Cinque Terre, Italy
After a late start with full backpacks of fruit, cheese, salami, crackers, and our water bottles filled with homemade wine, we head out for our hike towards Vernazza. It is not as short or easy as expected. But, although it should take a couple hours, we are in no rush.
Hey, I’m in Italy, not New Jersey on the turnpike!. But first a stop in the hilltop town of Corniglia. There are 370 steps that zigag to the actual town. Dolores is a bit tired so we walk the winding road instead and it is well worth the trip. So quaint, so lovely. We stop at a wine shop, galleries, boutiques, cafes and just breathe in the clean Meditarranean air.
Once again, Rick does not steer us wrong! Backpacks on and we hit the trail to Vernazza. The views are indescribable. We are high above the sea and the sun is shining – the weather is perfect for a hike.
Arriving at 4pm we stop at an outdoor cafe and I still cannot believe I am here. Color is everywhere. Vernazza’s one street connects the train station and melts into the vineyards.
Like veins on a grape leaf, paths and stairways stretch upward from Main Street to this watercolor huddle of houses. Lines of laundry are strung from one painted home to another. At 6 PM the sun glazes and sparkles in the sea. I am warm from the sun, but not hot. People are relaxing and enjoying the slow pace.
Church bells ring. I gaze at terra cotta homes and boats near the dock painted in every primary color that exisits. No one rushes in Italy. After a stroll through the town we stop at the “Il Pirata delle 5 Terre” to check out the menu…sorry they tell us…only 5 tables and need a reservation 2 weeks in advance..
We see why, the food looks amazing- of course, they knew Rick Steves too! We decide on Ristorante Incadase de Piva- a rare bit of old Vernazza off the main drag.
The best mussels I’ve ever had! Take the train back to our hotel, hit a local pub for a nitecap, buy t- shirts for the guys at home and chat with some folks from Engalnd. Fun time..Hit the sack at 1:30 am….hope D does not snore tonite!