Erin Explores

by Erin Elaine

Cinque Terre (last stop in Italy, March 2013)

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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.

The first day in Vernazza was a bit cold and foggy…
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But all the fresh seafood at dinner was amazing. One of the specialties of this area is the fresh anchovies, so I made sure to order some of those. They were superb!
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Grandma and Richard got a little too close to the incoming waves! No harm done, just some wet clothes and big smiles.
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I hiked partway up from Vernazza to watch the sunset, it was beautiful and I was completely alone up there. I guess I have more confidence in my night-vision than other people do.
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The next morning we went to Manarola, and dragged Grandma up a huge hill to see the vineyards up close and gaze down at the adorable town.
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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.

For the afternoon, we headed back to Vernazza to enjoy the sunshine and watch the waves come in…
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We met a local cat who was sunning himself on a local fishing boat.

We wandered through the windy stairs/streets one final time.

And Richard and I climbed up the path from Vernazza to enjoy a great view of the town.

And with that, our Italy trip was over! I can’t wait to return for almost 2 weeks this summer. Ciao!

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2013 by in Family, Food, Italy, Photos, Travel, UNESCO and tagged , , , , , .

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