Written by Danielle April 3, 2014
For our last weekend here in Italy, for some of us anyway, we decided to make a trip out to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is on the coast of Italy and is made up of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Cornigilia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Since even before I had left for Italy, I was told by past CIMBA students and others that this is must-see place in Italy. All semester long I looked forward to this highly-anticipated trip. Looking back on all of my trips, I think of this one as “best for last.”
Some girls and I stayed in a small apartment in Monterosso. Monterosso is the village with the biggest beach, so a lot of CIMBA students stayed in this village. Early Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast looking out to the Mediterranean. We had toast and freshly squeezed orange juice. The first time my friends ordered toast, I thought they were ordering toasted bread with butter and jam. But, toast is a popular “sandwich” here that is ham and cheese on bread, toasted. I became very fond of it over the semester and ate it usually when I wasn’t hungry for a big meal. For those of you who are reading this who have never been to Italy and are planning to come, you must get some freshly squeezed oranges! Most of the oranges they eat here in Italy are blood oranges, so it usually has a red tint, but it is the best freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever had! I would get it at the airports when we had early morning flights a lot. It is delicious!
After breakfast, we set out on the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza. It was about a one hour hike, and the first half of it was all steps, but it was definitely worth it! The famous colored houses are even more beautiful in person than they are in the pictures. It was such a cool feeling to be amongst the colored houses and actually see what all the hype was about! When I retire, I will definitely consider one of the villages as a place to reside! After spending most of the day in Vernazza, we came back to Moterosso and hung out on the beach with some other CIMBA students until the sun set. It was a very fun and relaxing late afternoon!
I didn’t find this out until I arrived in Cinque Terre, but pesto sauce originated from there. Pesto is one of my favorite meals in the cafeteria at CIMBA, so I was super stoked to find out that pesto was popular in Cinque. Every restaurant we went to served a pasta dish with pesto. So, of course, at dinner I ordered pesto pasta and it was the best I have ever had! They also served pesto pizza, which was really good too! If you like pesto, I highly recommend ordering it if you ever make your way to Cinque Terre.
On Sunday we walked around the “downtown” of Monterosso and did a lot of souvenir shopping. After a few more hours of relaxing on the beach we mad our way to Riomaggiore to see some more colored houses! In my opinion, Riomaggiore was prettier than Vernazza, but Vernazza had more things for us to do. We hung out on the rocks and soaked up the sun for awhile before heading back to the train station to catch our bus. On the way back we stopped at a small store and picked up some jars of pesto! I can’t wait for my family to try it, hopefully they are as hyped about it as I was!
I am so glad we decided to go to Cinque Terre for our last weekend in Italy. It is definitely a must-see city in Italy. It was so beautiful and very relaxing. I would love to go back some time and spend a day or two in every village.
Thanks for reading! Ciao!