As Italy is an absolute favourite destination of my own, take one piece of advice from a travel enthusiast who has previously discovered the area: book your stay for at least a week (La Spezia suited perfectly for my sojourn). That is, if you wish to take the time to immerse yourself in the coastal ambience of Cinque Terre following the adventure that you’ll have embarked on.
Five, beautiful painted villages stand upon coastal cliffs, composing what is known as Cinque Terre. With a rustic trail linking these communities, this is the route to take instead of the crowded tourist train.
Monterosso, the first village, delights from initial glance; cafes buzz with commotion, markets sprawl in the main square fronting onto the beach. The sand is bedecked with multihued umbrellas and beach chairs being lapped by gentle waves.
Vernazza, also built to sea level, is satiated with colour. Don’t be surprised then, when you find arts, crafts and other handiwork – from ceramic tiles to sculptures of the town itself – overflowing from the little shops. Rowboats patiently wait in the piazza longing to be sailed out into the Ligurian Sea.
Corniglia, perched on hillside, is adorned with vineyards. Composed of intricate alleyways, the winding village rewards its visitors with gorgeous views along the coastline from the highest lookout. A giant staircase proceeds vertically back down the hill, much like a slinky, leading to the next town.
Manarola. The view of this village from afar defines immaculate, Italian culture. Strolling through its centre, the hum of its social atmosphere flows from restaurants and villas overhead.
The most beautiful walk, along Via dell’Amore, an admired location for engagement proposals to be made, leads to the final village. It is only ideal that a couple, signifying their new promise of love, leaves behind, a lock.
Riomaggiore simply perfects a very unique, Italian experience. Known for its delightful mural mosaics, by this point, the serene ambience has you completely immersed in such a beautiful country and its fascinating culture.
That, I can say, is why I longed to never leave.
There is plenty of accommodation to choose from in La Spezia. Charlotte chose Hotel Firenze e Ccontinentale. See the video tour of the hotel below.
Hotel Firenze e Ccontinentale – La Spezia
Via Paleocapa 7, 19122 La Spezia, Italy | Tel. +39 0187 713210/713200
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