Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Europe Travels: Cinque Terre, Italy

3/7: Cinque Terre

We stayed at Cinque Terre for a day before heading back to Florence to catch the train to Venice.  Cinque Terre is a protected national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is made up of five villages, and is located on the Italian Riviera closest to the city of La Spezia.

Outside Riomaggiore train station
We stayed at Riomaggiore, which is the closest village to La Spezia.

It was a little troublesome to find our hotel in Riomaggiore as the exact location was not accurate on Google Maps.

We decided to stay in Riomaggiore because accommodation was cheaper as compared to the popular village of Manarola.

Pesto foccacia for lunch

Farinata - a kind of flatbread

Restaurants overlooking the vast blue sea

Exploring Riomaggiore and its vibrant neighbourhood~

These vibrant eye-candies will surely brighten up one's mood.

Clear waters in Riomaggiore

Among the 5 villages of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is one of my favourites.

Postcard view right there

Weather was scorching hot but all these sights were worth it.

Panoramic view of the Port of Riomaggiore

Crystal blue waters :)

First gelato of the day! I had ricotta flavour.

Seafood cone for €5. Yummy!

Next stop, Monterosso al Mare.
Monterosso is a resort-oriented village and its sandy beaches are its prime attractions.

We were greeted by a stretch of long sandy beach and its mandatory accessories of deck-chairs and umbrellas right outside the railway station.

I got this really yummy-looking chocolate creme puff. Look at that amount of chocolate cream oozing out!

Panoramic view of Monterosso's sandy beaches

The iPhone really takes good panoramic photos!

Just when we thought it was the end of Monterosso, we crossed this long tunnel and arrived at the Old Town and historical center of Monterosso.

Beach leading up to the Old Town

Photogenic Old town of Monterosso

Loved these narrow stairways lined with restaurants and quirky little shops.

3rd stop, Vernazza.

Black and white stripes on the facade of the Church of St John Baptist

Even the churches were so photogenic! Check out those beautiful monochromatic tiles.

Oratorio Mortis et Orationis - The Black Church

Colourful houses of Vernazza

Vernazza is such a beauty!

Panoramic view of Vernazza

We were afraid that we would miss the train so we rushed to the railway station, not before getting our fix of gelato at Gelateria Vernazza. I had bacio (chocolate hazelnut) and pistachio gelato. Both flavours were yummy. In the end, the train didn't come and we waited for almost an hour for the next :/

2nd last village of Cinque Terre: Corniglia
Corniglia is the quietest town in Cinque Terre and is probably the least visited one.

It takes 382 steps to climb the Lardarina to get to the top of the village.

View from the top

At the top of Corniglia

Iconic colourful houses of Corniglia

We managed to catch the beginning of the sunset at Corniglia's railway station.

Last stop: Manarola

Piazza Capellini in Manarola

The Port
Despite Manarola being the smallest of the 5 villages, these colourful houses are one of the most photographed in Cinque Terre. This is also the most beautiful area in Manarola.

We managed to catch a glimpse of the sunset while we had our dinner.

Seafood risotto at Marina Piccola

Evening in Manarola

It was a long and tiring day exploring the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. A day was not enough to fully enjoy and immerse myself into the sights and sounds but it was nevertheless a fun and fruitful day. Cinque Terre definitely tops my list of favourite places in Europe. While I enjoy the Old Town of Monterosso, I'm not a fan of their beaches. If I have to choose, my top favourites are Riomaggiore and Vernazza.

Nightlife in Riomaggiore

Ciao, Cinque Terre. Mi manchi. Till the next.

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