La Cinque Terre

Our other full day at the Italian Riviera was dedicated to exploring the 5 fishing villages known as La Cinque Terre. I had been there many, many years ago as a backpacker but didn’t remember a whole lot about each unique town.

Before we set out we stopped in for our morning espressos at the cafes in Zoagli. The kids befriended an adorable dog named Dakota who had no idea that he wasn’t lap-dog stature. 

A boy and a dog = happiness.
Dakota coming in for some love.
The morning coffee patio
Once properly fueled we were ready to make our way To the furthest town east of us. We weren’t planing to be too ambitious with our hiking but did hope to get between the first three towns on foot. 

A quick stop in Vernaza on our way through for a sneak peak. 

Arrival at Vernaza, following the street to the ocean.
First town visited…so far so good!

Vernaza offered amazing foccocia and bruschetta but we knew we needed to save our appetite for the towns to come. Just a quick stop here to enjoy the view before heading to Riomaggiore. 

This boat was waiting, special for me.
Pretty boats
Looking back towards Vernaza
Grandma with D&H

The view of Riomaggiore. A bit rainy, perfect time to pop in for lunch.

Our priority once in Riomaggiore was to find a yummy lunch before setting out on the trail. This town’s specialty seemed to be calamari which made me consider staying indefinitely for a moment. It was so delicious and exactly what Diego was hoping for. 

The fresh ingredients in the kitchens at the start of the lunch rush.
So many pretty places beckoning us inside.
Too anxious to wait…a quick cone of calamari on the way to lunch. So yummy.
Quite certain my first Michelin dining experience will not be with my children.
The pretty spot we chose as our lunch place.

Lunch was amazing. So fresh & delicious. Not to mention a true bargain compared to the insanity of Portofino. 

Helena and I recreating Lady and the Tramp. I think I’m the tramp in this…
Chef’s recommendation – swordfish. Yum.

Well fed, now time for the hike…or not. 

Who knew!? Clearly many people did not know as there were crowds being turned back in surprise. And after we carbo-loaded and everything!

The pathways between the first three towns has been closed for years. So odd that nothing in our online research mentioned that. The highline trails, requiring serious trekking are still open, just not what our group was prepared for. 

So what to do when you’ve carbo-loaded for a big hike? Why you hop on a train to the next town to go for ice cream, of course!

We did walk as much as we could in search of the best view of each town.
Manorola…I think. By this point the towns were blending together.
This moment made it all perfect. Our first affagato. Hot espresso poured over gelato. Pretty much the yummiest thing ever invented.

All that eating without much walking was really quite exhausting. 

Back on the train at the end of the day.

Another fantastic day of exploring. Departing Italy in the morning for the 8 hour journey to Winterthur. 

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