Riomaggiore - the most substantial non-resort town of the group.
(This is the town we stayed in)
Manarola - a tiny and picturesque town.
Vernazza - with the closest thing to a natural harbor, overseen by a ruined castle - this town is the jewel of them all. Families are tight and go back centuries.
Monterosso al Mare - is basically a resort with lots of hotels, umbrellas and beach front.
Arrived around 3:00 in the afternoon, they allowed us to drive our car down the twisty, winding, narrow road to the bottom of the hill to dispense our luggage at our apartment. Thank goodness our room was only one flight up.
Picturesque views of Riomaggiore
Up early the next morning with a grand plan to hike to all five villages. From Riomaggiore to Manarola is about a 20 minute hike and features the famous Via dell'Amore promenade "the pathway of love.
You will see padlocks locked to wires, cables and fences. Closing a padlock with your lover is a common ritual in Italy.
View of Manarola from top of the town.
Harbour in Manarola
Ok, lets get hiking!
Leaving Train Station for Monterosso.
and arriving in Monterosso
Like I said before, more of a beach resort town. We decided to have lunch here and found a cute beachside cafe.
It could have been the surroundings, and maybe the beverages - but this was the best damn salad we have ever had. I tried to replicate it at home - just not the same. Now, after several beverages, the 90 minute hike back to Vernazza is not looking so good - let's take the train.
Arriving at train station.
Fun fishing boats in harbour
Also decided to take the train to Corniglia and upon arrival we were informed the town was nowhere near the station. It was actually up the side of the mountain and up some 400 plus steps. After several hikers coming down to the station suggested it was not worth the trip we decided to skip Corniglia.
The Train Station
The 400 plus steps up to the town.
We returned to our quiet, quaint little town via the train and relaxed on our private balcony enjoying our glass of prosecco, some brushetta, crackers and cheese and taking in the sights.
Some of us enjoyed the sights more than others. Laundry time after a hard day of lounging on the beach.
More fun sights of Riomaggiore.
Chocolate Croissant and espresso for breakfast - delizioso!
Leaving Riogmaggiore, Cinque Terre - dragging our bags a mile straight up to the car park. They say - and I agree - that the Cinque Terre is an exceptional place - we loved it here. Now it's on to Lake Como.