The 5 Village Hike

Trip Start Jan 04, 2011
Trip End May 07, 2011

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Flag of Italy  , Liguria,
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday morning we woke up and made our way to Pisa to drop off our bags for the day and head to the city of Cinque Terre, or the 5 Villages.  We dropped off our bags at our hostel in Pisa, where we met our hostel owner who spoke only Italian which was quite an adventure. After finally finding a way to communicate, we had to run to catch our train to La Spezia train station where we would get on our train to our first village of Cinque Terre.  When I say ran, I mean we ran through the city. Luckily Rick Steves (aka the God of all travel) had a direct route map from the leaning tower (which was close to our hostel) to the train station that we followed. We got to our train with less than a minute to spare, but we weren't sure it was the right one. I turn the corner and there is the conductor at the complete opposite side of the platform standing outside the train. I sprinted down the platform, asked if it was going to La Spezia and then motioned for the rest of the group to get on the train. We made it!

We arrived in Cinque Terre, at the first village of Riomaggiore. It was beautiful, but unfortunately raining which made hiking around a little less enjoyable. I want to go back and see it in the  summer, it's a must! In Riomaggiore, we were hungry so we stopped and got lunch. I had some very good homemade pesto lasagna and then we continued walking through the village and saw some of my favorite views in all of Cinque Terre.  

To get to the next city you could hike over this bridge called the bridge of love. It was similar to the bridge in Cologne that had all the locks on it, except the view was even more spectacular! The next village was called Manarola and looked similar to the first village so we walked through a bit and found a nice spot for some gelato. Then we headed to city number 3, which was called Corniglia. This village was home to many vineyards and wineries, so of course we tried a glass at a small winery where the guy spoke no english and put on some nice Italian music for us!

By this time we did not have a whole lot of time left.  We had originally decided to skip city 4 because we heard city 5 was a must see, but then Jen decided we should at least make an appearance in city four because "it's cinque terre, I don't want to say I only have been to Quattro Terre!" So we stopped in citty 4, Vernazza, for approximately 8 minutes so Jen could take a picture at the train station. Then we went to the final city, Monterosso which is apparently the most popular for tourist during tourist season.  It was getting late so there wasn't much to do, and of course it was still raining but we walked along the beach and the boardwalk anyway.  Next time I go back it better be sunny and 80 degrees so I can put on a bathing suit and jump in! You will be able to see in the pictures how gorgeous it is even in the rain, so I can hardly imagine what its like in nice weather! 
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