Hello travel enthusiasts! This blog post describes Day 2 of my magical weekend trip to Cinque Terre, a set of five coastal villages on the Italian Riviera. If you have not read Part 1, check out my previous post called “Mediterranean Escape: Cinque Terre,” where I talk about stunning coastal hikes, shimmering beaches, and a seafood dinner complete with a sunset.
In the last article we left off in our Airbnb on a yacht in La Spezia, just south of Cinque Terre. Despite going to bed late the previous night, I somehow woke up just in time to watch the sunrise from the top deck of our yacht, without an alarm. I sat up there in complete tranquility and watched the colors change, and life fill the dock and hillside.
Once everyone else woke up, we ate a continental breakfast provided by our Airbnb, including croissants, biscuits, yogurt, and tea. After taking some group photos on the yacht, we set off to explore La Spezia a little more. We stopped at a bakery and I tried a farinata, a local flat bread made of chick pea flour.
We then took the train to Riomaggiore, a more residential village with winding small streets and rolling stairs through the tall rectangular houses. Compared to the cities of the first day, there were much less tourists at this village.
When we got to the cliff, we could see people down on the rocks and in the water, and of course we had to join. We took the hidden path down and swam all around the secluded coves and even jumped off a set of low cliffs into the water. I opened my eyes under water, diving to the bottom and feeling like a mermaid. I have to say that this experience was definitely the highlight of my trip.
Later we walked the trail back up the cliff and explored the town of Riomaggiore. We stopped at a little shack called Mamma Mia that specialized in fried food and pizza. I ordered a Calamari alla Ligure, a mixture of battered and fried squid, sardines, and vegetables. It came in a cute paper cone, and we found a bench along the street of the cute little town to enjoy our lunch.
We then set off to the final village, the tiny Corniglia. After getting of the train, we had to scale this massive set of stairs to get up to the village, called Scalinata Lardarina. It was 377 steps! It was fun to jog it with my friend, and it was accompanied by a beautiful panoramic view of the coast.
Once we got up to the top, we leisurely walked around the city, including the old Cheisa di San Pietro. We stopped at a famous gelato store named Alberto Gelateria, and I got their Basil and Hazelnut flavors. The basil flavor used fresh basil leaves grown from their garden, and was surprisingly delicious and refreshing! In the city, we saw a sign that said “To the Sea!” and we followed it down a path of stone steps to find a slightly hidden rocky beach. We just hung out there, took naps, and I took a swim as the sun moved lower in the sky. Our time in Cinque Terre was running out, and we headed back to La Spezia to prepare for our train ride back home. We had a bit of time before the departure, so we stopped at a pizzeria in La Spezia called la Tavernata. Finally, we finished off the trip with delicious gelato before heading onto the train back to Florence. Goodbye Cinque Terre, and thanks for the beautiful memories!