Italy, my favorite place in the world. I’ve been several times at this point, but I still have so much more to see there. This recent trip I decided to explore Cinque Terre for the first time.
Cinque Terre is made up of 5 small seaside villages on the west coast of Italy. I bought train tickets from Milan to Riomaggiore on the last train out of Milan at night, and the whole trip was supposed to be around 3.5 hours total. I ended up getting off at the wrong station around Genoa and there were no trains the rest of the night, so I had to take a taxi from Genoa to Riommagiore which was around 1.5 hours and 200 EURO. Just my luck, but part of the fun, huh?
I arrived in Riomaggiore around 2am (hours later than I was supposed to) and it was a ghost town. If only there was a hidden camera to see me in the middle of the night with two of my huge suitcases nearly sliding down the steepest hill of my life for a half a mile… it would have been entertainment gold. That was just the beginning of the struggle- our Air B n’ B was up and down several flights of steep stone steps at 90 degree angles. I just had to laugh my way through it, what else could I do at that point after the cluster f*ck of a day I had. In some sick way, I kind of live for the struggle, it always makes for the best memories and makes me feel most alive. Regardless of how exhausted I was, I was so happy to be there, even at 2am Riomaggiore was magical and one of the most charming villages I had ever been to.
Riommagiore is a tiny town by the water, with mostly just apartments to rent on Air B n’ B, (I only noticed one small hotel there). If you want to stay in Riommagiore, Air B n’ B is the way to go. I feel like most people stay in the surrounding towns because its easy to travel from one town to the other by train or by a walkway. I personally loved Riomaggiore and would totally stay there again. I only visited 3 of the 5 towns- I stayed in Riomaggiore and took the train to Manarola and Monterosso for the day. The 5 colorful cliffside towns all have harbors with fishing boats and an abundance of trattorias serving pizza, pasta and seafood.
I stayed in an Air B n’ B above Mamma’s Take Away in Riomaggiore. Mamma’s Take Away was our go-to spot for food- they had amazing pizza and fried calamari cones! We also went grocery shopping and bought brie, burrata, fresh bread, pesto, prosciutto and fruit for our apartment to snack on daily. There also is an amazing Gelateria right next to Bar Centrale.
Definitely worth spending a day at the beach in Monterroso. One of the cutest beaches I have ever been to!
Manarola is also a beautiful and colorful seaside town, a few minute train ride from Riomaggiore. I had a wonderful lunch at Marina Piccolo Restaurant by the water there.
I didn’t have enough time to visit the other towns. I am still dying to go to Vernazza, Portofino, Porto Venere and La Spezia. I loved Cinque Terre so there will definitely be a next time!