August 12, The Magic of the Cinque Terre

Breakfast this morning was on the balcony of the breakfast room overlooking the town and the sea. Mateo and his wife recognized us and warmly welcomed us back for our third visit.

Walking to the new town today we passed hundreds of people headed for the beach. It's scorching hot so we decided to enjoy the view from il'Casello, an outdoor cafe overlooking the water. On our way back to our accommodation we discovered il Frantoio Focacceria where freshly baked focaccia was sold right out of the oven. The olive oil was so fresh the chef was probably in the back room pressing the olives. We enjoyed it on our terrace in the lemon grove with a glass of Limoncino. Limoncino is made with wafer thin lemon skins peeled by hand.

Because of the intense sun, we waited until 3:30 and took the ferry to Riomaggiore. The boat ride takes less than 30 minutes and the view as the ferry approaches each town is amazing. The Cinque Terre was once known as 5 sleepy pirate towns, but today they are lively coastal towns in the summer, each with its own unique personality.

From the sea, Riomaggiore's characteristic yellow, orange, and pink houses all with green shutters rise up the hillside like a series of steps. Towels and t-shirts hang over the balconies drying in the warm breeze.

We walked the Via del Amore coastal path and stopped at a cafe perched on a cliff with a straw thatched roof and water misters giving cool relief to anyone stopping by. Continuing on the path we couldn't help but notice netting carefully placed on the cliffs to protect hikers from falling rocks. Tiny salamanders scurry across the path and disappear into the natural cactus gardens.

Stopping in Manarola we recalled a town wide water balloon fight there last year and to our surprise, when we rounded a corner, there were children gleefully filling balloons to toss at friends.

Last night we had a table at il' Casello right over the water. Across the beach, tucked into a small cove under the cliff, people waltzed under the stars. I could have watched them for hours.

Comments

Susan Erickson said…
I am reading the August issue of Cooking Light and it has an article called "A Food Lover's Ultimate Trip" in the Cinque Terra area where you now are. Have you been to the National Park there? Are you going to Corniglia, which is mentioned in the article?
Explorer Bear said…
Hi Susan,
I'd love to see that article when we get back!
cinqueterre said…
Hello everybody, just want to invite you and your readers to our site about the cinque terre
( in my signature ) and to the blog where you can also vote the nicest of the 5 Terre.
Also a video section is online: Video of the Cinque Terre, a different point of view..

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