Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cinque Terre: part two.

The five coastal downs of Cinque Terre (which literally means "five grounds") are linked together by a series of trails. You can walk the entire length of the coast from the northernmost town to the southernmost town in about five hours. We weren't that ambitious, but we did make quite a day of it all!

We began the day by taking a train from Levanto to the southernmost town of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. The trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola is not so much a trail as it is a walkway. It's called Via Dell'Amore - Love's Way. The entirety of the pathway is lined with locks placed there by lovers to symbolize their everlasting love. Awww! So sweet. And the views? Breathtaking!

I also came across this graffiti, which I could not help but photograph. I'm so homesick for my San Francisco Giants!

The tunnel at the end of the walkway.

Jackie, Alyssa and Claire ready for some hiking!

Ciao, Monarola!

Claire being cute!

I spy...

Upon arriving in Monarola, we found out that the first portion of the next leg of the hike was closed due to a landslide. Bummer! So we awaited the next train to take us past it. We arrived at the base of the mountain upon which the town of Corniglia sits to find we had quite a walk ahead of us.

The view from the train tracks!

Jackie, me and Claire.



On? :P

We stopped by Corniglia and then were on our way to Vernazza by way of another intense hike. Let's just say the end result was totally worth the trouble! Vernazza was our favorite town to visit by far.

The view from the trail between Monarola and Corniglia.

Like a answer to the question we were all thinking, we found this sign at the top of our hike to Corniglia.

Jackie and Claire taking a breather in a random nook. :P

The view of Corniglia from the hike to Vernazza.

Again from further away.

And further still.

Check out those clouds.

The view of the ocean on the hike to Vernazza.

Suddenly found ourselves in what seemed like a rainforest.

Finally! Vernazza in sight.

Way too cute of a town.

Jackie, me and Claire.

The view of Vernazza from the pier.

They've managed to integrate the land and the water with this really cool architectural piece. :]

Jackie snapped this photo of me!

Jackie and me in a random cave. :P

After dining on some delicious trofie al pesto, we were off to the most touristy and crowded town of them all, Monterosso al Mare. There's a reason this beautiful place is so popular.


We headed home that night, exhausted. What a weekend. ;]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cinque Terre: part one.

Last month, a few girls and I made the trip from Florence to the amazing beautiful Cinque Terre. We took the train to La Spezia and then hopped on another to a lovely little town called Levanto. Levanto is just north of the five towns for which the region is named. Our hotel was so quaint and its surroundings were even prettier than I anticipated! You don't typically think "beach" when you think Italy, but alas: there it was. I felt like I was in Hawaii, and I was loooving it.

Alyssa and Jackie on the train!

Claire and me. :]

Welcome to Levanto!

This was on the ceiling of our hotel room. Whaaat? Amazing.

Equally amazing... Behold: my bed. They literally cranked up the top cushions of a couch to reveal this little lair.

The view from our window.

We wandered down toward the beach and were greeted by this gorgeous scene.

Alyssa, Claire and me.

Alyssa, Jackie and Claire.

Not pictured: the old man in a Speedo who would soon come into frame. ;]

That night before dinner, we had an awesome experience - we got the opportunity to watch a lightening storm over the ocean. It was truly breathtaking. Check it!

Levanto by night.

Isn't that splendid?!