I spent my first weekend in Italy at the beautiful Cinque Terre! Ever since I knew I was going to study abroad in Italy, I made up my mind to visit this amazing place. Cinque Terre means five lands and this is because it is composed of five beautiful towns: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore; you can move around them by taking a short train ride or by hiking to the nearest town. I recall being so excited to visit Cinque Terre that when I arrived I couldn’t believe I was actually there, at the famous Cinque Terre that I had heard so much about. The first town I visited was Manarola, this is the famous town with the very colorful buildings. Being there was like a dream; the views were absolutely breathtaking and I felt so lucky to experience them up close and personal and not just through a picture.
A five minute ride from Manarola got me to Vernazza, which is the second town I visited. This is where you want to get something to eat; this region of Italy named Liguria is known for their pesto and as the pesto lover that I am, I just had to have some pesto pizza. The line to get pizza was long but waiting was absolutely worth it, my pesto pizza was delicious! This region is also known for their seafood so that is another good option if you don’t feel like having pizza. While there I also had my mandatory gelato, I went for mint and nutella flavor. I love nutella but having nutella gelato, two of my favorite things combined! Let’s just say I was a very happy gal that day!
Once my belly was full I headed to the town of Monterosso al Mare. I had the option of hiking there or taking a short train ride; I chose to hike there… Initially. The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare takes about an hour more or less depending on the pace; I highly recommend that you wear comfortable shoes and don’t have a lot to carry if you are planning on hiking as the steps for the first thirty minutes are steep. I made the mistake of carrying a very heavy side bag during my hike and halfway in had to give up and take a train to the town. Yep, I felt like a loser, so don’t be like me and make sure you wear comfortable clothes and carry light. Monterosso al Mare was beautiful, there is a gorgeous beach and the atmosphere is amazing. There are many stores and places to eat there too. I spent my time there laying on the beach and occasionally going into the water; this was my first time in Mediterranean waters and I was excited about that even though it did take me a while to get used to the cold water temperature.
Spending my first weekend at Cinque Terre was the best way to start my experience abroad. Every town is special in its own way and they all have a different feel to them. I’m glad that after seeing so many pictures of Cinque Terre through social media and magazines, I got to be there and take my own pictures, now I get to look at mine rather than looking at other people’s pictures. I feel blessed!
For more of my travel photography, check out the full album here https://www.ruthterrerophoto.com/client-albums
Check out more photos of my time there below: