Monday, October 11

{ Italia: Cinque Terre }

On Friday & Saturday Erica and I took a little vacation from our vacation. Hate us yet?

It just so happens that the world-renowned "heaven on earth" -Cinque Terre - is just a 2-hour train ride from Florence. We filled our backpacks with only the necessary essentials and headed out in beachy hiking attire at 6:30am to the nearest train station. Quick change over in Pisa (sorry, Leaning Tower, we have better plans) and some yoga on the train platform...then a much-needed caffe latte (who am I?!?!) in La Spezia, the small connecting town just before the Cinque Terre jewels. Shared an iPod with some Russian techno to get us prepped for our journey, and then...we arrived!

It's hard to make Santa Barbara look really is. Unless you're Riomaggiore, the first of the five miniature beach villages, in which case, there's no contest. I think I subconsciously thought the photos I'd seen online were too good to be true, and therefore, better than the actual thing. I was very wrong.

Turns out October has been beyond perfect for this trip...70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky...slight breeze, sparkling coastline, and hardly any tourist crowds!

The area is known for three things:
-Sciacchetre, their local sweet WHITE WINE...extremely late harvest, ranking at a whopping 18%! Tasted a tad like honey syrup.
-PESTO...the best I've ever had, we even went to a pesto tasting!
-FOCCACIA can buy huge hunks of it by the gram with all sorts of fantastic toppings.

I know...pity I don't like any of those things.

...Monica Lercari's pesto lasagna (shout out to Bridget! :)
...Playing the "I've Never" game in a hostel that night with people from London, Trinidad, and Canada
...not having to pay for a hostel
...sun-bathing on the rocks by the harbor at Vernazza
...watching the sun set over the sea in Monterosso
...trying Cinque Terre's 'fruit of the sea' (muscles) for the first time, and liking them...thanks, Shane :)
...trying (and liking) Irish coffee
...the 90-minute hikes through the Italian Riviera's wildlife between the towns
...knowing I'll be back at some point because I promised myself.

We also met two guys within the first ten minutes of getting off the train. They ended up hanging out with us the entire two days, carrying our backpacks when the hikes got steep, buying us coffee when we were tired, and telling us we were beautiful when our moods needed some lifting. We couldn't have asked for more entertaining and perfect traveling companions.

I went crazy with my camera...and I can't wait to share them with you all when I return home! In the meantime, book your flights to this piece of heaven ASAP.
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ika said...

Glad you could post even with your Droid. Job well done. Muscles? IRISH Coffee? hmmm. Can't wait to hear more. We'll have to be patient for your pics. Love you!

Sarah said...

this post begs for more details. seriously.

Ahn said...

you would meet 2 men and let them carry your bags. uhhh. what a hard life.

Justine said...

wwhhaaaattttt, speechless.

Bridget said...

YOU HAD THE PESTO LASAGNA?! that makes my heart happy and my stomach growl. i too promised myself i'd go back. maybe we'll go togetha? it'd make ahn so jel.

Camanda said...

SOOO GREAT MADS!!!!! Please don't leave before having spagetti alle vongole! ITS INCREDIBLE and you have to try it while you're on the coast! I love you!!!!!

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