“Cinquegelaterre”

Our daily adventures today led us to discover and explore the rest of the towns of Cinque Terre. While doing so, we decided to incorporate our own gelato tour. Trying gelato in each town and deciding on the best gelato makers.

We began in the fullest town north, Monterosso. Bathing suit on and ready, we immediately headed down to the beach. Monterosso is known for their beaches and supposedly have the best ones out of the five towns. I would probably agree!

We wandered around Monterroso afterwards and learned about their cliff called Punta Mesco. It now contains ancient sandstone mines which were used to pave the streets of Monterosso and other cities in the area.

Monterosso definitely has a different feel to it that both Riomaggiore and Manarola. It’s much bigger, you could stroll the streets for hours, and explore all the old sites it has to offer.

Here, I ordered the lemon and reso berry gelato which was a pretty good start. Daniel doesn’t remember what he had. It must have been that tasty!

Hopping back on the train, we ventured next to Vernazza. Like Monterroso, Vernazza is a larger town with lots to see and do. We went down to the harbour, wandered into some amazing shops, and relaxed by the water. There was one shop in town that had lemon everything, soap, drinks, olive oils, etc… It was amazing.

Here, I ordered the lemon and strawberry, and Daniel had the lemon cream and pistachio. This gelato was decent, but the previous one was still better in my mind.

Continuing our journey, we arrived in the high top town of Corniglia. This place is beautiful! The narrow, cobbled stone streets brought back memories of Venice. We climbed up numerous stairs to reach a view point, but it ended up being too dark to be able to see anything decent.

We stopped at the number one ranked gelato shop in Cinque Terre, and it was insanely delicious! Here, I ordered the lemon and mango, and Daniel ordered the Cream of Portofino and basil. Portofino was Daniels favourite of the three as well, so looks like Corniglia takes it for the win!

We skipped Manarola on our way back, since we already visited it, and heading back to Riomaggiore for our final night.

By the time we arrived in town, due to a 30 minute train delay, it was almost 11:30pm. Apparently everything in Riomaggiore closes so our only option for food was a little dive bar. We ordered a couple drinks and pizza, with low expectations, but everything was surprisingly good.

I’m on a Boat!

After our pesto class, we were getting toasty so we headed back to our home base to go for a swim. It was the best decision! The water was coolish but for the first time, we felt such relief from the heat. The bay is surrounded by big rocks, and you just climb across them and hop into the water. So refreshing!

We then bought a few tasting treats to have for a dinner snack prior to our evening adventure.

Our amazing host Martha recommended that we go on a sunset boat tour, and although it was a tad pricey, I’m so glad we booked it. We definitely made it worth while by the unlimited focaccia and unlimited wine included!

The boat picked us up in the marina, loaded all of us in (there were 6 others as well), and began our tour. It drove along the water, with absolutely stunning views. It pulled into each harbour of the towns: Manarola, Corniglia (although this town is perched high up on a hill so could really only see it from afar), Vernazza, and Monterosso.

We stopped out in the water just outside Monterosso, and all jumped off of the boat into the water for an evening swim. We were completely surrounded by beauty of the cliffs, water, and sunset.

Livin’ On The Sea

Today was dedicated purely to traveling. It was a long, sad goodbye as we ventured down the Grand Canal on a hot and sweaty vaporetto before arriving at the train station. As the train took off and we saw land and cars for the first time in a while, I felt a sense of wonder: where will we ever find a place where buses are boats and streets overlook the beauty of canals? Bittersweet I’d say so myself.

We had what we thought was a short layover in Florence, which ended up being a mad running dash for the next train. Good thing crossfit has trained me well enough to run in flip flops. Out of breathe with barely a minute to spare the train took off on route to the coastal town of La Spezia. Once we arrived there, sadly we missed our following train and were delayed by 30ish minutes.

Being your typical type A personality, I was freaking out about being a half hour late meeting our guesthouse host. We had no way to contact her, and the WiFi was nil. Luckily, Daniel’s sweet, charming Irish accent managed the tourist office to call our host and meet us right outside the train station. She walked and talked, and led us to our adorable new abode for the next few days. Martha gave us numerous suggestions and things to do, and really is a tour guide herself.

Martha booked us in for a Michelin guide restaurant along the coast. According to google, our 2 minute walk ended up being 30 seconds so we had ample time to explore the cove prior to our dinner. What a beauty it is!

I’ve always loved the water, but this made me question even more, why I don’t live by it. The sheer beauty and calmly effect is something to admire.

As our dinner seating time approached, we walked up the cliff side to the gorgeous setting of our restaurant and of course immediately ordered a beautiful, local wine.

Deciding on dinner options was a bit of a feat. To being with, we shared the most deliciously and naturally tasting oysters I’ve ever had!

For our main course, Daniel chose the Riomaggiore spaghetti, with fresh anchovies, and I selected the black ink Tagliolini with clams and squid. Both were insanely delicious.

Instead of finishing off with a dessert, we decided to hike up to the highest point of town, wine in hand, and enjoyed the evening, star-lit sky, stunning view, and tasty beverages!

Can’t wait for tomorrow!