She Loves Cinque Terre in Italy
Christy Kummer is a twenty-something
Journeywoman and staffing coordinator living in Santa Cruz, California.
Last year she travelled with four friends to Cinque Terre and offers this
mini report on one of her favorite places in Italy. Christy writes...
I spent a few weeks traveling through
Italy almost one year ago and I am still dreaming about it. It's magnificent!
I highly recommend the area called Cinque Terra (Five Lands). These are
five tiny seafront villages that are on the west coast of Italy, not easily
accessible by car but very easy to get to by train. The train stops at
all five villages so you can get off as you choose or take the amazing
hike from the first to the last village. My suggestion is not to do the
full hike in one day. If you do, be prepared to take the train back to
whereever you started from because your legs will be jello by the time
you finish. Whether hiking or sightseeing through a train window you will
enjoy scenery unlike any other you have ever seen before. I promise!
We decided to stay in the village
called Riomaggiorre. This is the fifth and last village in the chain.
There is a small rental office right in the village that can rent
rooms in homes (these are not hotel rooms by any stretch of the
imagination). There are no hotels in Riomaggiore but we did manage
to get a room with a kitchen and three sets of bunk beds. My suggestion
regarding accommodation is to try to arrive in town as early in
the day as possible. This way you'll have a better chance of securing
a room before the other tourists start arriving.
Pizza and a cute
we settled in, we each ordered and finished a wonderfully big, whole
pizza (that's the only way they serve pizza here) and topped that
off with the best gelato I have ever tasted. Not to mention, the
most beautiful man I have ever seen serving gelato. I felt like
I was 12 again hanging outside the ice cream shop to get a look
at the cute boy. We ate an awful lot of gelato while we were there.
The cute boy even started giving us 2 for 1.
It was a treat
to be there...
found that the best thing to do in Riomaggiore was to shop for produce
from the local markets (there are two in the village we stayed in)
and then prepare our own Italian specialities. A stop at the town's
wine shop helped to keep us within our daily travel budget.
Reminder: The shops and businesses
here are only open from 10:00 am - 2:00pm and 3:00pm - 5:00pm. Two
to three o'clock is siesta time in Cinque Terre.
There is a beach in Riomaggiorre
-- perfect for catching some rays (if you get lucky, that is). It
rained when we were there but it was so warm we stayed in our bikinis.
There are some tourists in this area but not the number that we
were expecting. In fact, most tourists come in on tour buses for
an hour's stop and then they leave. Cinque Terre still very much
belongs to its residents and they want to keep it that way.
One last bit of
spent three wonderful days in Riomaggiorre. It was one of the most
magical experiences of my travelling life.
One last bit of advice to other
Journeywomen visiting this area. Have some hot chocolate while you
are in this part of Italy. By comparison we, North Americans, have
no idea how to make this drink. This was the richest, creamiest,
most chocolatey hot chocolate ever to pass my lips. It actually
was more like 'drinkable pudding.'
Oh, how I want to go back to
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