Hey guys! I am back from Italy and missing my daily dose of pasta, wine and gelato. In case you missed my obnoxious amount of photos and videos on instagram, or if you are looking for a little Italian inspiration, here’s a recap of my first weekend in Europe 🙂
The first stop on this trip was Cinque Terre. It is a collection of 5 stunning sea-side villages lining the Italian Riviera. Starting from the north, the order of these villages are: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The buildings in the towns are made up of multiple bright shades, leaving you in awe. One of the main reasons I wanted to visit Cinque Terre was because of how beautiful the buildings are (and what a great spot for photography!).
We stayed in Manarola and immediately fell in love! (Okay, maybe after we lugged our large suitcases up the steep hill to our air bnb and looked out at the ocean, then we fell in love). It was incredible to be in a place even more breath-taking in person than in the photos I had seen.
Walking down the main street and seeing cute Italian grandparents sitting on their balconies, smiling at the people below was a dream in itself. We were pretty jet lagged for this portion of our trip, which ended up being a great thing. Why you ask? Well, turns out tourists in Manarola do not like to wake up early! Getting up at 7am gave us the whole town to ourselves; no tour groups, no hagglers on the street, just us and the peaceful chimes from the bell tower in the church.
I’d strongly recommend taking a boat tour to check out the other villages! We had an amazing tour with a private guide who grew up in Manarola and took us snorkeling through caves. Being on the water also gives you an even better perspective of the towns, that you just couldn’t get from land.
Another fun activity is to hike between the villages. The important thing here is to think of it as a hike, not a walk! It is fairly steep and has narrow sections that would be difficult if you weren’t wearing tennis shoes. We went early in the morning, before the sun came up, and were still covered in sweat by the time we reached the top. But let me tell you, the view at the top was well worth the climb!
This was the perfect way to kick off our Italian adventure. We relaxed by the sea, drank lots of wine, and just enjoyed finally arriving in Europe.
Little Brantley Abroad