For me nothing conjures up feelings of wonderlust better than seeing a beautiful picturesque photo of Manarola and so I was super excited to be going today to Cinque Terre, one of the most beautiful stretches of dramatic coastline in the world. Fashions in Florence were quite conservative, so in the morning when I put on my Kimono over my jeans and lace dress I felt a little bit out there…but really I had to dress up for a meeting with one of the world’s most beautiful villages and so after throwing caution to the wind, I added some more bracelets and a sequin clutch to make my look that much more bohemian.
We took the train from Florence to Pisa, then from Pisa to La Spezia from which the little villages of Cinque Terre were just a short regional train journey away. It hadn’t taken us long, only 2 hours (with the stop in Pisa) but as we neared the more mountainous Italian Riviera if felt as if we had traveled to the edge of the Earth. We had a short wait to took the opportunity to gorge on Ferrero Rochers and drink Capuccionos before taking the final regional train, which ran smoothly through rock hewn tunnels.It was amazing, the whole journey was so easy and cheap (even without speaking Italian) and had only taken us just over 2hours. Now that we were in La Spezia, the villages were really close with Riomaggiore only 7 minutes away by train and Manarola 12.
The train started and we followed the ragged coastline. A lot of the time we were in darkness as we sped through the cliffs, but when we emerged we were right on the waters edge and had some amazing views.
Our first stop was Manarola. The little coloured houses were built in clusters on the rocks and the steep mountainside. The streets were really narrow and deserted and down by the waters edge there were beautiful fishing boats and restaurants. We hiked up the wrong way and almost died climbing the step steeps but we saw the town from the back, from the local’s vineyard plantations on the hill. We had the best food of our whole trip in Manarola when we had the Muscle Pasta and fresh seafood at Il Porticciolo. We wanted to get an amazing view of the village, so we walked along the costal path and took pictures of the sun setting over the horizon. On our way back we went through Riomaggiore which was equally spectacular!
These villages were so spectacular and I couldn’t believe that they were so close to La Spezia because they really felt so remote. This was such a dramatic end to our road trip and the returning to an unbelievable stylish hotel. with colour themed rooms in Pisa was the perfect end to our Italian adventure.
Monochrome Kimono – PRIMARK
Black Jeans – GUESS
Sequin Clutch – PRIMARK
Swarovski Encrusted Bracelet – CASTELLANO ETHNIC ORIGINS
Silver and Opal Bracelet – MARRAKESH SOUKS
Silver Bangle – MACY’S