Now five days into our trip, we were headed to the Cinque Terre! This was the main destination of our trip (thanks to Salt Fat Acid Heat) and we were so excited to be spending three days there! The Cinque Terre is made up of five towns, hence it’s name, which means “five lands.” The towns are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomagiore and you have to pass through one to get to the next. On the way to our next airbnb in Vernazza we had some train delays and ended up getting to our station with seconds to spare for our connection. Not knowing if the train next to us was the one we needed to take we looked at the people on the train and said “Vernazza?!” They all exclaimed “sí” so we jumped on just as the doors were closing! Once we arrived at the Vernazza train station, our airbnb host greeted us and walked us through the narrow streets to our home for the next three days. This airbnb turned out to be the perfect location within feet from the train station and so close to the water front as well! Everything in Vernazza is so close together, and the train station is the closets to the city center of all of the towns making it is the perfect home base to explore the Cinque Terre!
Once settled in our room, we decided to check out the town before sunset. We grabbed some gelato (of course) and walked out to the water. This was our first time seeing any of the famous Cinque Terre coastlines and it did not disappoint! Where the buildings end, there is a peninsula out into the water that you can walk out on to look back at the town and this view is truly breathtaking. With the late day sun slowly sinking, the town’s colorful buildings were even more vibrant that normal, and the blue green water truly sparkled! We truly couldn’t believe our eyes that something could be so beautiful and unlike any terrain we had ever seen before! With about an hour left before sunset, we decided to hike up to The Sanctuary of our Lady of Regio (recommended to us by our airbnb host) which is thought to be the location of the original town of Vernazza before it moved closer to the waterfront. Much like everything in the Cinque Terre, there are A LOT of steep steps to get to the top, but the view looking down over the city is 100% worth it! And you might as well balance out all of the pasta and gelato you will eat!
On our way down, we stopped at Pippo a Vernazza a small take-out only restaurant where we grabbed two containers of pesto and pomodoro vermicelli (known as “worm” pasta because of the shape) and some limonata (lemon soda) and headed back to the water to enjoy the sunset! This was one of our favorite meals of the trip because of the delicious pasta and beautiful scenery! With full bellies and even fuller hearts, we headed back to our airbnb to rest up for the next busy day exploring the Cinque Terre!