September 19, 2009

Day trip to the Italian Riveria

I took an incredible day trip from Florence to the Italian Riveria - also known as "Cinque Terre (5 Lands)". It was an absolutely gorgeous day as we set out at 7am from Florence towards the coast. The group leaders consisted of five 30-something Italian guys that have started a company here in Florence, they do tours all over Italy for a very economic price. (http://www.florenceforfun.org/).....

You visit 4 of the 5 cities- Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. You skip Corniglia because it is not on the walking path Via Dell'Amore ("Lovers Walk"). Each small town had its own sort of charm, but all of them would be considered fishing towns. I went on the weekend, so the beaches were jammed packed with Italians and tourists.

If i remember correctly, all 5 villages are considered to be apart of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with their very steep buildings set into the rocks & hills of the coastline. They all border the absolutely beautiful Mediterranean Sea with its bright blue & green water - a scuba divers delight.

If you decide to spend alot of time in the area, I would stay in Vernazza (clearly the most interesting of all the villages) and walk/train to the other towns. Its also recommended to stay in the lovely Portofino (it's next on my hit list!!) And boat ride to the Cinque Terre.

One more thing not to miss.....They are famous for their delicious white wines that are all made in wineries close to the area. I had the "Sciachetrà" with my lunch, and it was fabulouso!!!





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