Cinque Terre: the famed 5 cities on the Ligurian coast of Italy.
This past week, my friend and I had scheduled for two nights in Manarola, the penultimate town in the south. Our little studio at the very top of the city had a sea-view and conveniently located two doors down from the best restaurant in Manarola: Trattori dal Billy. While exploring the different towns, we made sure to climb to the highest point of each to get the best view of the sea and city. Little did we know, this would become the reason for our most unforgettable experiences (mainly food-related).
Here are my top three:
In Riomaggiore, we discovered a quaint restaurant near the top of the mountain with a sea view and an interesting menu. Furthermore, the lady working the restaurant (population: us, her and her dog) gave us a lesson on wine-tasting white wines and the most popular ones of Cinque Terre. Specialty: Sciachetrà, a sweet dessert wine that paired great with the homemade tiramisu.
In Vernazza, after a strenuous, 30-minute hike, we stumbled upon a bar on the edge of the cliff with a breathtaking view of the town and surrounding nature. Take a look, because I can’t even begin to put it in words:
The defining moment of my trip was probably making the spontaneous decision to spend one more night in Cinque Terre. We chose a hotel on the waterfront (literally, our windows opened to the sea) in Monterosso, dropped our bags off, and went hiking. Little did we know, we would land ourselves at a thousand-year old garden, now a vineyard, for some wine tasting and homemade bruschetta. With a little bunny named Bordeaux, how could I resist? I spent the latter half of our time there talking to the grandmother as she led me through her garden. And as the little wine-nerd I am, I asked politely if I could see their wine caves. As it turns out, they house their barrels in an old church on the castle grounds. Worth the extra night? I would say so, but this blog post doesn’t even begin to cover all of the amazing sights and smells we encountered on this trip.
P.S. I had my first oyster and somehow managed to eat almost 50 mussels over the course of 3 meals…