Five JEWELS hidden between the SEA and SKY

Cinque Terre…a place so gorgeous – it’s worth a second visit or more…

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But really, this place is like heaven for me.

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It just has everything:

– Lots of SUN for sunning,

– Lots of SEA for swimming,

– Beautiful MOUNTAINS for hiking (full of wine grapes),  

– Lovely little towns for PHOTOGRAPHING,

– Italian ICE CREAM for deliciousness,

– And all the best ITALIAN RESTAURANTS!

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I was here a couple of years ago and this place left such a deep impression in my heart; that I had to come back! I had to go to the Cote d’Azur for Cannes Lions anyway. So the train ride along the Italian Riviera seemed to be the perfect combination and the five little towns were ideal for a special pre-birthday week. 😀

So we took the train from Nice along the cost up to Liguria to those five little beautiful jewelry boxes between the sea and the sky.

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We stayed in the first one, Monterosso al Mare, the only one with a beach – in a little Hotel called Baia with an ocean view.

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The best part: we could see the reflection of the five villages in our window…so lazy people could simply visit the other 4 Terre’s by just staying in the room (; 

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Which I strongly do not recommend, as they would miss out on so much! 

The five vilages are not only beautiful; they are also very well connected. 

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You can hike between them, which we did from Monterosso to Vernazza. It’s a 2 1/2 hour tour that involves thousands of steps but offers amazing views over the coast and the little five towns.

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We also walked from Riomaggiore to Manarola. In comparison, this was super easy – no steps involved and it takes less than 30 minutes. But obviously a lot of other people like that too, so it was very crowded.

You can take a boat. We used this option one morning, to go to Riomaggiore. Really a lot of fun and the best view!

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And you can also take the train, which regularly runs between the five villages. But remember to check the timetable first, otherwise, you can end up sitting at the train station for an hour and more – especially in the afternoon as the trains don’t run so frequently. (This happened to us twice…) 

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We took the train to Corniglia not knowing that the station is about a mile away from the actual town, which sits high up on a sea cliff. So we had to walk a million steps again. This also meant that up there were very few tourists. A lot of piece and quiet for us. Awesome.

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The train was also always the easiest option in the evenings to go back to Monterosso al Mare, and to our hotel Baia, with the cute little bar downstairs that served the most amazing Granadilla Spritz and fried fresh calamari’s ever. 😉 I really enjoyed coming back to these lovely jewellery boxes, although this time I felt a little bit lost in between all the tourist streams rushing through the towns every day. I guess they all found my secret travel treasure.

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Oh well, we tried to ignore the masses as much as possible and escaped to really cozy little restaurants, for example “L’ Ancora Della Turtuga” in Monterosso. We chose it because of the amazing view as well as its name. As Tortuga is known as Captain Jack Sparrow’s town in Pirates of the Caribbean.

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The dinner there was definitely the culinary highlight of the week, plus the unbeatable view and cute little cats that ate the left over’s of our yummy fish dishes. And we learned that Turtuga is the Spanish word for turtle, and that it actually exists and was really a famous pirate stronghold in Haiti. I don’t think there are any men with eye patches there anymore though… Maybe we’ll go find out on our next trip!

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