What a wonderful, glorious three days we spent in Cinque Terre! The Cinque Terre — pronounced Cheen-Kwah Terra and literally translates to Five Lands — are five small fishing villages along the northern west coast of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea. And hands down, it’s one of the most beautiful, picturesque places on earth. All I can say is Wow. I cannot believe this place is real!
This is the beach on Monterosso, the northern-most village where we stayed.
Five tiny colorful, old-world villages, hidden away and unhindered by modern intrusions, are nestled on jagged cliffs and tower over sparkling teal waters below. It’s like something out of a fairytale. On a clear day, from the beach in Monterosso you can see the other four villages: Vernazza, Corniglia, (pronounced like the name Cornelia — In Italian, gli is pronounced like the ll in million, like in famiglia and Milo Ventimiglia, swoon) Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
Rocky cliffs in Monterosso.
The first time I saw a photo of Cinque Terre, I knew someday I had to go there. Some way, some how, I had to get there. I had to see this place in person! This was the number one place I wanted to go. I couldn’t feel humbler that we were able to turn this dream into a reality. I am already missing this beautiful place.
This is the small beach in Vernazza. In October, massive flash floods and landslides swept through the Cinque Terre, hitting Vernazza and Monterosso the hardest. Thirteen feet of mud covered the village of Vernazza as cars were literally swept into the sea. We talked with one store owner who narrowly escaped with his life, just catching the last train out. It was hard to see Vernazza in this state of devastation, but there were also signs of hope — bright colors, painted doors, and new shops opening every day. The people of Vernazza are working hard to reclaim their town. Each day we visited there was something new. I have no doubt that Vernazza will one day soon be returned to its full glory. Even the way it was… I think Vernazza was my favorite.
So happy to be in my dream place.
Vernazza at dusk.
Quiet cemetery in the hills above town.
Cliffs of Vernazza.
A simple train runs from each of the five villages and carries passengers and goods to and from the city.
This is the first thing you see when you step off the train in Corniglia — a perfect view of the village Manarola high on the cliffs above the sea.
The train drops you off down by the water, but to get to Corniglia, you have to take the stairs. If you remember from the first photo, Corniglia is the highest of all the villages. But at least you have this view!
About half way up!
Ahh, here we are. Foggy morning in Corniglia. Remember, we started all the way down there at the water! :)
I loved the views in Corniglia.
Orchards on the cliffs.
Starting to clear up into a gorgeous blue day at the beach.
Tiny village, high on a hill.
Low clouds in this mountain town.
There are hiking trails between all five villages, and I would’ve loved to have hiked them, but most were closed due to the floods. Next time, though. For sure.
I’ll be back with photos from Manarola and Riomaggiore. See you soon!