They say Manarola is the smallest of them all. It’s true. Although, when you walk along the port through a walk-path that wraps around the ocean front rock formation, it makes Manarola actually look bigger than it appears to be. It’s the best way to see Manarola in its entirety because you get a nice picturesque view of the village from a distance. It literally made me go “wow”.
We walked up to Nessun Dorma restaurant for a quick bite.
You really can’t beat the view from Nessun Dorma. It overlooks the port and the atmosphere is very welcoming. It made me feel as if there’s no where else I should be except here
My friend and I ended up having wine and appetizers. They were delicious! Keep in mind it’s a cash only restaurant. Either come with plenty of cash or go for small bites.
V & I had plenty of time left. We roamed around town, walked uphill and took photos. There are a few spots that are worth snapping. I found the signs near their doors so cute with the lemon details and serif fonts.
At first, I had mixed feelings about Monterosso. We came here on our first day running through puddles with rain pouring down on us harder than any other times I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. It’s one of those moments that I’m trying to forget because the 2nd time we came, Monterosso was beautiful. I remembered it very well, the sun had gone down and the light reflected this nice blue tone. On top of that, the sea was as calm as I could’ve imagined it to be. It almost felt like the storm never came.
Out of the 5 villages, Monterosso is the only one with a proper beach in Cinque Terre. It’s got 2 sides, the new and the old town. My favorite was definitely the old town. You can reach it by walking to the left side upon arriving by train and then pass through a tunnel that will lead you to the old town.
In the old town, you will find lots of different shops and restaurants. V and I ended up buying the limoncino which Cinque Terre is known for specialising in.
Other things to see in Monterroso is sitting by the port and really take in the views.
You won’t pass by Corniglia without anyone mentioning about having to go up (or down) 300 steps as a one way to enter this village. Corniglia is small. There are about 1,000 inhabitants in this village and they all know each other. When we arrived, a shuttle dropped us off at the beginning of the city center which is literally on top of a hill. From there, we wondered off walking around the village and eventually ended up in the back of the hill.
Corniglia, I found to be very quiet. It’s surrounded by vineyards and if you give it a chance, there are some fantastic restaurants and incredible views that you will find in the area. You just have to discover it.
Can you believe this view? Have a cocktail at Bar Terza Terra to the left from this photo above and you will get this infinity view of the coast.
We had dinner at Bar Nunzio on a terrace overlooking the vineyard and also part of the city center. This restaurant is hidden but, if you find it you will enjoy a very relaxing atmosphere. My friend and I came hungry and ordered a pizza, apetizers and the local Cinque Terre beer which was very delicious!
By 7pm, little did we know that the shuttle we took to get to this village ended their service exactly at 7. We ended up going down 300 steps that lead us directly to the train station. You can also access the village this way but, I think I preferred going down the steps rather than going up.
I remembered the day I stepped out of the train very clearly. I walked through the city center of Vernazza feeling relaxed. Right around a corner was a port. I could hear water splashing in the background as I tip toed my way, slowly getting closer to the sound. While walking, I looked around me and I saw these colorful buildings painted in red and yellow with green contrasting doors. They stood bright against a huge mountain that curved around supporting this magnificent view of the cove. I was mesmerized. The cove was beautiful in its own right. My jaw dropped and it made me put my camera down to take it all in.
We walked along the cove where people were sunbathing, relaxing and enjoying this view. It felt as if summer was already here. Holding up my strawberry with stracciatella gelato that ultimately sealed the deal.
Everyone has their own preference of which island they like. To us, our favorite was Vernazza which is why we came back on our last day. Vernazza was compact, it offered everything we needed and wanted. Ultimately, it did not disappoint us
After returning from my 4 day trip from Cinque Terre, I realized it can be done in 2 days. For anyone who likes to get in and get out, this is for you.
Here are my suggestions:
1. Pick an island as your main base. We booked our hotel at the last minute and found a hotel in La Spetzia. It was actually perfect for us because the hotel was literally down the street, about 5 minutes walking distance from the train station and breakfast was included 🙂
2. Once you arrive, find the Information Center. Ours was right outside when we hopped out of the train. There, you can buy the 2-day pass which is good for any time and you can hop on or off the train as much as you want. You can also use this pass for busses, hiking trails, bathroom entry, etc. This is definitely useful! https://cinqueterreinsider.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/image12.jpg
3. Select the island you want to see first. My friend and I agreed to go to Vernazza as it was one of the most picturesque and smaller compare to others that we heard of. Also, we came during the week when it rained in Cinque Terre. By this, we wanted to choose a place during our first day that we could cover in a short time and still enjoy it. Vernazza was perfect!
