Riomaggiore, Corneglia, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso

Far up north the west coast of Italy are the colorful towns of the unbelievable Le Cinque Terre (The Five Lands), each jutting out into the ocean, looking as though at any moment they might leap off their cliff perch and into the beautiful blue and white crashing waves below. Arrival by train takes my breath away each time: winding through mountain tunnels that suddenly open up to sunlit train tracks hugging the coast and offering amazing views of nothing but sea.

We had been here before, and even ran into the man from Vernazza (Eggi!) whose home we stayed in last time. This time we stayed with Franca, a sweet old woman in RioMaggiore who we fell in love with and insisted we must be newlyweds. Her home was on a high point of a hill and we climbed what felt like 100 stairs to get there. Night two was in Corneglia, which often gets overlooked among the five, but has the best views by far…and the best mojitos for winding down after the epic hike connecting town to town, the famous Via d’Amore.

The hike is the best part of le Cinque Terre. Actually, it’s all the best part. It’s the beauty of the southern Sorrentine coast that we love, but more rough and rugged, with hikes through mountainside vineyards and opportunity to bravely explore the untamed coast….or just lay out on it!

Our internet connection is slow today, so maybe these photos will work and maybe not. Here’s to hoping!

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