by Erin Elaine
The Cinque Terre are five tiny towns on the Italian Riviera, all squeezed tightly between the sea and the cliffside vineyards. Half a dozen stairways wind up the hills, serving as the streets between the pastel-colored buildings. For hundreds of years, the residents have made their living off the sea (fishing) and the hills (growing grapes for wine). Within the past couple generations, cliffside pathways have been created to link the five towns. The area is also protected as a national park. We only saw 2 of the towns, Vernazza and Manarola, but we loved them both. There is simply something breathtaking about standing at the shore and craning your neck up to see all the modge-podge of houses balancing on the hills, while waves crash behind you and you try to eat your gelato before it melts.
Followed by some delicious pesto pizza! Pesto is also a specialty of this area. It’s so incredibly fresh and flavorful. Pesto in the US is a lot more garlic-heavy, because the basil loses its flavor when it’s processed for shelf stability. But the pesto here is so basil-y, I loved it.
And with that, our Italy trip was over! I can’t wait to return for almost 2 weeks this summer. Ciao!