A few weeks ago, my first weekend in Italy, my best friends and I took a trip to the coast to visit one of the most picturesque places, Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre literally means 5 Towns, and, as you would guess, is 5 towns hidden into the mountains of the coast. The Italians who live here have carved ledges into the mountain to plant and grow product like grapes for wine and limes. The colorful houses are said to be a way for sailors who were leaving home to look back at the coast and find their own house, looking upon it fondly one more time before their journey. We only went for a day but it was one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been. It was like living in a postcard.
The first town was by far my favorite. We ate at a tiny little cafe right on the coast, having fresh omelets and coffee. After being there for about an hour we took a train to the next town where Kate and I spent probably 2 hours exploring the tiny streets, shops and taking pictures of the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline is stunning and the water was the most beautiful turquoise color.
After exploring for a while we stopped to get a snack before moving on to the last island. Our friend directed us to a little Foccaciaria that was hidden among all of the shops. When we walked in a cute old man was working behind the counter. We picked out delicious looking rosemary foccacia that he heated up for us in a big stone oven. Let me tell you-it was the most amazing bread I have ever tasted and it cost ONE euro! I wanted to buy everything in his shop just so I could eat it for the rest of the semester. It was divine and if I ever go back to Cinque this place will be my first stop.
At about 4pm we took one more train to the last town which had a big beach. In italy public beach space is pretty limited so we snatched up the biggest spot we could find, laid down our towels and ran into the water. It wasn't necessarily warn but it wasn't cold either. The waves were pretty rough that day so we spent an hour in the water jumping waves and enjoying the sun. Being at a beach with the colorful coast on one side and mountains on the otherside was amazing. It was definitely an experience, to say the least.
After we finished at the beach we went out for a huge seafood (I didn't eat the seafood, as I'm vegetarian) and pasta dinner. It was delicious. All in all, it was an amazing day. Cinque is only about 2 hours from me in Florence and I would recommend it as a MUST GO spot for anyone who find themselves in Italy. Given the chance, I would move to Cinque in a heartbeat.