The most GORGEOUS Italy has to offer

Trip Start Jun 24, 2010
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Trip End Oct 25, 2010


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Flag of Italy  , Italian Riviera,
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There is so much that can be said for Cinque Terre. It is a stunning coastal stretch consisting of 5 individual, stunning towns, spanning 12kms from the first town, to the last. The best thing is that there is a track and you can walk from one to the other and back again.
Our bus dropped us at the train station called La Spezia, which is 10mins from the first town where we were staying. When we got off at Riomaggiore, it was raining, but we walked through a tunnel and up the only street in town, a steep hill, to our checkin, then got taken aaaalllll the way back down the bottom to our room. Not an easy feat with 15kg on your back in the wet! We already felt relaxed once we checked in. It was a small hostel room, tiny shower and all that, but nothing could have worried us now that we were in Cinque Terre. We could smell and feel the sea breeze, and from one little nook near our room, we could see the water and marina below, inviting us for a look.
The town took all of 20mins to explore, but that was perfect, considering where we had just come from, being run off our feet trying to tick all the boxes.
I wasn't feeling very well that night, but Bern had made friends with all our roomies that afternoon whilst I slept and they all cooked up this amazing pesto pasta, made with all local ingredients. There was chicken, mushrooms and this big tub of fresh, home made Italian pesto... ahhh delicious. I couldn't eat much in my state, but I can assure you it tasted just as amazing the next day!! So I didn't miss out on any action, I grabbed my bottle of water and went and sat down at the marina with the others whilst they drank their bottles of wine. It was a nice way to settle ourselves into this pretty place.

Day 2 - the big trek!! We set out with a group to do the 12km walk between all the towns. My favourite part was the very first leg of the walk, called 'del Amore' which translates to 'Of the love' or something like that. This section of the track was marked with an archway entry with loveheats entwined at the top. There was an incredible view of the ocean the whole way along, with a fence along the whole way. Heading towards the man made tunnel inset into the rocks, you can see where lovers had placed padlocks all the way along sparsely. It's not until you get to the tunnel that you can see where the other hundreds of thousands of locks are attached!! You have to see the photos to understand, but there is a lovers seat, with a couple kissing where you can sit for a photo after you have locked your love away forever.
It's lucky I came prepared with a padlock... I bought one before we left and wrote on the front, "Nik loves Mick forever" and dated it. On the revers there was an 'M' which I turned into 'AMore' which means love. Then I found my spot, locked up the key, took a photo then threw the keys into the rugged ocean below, never to be found, and the lock never to be unlocked again. Nawww... isn't that just the most ridiculously romantic thing you have EVER heard?? Loved it. That was something I have wanted to do ever since I saw the lovers lock bridge in Paris, I think my location for locking my love was a millions times prettier and more romantic.

Moving on from the romance, the track got harder between each town we went to. At one point we even had to climb 380 stairs!! It was a great work out for the buns, and it felt so nice to sweat out some of the pasta and wine we'd been consuming throughout Italy. We swam in the towns and stopped for a nice Italian Pizza, and swam again at the final town after the hardest leg of the whole trek. There were sections where only one person could fit at a time and it was touch and go more than once I can assure you! We heard the next day a little boy had to be airlifted out of there from falling down the side of one of the walks. Unlucky!

On our last night, we just got some pasta from a little take away shop in town and took it down to a pebbled beach near our hostel and sat watching the sunset as the waves crashed against the rocks and we chatted about how amazing the day was and how proud we were for getting through the entire 12kms.

Cinque Terre should be on everyones list of places to visit, I cannot recommend it enough.

Amo Cinque Terre! Battito esso fuori!
(I love Cinque Terre! Tick it off!)
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Comments

Dad on

So beautiful Nik, if that doesn't melt Micks heart nothing will.
Another place now on my must see list, thanks Nik xxxxx

Kate on

Babe, I totally agree - everyone needs to go there! It's beautiful isn't it... So cute you did the padlock thing, you romantic you! I loved looking at those. Miss you heaps, keep having fun xxx

ben on

nik you little romantic you, love that

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