Somewhere during last winter, I saw this picture on facebook and said to myself that this would be the perfect place for a summer holiday.
So we started planning the whole trip and here we are, on a Friday morning leaving from Bucharest to Bologna and taking the train to Cinque Terre.
The trip actually took us almost a day, two hours by plane to Bologna, a 30 minutes bus from the airport to the train station in Bologna and then 3 hours and a half to Vernazza by train, where we would stay for the next 3 nights. The first contact we had with this beautiful place was amazing. After a long and dark ride through tunnels, the train just got out of one and we were offered a spectacular view of the sea and the mountains. We could only say ‘WOW’ and we were trying to get the camera and take a photo, but in an instance, the train got back into a tunnel and we missed the chance.
We got in Vernazza somewhere at about 8PM, after it had just rained a bit so everything around us was wet. We looked for our accommodation and after climbing some heavy stairs, we got to our place. A small nice room and a big terrace with a great view over the sea and the small village.
Our first day in Vernazza was actually really short, we just left our luggage in the room and went for dinner and then walked a bit around the lovely narrow streets. We found the La Torre bar and restaurant somewhere up on a hill from where you have the perfect view of Vernazza and the sea. We liked it so much, that we had dinner there every evening. Nice staff, excellent food and wine, lovely atmosphere and the best view.
Vernazza is one the 5 small fishing villages from Cinque Terre in Liguria area of Italy. I immediately fell in love with this village, just from having a quick walk in the evening. Narrow streets and stairs to climb everywhere, fishing boats in the harbor, small restaurants with 2 -3 tables on the terrace and the noise of the sea that you could hear everywhere you went.
Photostream from day 1 :
The second day we woke up early because we wanted to go to Monterosso al Mare on the path that would take us about 2 hours. The morning started really good, with a clear sky, but, by the time we got out of the house, it had already started raining. This didn’t manage to stop us from following the plan so we started hiking on the path from Vernazza to Monterosso. We had our rain coats. When leaving from Vernazza we had about 30 minutes of climbing but afterwards the path was almost straight and easy going. The view on the path was absolutely amazing. You could see the sea, the rocky shore, green olive and fig trees, flowers from step to step, a small river here and there and some people once in a while. We just couldn’t stop saying how beautiful everything is.
We finally got to Monterosso after one hour and 40 minutes, all wet and we stopped on a terrace on the beach to have a coffee and to wait for the rain to be over so we could continue our trip. Around noon the rain was finally over and we went for a walk in Monterosso. It’s the biggest of the 5 villages and the most popular, but it still has it’s charm.
Colorful buildings, souvenir shops, narrow streets. Monterosso is split between the old town, with traditional houses and the new town, with small hotels and sandy beaches, looking rather like a resort, than like a fishing village.
From Monterosso we took another path, which wasn’t in the initial plan, but we considered this as the adventurous part of our trip, since we always have everything so well planned in advance. The destination of the path was the Mesco cliff, where there are also the ruins of the Church of San Antonio del Mesco. It took us about 2 hours to get there. From the Mesco cliff we found another path that said that in 2 hours we should get to Levanto, so we said ‘Why not?’. So here we are, on a path in the woods and on the cliffs of the mountain, with the sea right next to us, enjoying an amazing view and a chilly weather and a fresh air after the rain.
Levanto is another small town by the sea, with a nice beach. We got there in the afternoon, bathe our feet for 5 minutes in the sea, got some rest on the beach after all the heavy walking we had done and took the train back to Vernazza.
We got to Vernazza somewhere late in the afternoon, walked around the village a little, just to admire its beauty by day and we went up to the Doria Castel. As if we hadn’t climbed enough stairs and mountains already that day. The Doria Castel is actually just a tower from where you have a great view over Vernazza, the sea and the villages nearby.
After all the hiking and walking we did, at the end of the day we went on the beach and just relaxed until the sun went down. Not a sandy beach, more pebbles than sand, but it had its charm. You can only go to the beach from the Village via a hole dag in the mountain and if you take a quick walk around the beach you will see a small river flowing from the village, under the mountain and going into the sea.
The busy day ended with a nice dinner at the La Torre restaurant, a glass of wine on our apartment’s terrace and a really good sleep. It was the most exhausting day of the trip, so exhausting that the next day we could barely move our legs.
Useful info :
Info about Cinque Terre
Info about the paths between the five villages