Smile #75 – Nice to Meet You, Cinque Terre, Italy! [Part I]

Nice to Meet You, Cinque Terre, Italy [Part I]!

Ever since I first stumbled across a colorful picture of Cinque Terre on Pinterest years ago, I have been looking forward to visiting one day.  Five seaside villages with colorful terraces located along the Italian Rivera is absolutely picturesque.  🙂 Time after time, travel magazines has listed Cinque Terre as one of the most vibrant and colorful places in the world!  🙂

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My dream finally came true!  🙂  Monterosso welcomed us with a gorgeous view of the coastline.  🙂 I felt like I had stepped into a fairy tale storybook!  🙂

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It is rare that we splurged on accommodation, but this time, we decided to treat ourselves to a balcony ocean view bedroom at Manuel’s Guesthouse.

Prior to our arrival, we read about the stairway to Heaven (AKA 130+ steps) so that we would be mentally prepared!  We followed the directions passing the boardwalk, through the tunnel and up the staircase we went with our loaded suitcases.  #38…#40…so where is #39?!  We walked up a few more steps…nope.  We wandered to a smaller path…nope.  As it turns out, #39 is on the OTHER side.  Oh boy! That sure was some exercise!  🙂

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We finally made it to the top of Monterosso on the OTHER side.  As promised, the room was equipped with an incredible view of the ocean, the town and the mountains!  I could just stand here all day and admire the view!  🙂

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Despite the not-so-positive weather forecast, the sun was still shining.  We took advantage of the sun and went on a hike.  The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza took us roughly 2.5 hours.  Neither of us was prepared for this strenuous expedition.  Make sure to bring plenty of water, trust me, you will need it.  Because it rained the night before, the trail was a bit muddy and slippery.  My new walking shoes were immediately ruined with mud… stained with mud.  Giving my shoes a bit of a story, huh?  🙂

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Along the hike, we were accompanied by the most breathtaking views.  Nature has its hidden secrets.  🙂

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Sidestory:  At one section of the hike, there were a small cult of stray cats.  One particular cat gave us the meanest cat eyes!  I am guessing he/she is the alpha head.  It is kinda funny, but I was more concerned he/she might just craw my eyes out!

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At the end of the trail, we came to the most spectacular view of Vernazza.  The absolute postcard-like image of the village was right before our eyes.  🙂

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Sweaty and exhausted, we entered the town and our first thought was ‘Where is the gelato?!’. We so deserved it after this hike!  🙂  Bubble had Creme of Vernazza, a must try for all those visiting!  It was delicious!  I had a Cannoli, it was yummy as well!

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Cannoli – a vanilla creme with chocolate and a cookie straw 🙂

After a small break, we were ready to explore the town.  I loved the pastel colored town and the small cobblestone streets.  🙂  It gave the most calming small town vibe.  🙂

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We headed closer to the coast.  Beautiful fishing boats lined up the perimeter of the harbor.

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Closer to sunset time, we headed up to Castello a. Doria.

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Looking out the top of the tower, the sky blended in with the endless ocean.

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One side, we can see the town from above.  The other, we can see the cliff of the other villages.  

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Sidestory:  I have decided when I ‘grow up’, I want to rent this exact spot!  I was exploring  the view when I spotted this red bench on the terrace.  Doesn’t it looks just so perfect!  I would love to spend an afternoon just lounging in that chair!  🙂

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Due to the high wind and rapid waves, all the boats had to dock inland.  The fishermen gathered around, ready to help push their boat onto the main square.  No large equipment or machinery needed; simply a rope, some wood pieces and human strength will sufficed.

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Because technology is involved in every aspect of our lives, we expected old methods to be replaced by new technology.  Therefore, I found it is quite amusing to see tourists (myself included) gathering around, snapping photos and videos of how boats are pulled up inshore.  A method invented centuries ago now perceived as new discovery.

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Sidestory:  I was sitting watching the fishermen, when this cat decided to steal my seat.  Literally.  He hopped on and I immediately jumped out of my seat.  Little sneaky cat!

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The evening was spent sipping on a glass of house wine and enjoying the best pesto gnoochi!  🙂

I am excited to explore the other villages tomorrow.  🙂


5 thoughts on “Smile #75 – Nice to Meet You, Cinque Terre, Italy! [Part I]

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