Today we're starting a new series that will continue through the summer and will feature five things to do in different Italian cities (for summer travelers!). First up - Cinque Terre.
There are really only two things to do in Cinque Terre: eat and hike. This makes it the perfect destination for the non-sightseer and/or a great stop in the middle of a longer trip, when you need to relax and regroup. Cinque Terre is composed of five towns along the coast of the Ligurian Sea (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare). It's beautiful and relaxing and the food is out of this world.
Here are five things you should do while you're there:
1. Eat anchovies. Cinque Terre is known for its fantastic seafood but especially for anchovies. There are so many different ways to cook and eat them: with garlic, in casseroles, with lemon and olive oil. I thought I didn't like anchovies until I tried them here - I promise, they're completely different when they're so fresh.
2. Try a local wine. There are tons of vineyards in Cinque Terre (surprising, since all of the towns are perched on the tops of cliffs!) and each town makes its own wine. We stayed in Corniglia and loved the wine at Enoteca il Pirun.
3. Go for a hike. Trails connect each of the five towns - some of the main trails have been washed out by floods but there are other, smaller trails that take you up the mountain and then over and down into the next town.
4. Look at the view. Cinque Terre is so relaxing that sometimes there's nothing to do but stare out at the sea. There are great lookout points in each town and many bars/restaurants also have amazing views.
5. Buy pesto. Pesto is a regional specialty of Cinque Terre and makes the perfect souvenir or gift. Eat it on trofie, a short, twisted pasta, also local to that region.
And, here are some pictures from our trip last April, if you'd like to see...
Next up in June: Florence!