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  • Day35

    Our Epic Day in the Cinque Terre

    July 28 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Today was one of the days we have been really looking forward to. The Cinque Terre. 5 little villages built into the hills of the Italian Riviera of the Mediterranean. What is there not to love?

    We bought a Cinque Terre Train Card that gives us unlimited travel from La Spezia through all the towns as well as access to the trekking paths (the walk between the towns that we didn't do)

    We started out taking the train to the farthest village, Monterosso. Every village was so different. This one was more spread out so there was very little vertical climbing unless you wanted to get into where the houses were. We walked up and down the marina and then we got into the Mediterranean for a good long swim. It was awesome. It was already 25 C outside by 9 am so we knew it was going to be a hot one and we wanted to start off the day in the water before it got too busy.

    After our swim and a little shopping, we were back in the train to head to the neighbor village of Vernazza. This village was quite a bit smaller that lead down to this circular marina. Very picturesque. It was here we took a little detour up into the trekking trail to get some good shots of the city from up on high. After a little for exploring and relaxing we headed to the next town of Corniglia.

    By now the heat is starting to affect us. This village is unique as it doesn't have a marina and the town is at the top of a hill. You have 2 options, wait for a little bus to take you up...or... do it the Mooney way and take the stairs. So, we took the Mooney way. After the stairs we were hot and tired. The path takes you to a little square that doesn't have much and you have to take some side path to get to the centro or city centre. All the other towns so far just took you there easily so it took us a little bit of time to find the secret entrance.

    Once we found it, our next action was to find food. We stopped at a cute little pizzeria that specializes in pizza and sandwiches on foccaci bread. It was delicious and just what we needed. We kept walking through the town to their scenic terrace at the edge of the town with views of the Mediterranean and the neighboring town. Then it was back through the town and to take the stairs back down (it is the Mooney way) and back in the train. This time, we skipped the next town and got down to the first town of Riomaggiore.

    In this town, you get off the train and walk through a long tunnel to get the town. This town had a marina and the town extended far up the hill. We walked really far up, stopped for some Gelato, and got some great pictures. Then we walked back down and headed to the rocky Marina. Some of the kids wanted to get wet again and a couple wanted to work on their tans. I saw some kids cliff jumping nearby and thought my kids would like to do it. The tanners were not that keen as they didn't want to get wet. So I convinced the swimmers to come check it out with me. Once the tanners saw the swimmers go... then they decided to come to. I think they were nervous but if they all went together and the sacrificial first jumper survived, then maybe they would do it to. So we worked our way up to the top of the Rock, watched some little kids jumping off and I convinced all of them to do it to. So all my kids went cliff jumping in the Cinque Terre. That will be a cool memory for them.

    Afterwards, we made our way back to the town center, got some more Gelato (didn't I already say how hot it was... it was definitely a 2 Gelato day) and then we were off to the last village, Manarola.

    We kept this one till last because the hope was it was larger then a lot of the other one so we would spend some time there and then have a nice supper. But man..... was it hot. We started at the marina. It was packed with swimmers and sun bathers and there as a cliff side path that would take you to some scenic views of the town and the sea. So we hiked up there, got some great pictures and then made our way back to the city centre. Nobody was interested in swimming again so we walked up the hill into the city. We ended up not finding a suitable place to eat and by now we were all pretty tired and sweaty. So we intended to head back to our place in La Spezia, clean up, change clothes, and head back to the Cinque Terre for supper. In reality, we got all cleaned up and decided to stay in. We cooked some pasta, drank some coke, and spent the rest of the evening cleaning up the place and preparing for our trip to Florence.

    The Cinque Terre was everything we hoped it would be and the kids had fun. I am glad we came. Next is 3 days in Florence so there is still lots to look forward to. And in a week from now we will be heading home. So with that I will sign off. Thanks for being on this journey with us.
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