Monterosso-August 13: A Sunny Day on the Cinque Terre

We had a thunderstorm early this morning, but by breakfast the sun was out. In the dining room, there was a buffet with yogurt, rolls, cheese, and cereal. After a short stroll to the beach, we took a ferry to the other end of the Cinque Terre to Riomaggiore. The sea was rough, but the view of each town was incredible. Each one is tucked into a cove with houses that look as if they're built on top of each other. They are all so colorful with tiny shutters and laundry flapping in the breeze.

In Riomaggiore we bought a one day Cinque Terre card which allows you to walk from one town to the next along well maintained flagstone paths that wrap around the cliffs above. As you round each bend, the views are amazing. You can look straight down into the ocean and hear the thunderous roar of the water hitting the rocks. Here and there are people relaxing on the jagged rocks or even swimming. The walk to Manarola was 30 minutes and easy. We had lunch at Ristorante Il Porticciolo. Their pesto linguini was outstanding.

We wanted to hike to Corniglia and actually started along the easy flat path, but found it was closed due to rock slides which scares a bear like me so we took a train to Vernazza. Remembering how Rick Steves used to describe this town as a "sleepy pirate town," we thought it would be very quiet, but it turned out to be loaded with tourists. We expected to see many Americans, but we didn't see one American or Rick Steves' guide.

Tonight we had the laundry done and ate at Pizzaria da Eli. Tables are outside along one of the cobblestone streets and the pizzas are thin and crispy. We walked around town after dinner and stopped to listen to a dance band next to the sea. We will be sad to leave this beautiful place, but will remember what Rick Steves always says, "Assume you will return!"

Nestled in a cove
Laundry flapping in the breeze
Sleepy town no more.


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