So when we got to Florence, we made it our hub and spent the night there, then it was back on the train bright and early the next morning to Cinque Terre. We took the train into La Spezia than transferred to a local train that took us to each of the five fishing villages that made up Cinque Terre. During the spring and summer, you can actually hike to each town taking in the beautiful scenery but unfortunately, the hike trails were closed for us during the winter time. I may have to come back to the town just to hike the trails.
Each village is located right along the Mediterranean coastline that provided such a beautiful blue scenery stretched as far as the eyes could see. The first stop was Riomaggiore, then Manarola, Corniglia, Monterosso and Vernazza.
Manarola was actually my fave village out of all five and I would have loved to catch the sunrise here. Unfortunately when we read up on visiting the villages, online sites touted Vernazza as the last one to stop for the sunset. Now we know better. This village was so beautiful against that coastline and more so beautiful from photos I’ve seen online at night.
Corniglia was such a small village and what was famous here for us to do was hiking up the 365 steps (each one signifying the days of the year) up to the top of the village to see the view. Super quiet and super picturesque-y town for which we did not stay too long. We didn’t see a lot of restaurants or even many people there when we were making our trek up the stairs and walking around.
Now this one has the beach area and since it was winter time, there weren’t many people walking along the beachfront besides us. There was a small boardwalk but not many people there. It was nice being so close to the water and hear the waves ebbing to and from the sea.
Oh, Vernazza. I will never forget Vernazza and although the sunset was gorgeous there, the village was another sleepy one with not many activities going on. Granted it was winter time so that could have a lot to do with it. I will never forget Vernazza though for the lovely black algae that made a part of the rocky grounds slippery and where I ended up smack dab on the floor with an iPhone cracked screen on one hand and my lens cracked filter screen (in my bag) on the other. Fortunately, my camera which was on me did not suffer any blows and still working fine to this day.
After a lovely sunset-filled night, it was back on the train to Florence but we made an impromptu stop into Pisa thinking why not. We didn’t expect it to be yet another quiet city at night meandering through small dark streets and alleyway before we got to the famous leaning tower. Catching the train back was another adventure altogether but luckily we made it back to Florence just in time to get some sleep and wake up to explore the city.