recommendation is to travel to Cinque Terre is by boat if you really want to get a feel of the villages from the sea perspective. Each was beautiful and had its own charm and arriving by boat had a memorable charm. It was a wonderful day and I hope to visit again soon!
Have you been to Cinque Terra?