4. Allocate your time. Unless you wanted to swim and sun-bathe all day, you can pretty much stay in each island for at least 2 hours and then move on.
I have a confession to make. I like Genoa. The first time I was here we landed in the downtown area and I immediately hated it. A few months later, I was invited to come back to this city and stay with friends of my significant other. Usually, I’d jump at the chance for any adventure but, this time I was hesitant. I knew what I was getting myself into until we arrived. I was wrong. Dead wrong!
This time round, we were in the coastal area and it was awesome. Check out our morning walk view!
A 30-minute drive south will bring you to Recco, between La Passeggiata di Nervi & Portofino.
We parked our moto and sat at the beach until the sun went down. Watching people surf and relax was absolutely the perfect way to end our weekend.
If you do end up coming here I suggest renting a scooter to get a nice view of the coast all the way through and you get more flexibility getting from one town to the next in a short amount of time. For cars I hear it’s a bit pricey with the parking situation and you have to fight for space. It’s something to consider and think about.
I spent yesterday wandering in Corso Como 10. This shopping complex is a major stopping point for anyone who needs a break in Milan. The complex has an art gallery, a book shop, a design store, a small hotel, and (my favorite) a rooftop garden. Having spent a few hours browsing the bookshop and looking through the art gallery, I decided it was going to be my go-to spot. I went up to the rooftop and read for the rest of the afternoon.
If you asked me where to go in Italy for the day base on the trips I’ve done this month, I’d say go to Bologna. From medieval towers, antique buildings to churches, shops, restaurants and/or cafes, it’s tough not to fall for this city. After an hour and a half by a speed train, my friends and I immediately navigated to the city center and found ourselves mixing in with youngsters, tourists, kids and adults who all seemed to ponder around soaking in the sunny weather. There’s no doubt that the city has a buzzing sense which, I found myself thinking how I could see myself living here. Why not?
Travel Tuesday is going strong. A few of my classmates and I went on another adventure this week and we chose Turin as our destination. About 2 hours away by train from Milan, we made it a point to wake up early in order to get there at 11am.
Turin welcomed us with a sunny and slightly warm 40F degree weather. I was excited to see what Turin had to offer. We started our day at the Royal Palace of Turin, a palace that was constructed in the 16th century for the House of Savoy. Wondering from one room to another, I found myself going “OHHH” & “AHHHH” or “Wow”. Each room definitely lived up to what a palace entails because every detail was exquisite. Think red carpets with tall doors, ballrooms, high ceilings and/or gold sculptors. In 1997, it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
After touring around The Royal Palace of Turin, we attempted to go to another museum and realized that most places were closed. In Milan, businesses are closed usually on Mondays but, I guess in Turin it’s on Tuesday. However, that never stopped us from exploring. We walked around everywhere. The weather helped because it stayed sunny the entire day motivating us to see as much as we could.
Somehow we found our way up Monte dei Cappuccini. It has one of the best views of Turin’s landscape. From here you can literally see the entire city. The walk up to this point was semi-difficult but, we made it and it was well worth the sweat. After sightseeing in this city all morning, we were beat and headed home.
Since the beginning of this year, it felt like school was going 100mph without any breaks. Along the way, I caught the flu leaving me with 103 degrees fever and staying in bed for days. I’m happy to say that I’m glad that’s over now.
In celebrating the end of chaos, my classmates and I went yesterday for the day in Bergamo. We got lucky with the weather as it was warm and absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t have asked for a better day than what we had yesterday.
Last weekend, I was invited to go to the mountains. Of course, I happily agreed even though, I didn’t know exactly where we were going….but, hey, I’m always up for an adventure.
We headed north, about 2 hours away from Milan and by golly gosh, we ended up here in a small and cute town of Santa Caterina. Yes, it was cold. I braved a 20 degree Fahrenheit temperature which, coming from California that **** is freezing.
We went did a bit of trekking in the woods. I swore to my friends that we would see some bears in the area but, they insisted there were none….it is quite funny, actually, because bears are non-existent here. What I really liked the most was how the snow was very pristine, white and the area was completely quiet. It felt as if we were in our own world.
It was super quiet up here. Definitely a great place to come if you want to get away from the city life.