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Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Hi! I'm back with my second Italy recap: part 1 of our time in the Cinque Terre. We spent four days in the Cinque Terre, and it was probably the highlight of the trip – at least in my opinion. The days were packed, so I’m splitting the Cinque Terre recap into two parts!

My outfit above: sunglasses (only $13) // top (under $100) // shorts // basket bag (under $100)

Getting There & Where We Stayed

We took the train from Rome to the Cinque Terre on Saturday morning. The train is surprisingly so easy, even if you have to make transfers. We purchased our tickets through Trenitalia. I would recommend getting the app too so it’s easy to add your ticket to your Apple wallet like you would a boarding pass. The stations are all very easy to navigate and the process was much easier than I expected - seriously, nothing to stress over.

Our train route was Rome to La Spezia, transfer to the Cinque Terre train, and get off at Manarola, where we were staying! The Cinque Terre trains that go to all five towns (Riomaggiore, Manarole, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso) run every 10 minutes, so even though our first train was a few minutes behind schedule, it wasn’t a big deal.

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

When we arrived in Manarola, we made our way to where we were staying, affittacamere nuova Vandiris! It was an easy walk from the train and a lovely little place. It wasn’t really a hotel or an air bnb, more in between, like a house with five rooms. The rooms are incredibly simple, but we had a sea view, and it was lovely. You can book it here if you’re interested! Ultimately, we loved Manarola, and we were really glad it’s where we stayed; I think we also would’ve enjoyed staying in Riomaggiore. 

Saturday

We got in Saturday around 4PM. After checking in, we got ready for dinner and went into town for snacks and a drink beforehand. It was a little rainy and around 6pm, and everywhere was closed! We couldn’t figure out if it was just like a break hour, or if it had to do with the rain, so we grabbed olives and Aperol spritzes from a little market and had our own Aperitivo back in the room!

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

We headed back down to the town, and then up (it’s sooo hilly in Cinque Terre, and Manarola is especially precipitous) for dinner at La Regina di Manarola. I found this spot on Tik Tok, and it was pretty touristy, but honestly, everywhere in the Cinque Terre is pretty touristy. At first, we were a little worried it’d be terrible because it was mostly Americans, but everything was delicious. I loved the pesto-stuffed burrata we had to start, and Joe’s pasta, the Scoglio “Al Quadrato,” was amazing. The tiramisu was the best one of the trip!

Sunday

On Sunday morning we woke up early and decided to do one of the hikes! If you’re unfamiliar, Cinque Terre literally translates to “five towns,” and you can hike between each of them. There are multiple hiking paths that vary with difficulty, so we chose the via Beccara trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore (you can do it in either direction) to start. There is another train that goes between Manarola and Riomaggiore that supposedly is the easiest hike of them all, only taking about 20 minutes, but it was closed.

This hike was amazing – it was about 620 stairs each way, so it was more of a climb than a hike, but we loved it! It was challenging but scenic, and since we went so early (around 7am), it was lovely to have it to ourselves. Towards the end of the hike (it took just about an hour), there were other people on the trail, and it’s definitely not the kind of hike you want to do during the peak of the day; it’s really narrow and almost entirely steps, so if it’s crowded, you’ll be waiting forever for people to get by you going the other way. 

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Special note: I had considered wearing a "cute" outfit on the hike - thank God I didn't. It is a *real* hike. Workout clothes + tennis shoes are essential!

Special note #2: there are only two trails that you need to pay for: Monterosso // Vernazza, and Vernazza // Corniglia. You can buy a pass (more info here) at any of the train stations, or at the beginning of the hikes. We bought a 3-day train/hike pass at the train station for our time in the cinque terre and would definitely recommend it, as we bopped around often between the towns, and ended up doing the Vernazza/Corniglia hike as well (more on that in part 2). No need to purchase the pass online  - we couldn't figure it out online and it was easy in person, plus it needs to be "activated," so I think it's probably easier just to do it in person

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Post-hike: we arrived in Riomaggiore and had breakfast at a little cafĂ© before exploring. We took a fabulous photo down by the marina and loved seeing the town. After that, we were so sweaty we needed to return back to our room to change and put on cute outfits for the day. 

We decided this would be the day of seeing the towns, so we decided to go out to the furthest first: Monterosso. We grabbed lunch here and realized it’s the beach town, so we planned for a beach day on Tuesday.

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Afterward, we went to Vernazza! We walked around a bit, but it was midday, so it was very hot and very crowded, and we were so tired. We ended up going home to take a nap, haha. Obviously, we got gelato first, though.

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Post-nap, we explored Manarola a bit more. We got a fried calamari cone down in the town and enjoyed it by the water. You must get a fried seafood cone if you’re in the Cinque Terre! They are delicious and every town has a spot for them. Yum.

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

We got a little dinner after, more gelato, and enjoyed the sunset. We were still pretty tired from waking up early and doing the big hike, so we went to bed early!

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

my outfit details here - also at the top of the post

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

joe's outfit: shirt // shorts // shoes (also here) // sunglasses

Fran Acciardo Italy Recap #2: Cinque Terre (Part 1)

Cinque Terre recap part 2 coming soon!

xoxo

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