Part III: Cinque Terre...otherwise known as heaven on earth

Friday, July 23, 2010

{the first view of coastline on the train from Firenze to Vernazza}
{a weary traveler I picked up on the train...totally vulnerable}





{Al Castello restaurant where we ended up eating every night}
{my favorite Italian meal of the entire trip: lasagne al pesto}

{the best woman in all of Vernazza: Monica Lercari}
{Monterosso's beach}
Cinque Terre was amazing.  I mean took-my-breath-away amazing.  After being in very hot Firenze all day, seeing that first stretch of coastline from the train as we zoomed our way towards Vernazza was unreal.  Those who come to Italy and skip its coast are craaay-zay--sorry if that's any of you...you will just have to go back.  Anyway, when arriving in Vernazza, you are at the top of the town with a 3-minute walk towards the beach.  The town, full of alleyways and winding steps connecting front door to front door, is so unique and unlike anything we'd seen before.  It was one of those places where you almost feel a bit of anxiety as you wonder (or demand to know) when you will be able to return.  We stayed at the R. Steves recommended Monica Lercari rooms.  Monica also owns Al Castello restaurant so we went to find her at the restaurant so she could bring us to our room.  She might be the most charming woman there ever was.  You want water?  "I get it for you immediately."  Checking out of your room?  "Stay as long as you need."  She was undoubtedly the hostess-with-the-mostest.  If you are staying in one of her rooms, she has a seperate little section at her restaurant along the cliff edge where you get to eat.  You'll feel pampered.  We sort of fell in love with Monica. Please, if you ever venture to Vernazza, find her.  At the very least, eat at her delicious restaurant.  The lasagne al pesto, which I ordered two nights in a row, is mouthwatering (literally, my mouth is watering as I think about it).  

Anyway, we took a hike between Vernazza and Corniglia--to a beach between the two--and then took a train to Monterroso one day.   But beyond that, we stayed put in Vernazza.  So charming, so, so charming.  Cinque Terre is the greatest.  But especially Vernazza and especially Monica.  I think I've made myself clear.  Do not tarry.  Book your room today.  

29 comments:

  1. Oh good! I'm so glad you went to Cinque Terre. Amazing, huh? :)

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  2. That lasagna does look incredible. I'm going to google it and see if I can find a recipe similar to it. And the hostess with the mostest? How could she not be while wearing such a shirt? Awesome. It's like a thug with a big, generous heart...best of both worlds. With every post you write I get filled with good envy. One day when we're old and gray we'll make that trip.

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  3. Wow!! That looks stunning.... amazing. I'm so glad you went and loved it. Now I just need to go, so I can eat that pesto lasagna and meet Monica for myself:)

    so so beautiful!!

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  4. i love reliving this. monica looks wonderful. i will definitely consider staying there the next time we go.
    and if someday ben and i do live in italy, i choose the coast. it really is amazing. i think it's those multi-colored houses on the cliffs that get me.

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  5. your pics are absolutely beautiful! however, that pesto lasagna stole the show for me, gonna have to try to recreate that myself!

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  6. Seeing these pictures made me miss my trip there sooo much! We took that exact same train ride- Florence to Vernazza. I remember when we first spotted the water through train window we all gasped...and got laughed at by locals on the train! You're so right when you say it's breathtaking. Can't wait to go back!!

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  7. That pesto looks absolutely amazing!! Puts my breakfast of bulgar and dried cranberries to SHAME.

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  8. steve, this has given me hope for grant getting a tan.

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  9. you are quite right!! this place is heaven on earth. nothing short of a dream. yet it's real!! i must come back there someday. and your photographs are beautifuL!

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  10. These photos are AMAZING! So jealous, the place sounds gorgeous and perfect!

    Love your blog, you're a very talented photographer!

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  11. I'm going there next month!!!

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  12. hahaha a thug with a generous heart. daniella, your comments are hilar. yes, hilar. short for hilarious.

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  13. wow, beautiful photos...so glad you had a wonderful trip! i loved italy, too!

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  14. Oh my goodness! Your photos are beautiful! :) You have a true talent. I would love to visit a place that gorgeous! I visited Scotland, England, and Wales when I was 12...but I honestly didn't appreciate it like I would now. Great work! btw: thank you for your comment on my blog. ;)

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  15. oh my word! this is the most beautiful place i have ever seen! i need to put it on my list of places to go!

    so glad you all { the cutest couple ever!} had a wonderful time!

    xo

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  16. Hello everybody, just want to invite you and your readers to our site about the cinque terre and to the blog where you can also vote the nicest of the 5 Terre.
    Also online a section of Video of the Cinque Terre, a different point of view..

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  17. so. absolutely. gorgeous! aahh, just breathtaking. and that lasagna... oh my word. I NEED IT. i'm totally remembering this place, i must go one day. i must.

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  18. fabulous photos!! so beautiful!! x

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  19. She sounds like a wonderful host! And these pictures are incredible! You look so happy. So jealous of your wonderful travels!

    Rachael

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  20. WOW. I am showing these pictures to my husband so I can convince him to book our trip there immediately!

    http://www.fashion-butter.com/

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  21. Such gorgeous pictures!!!!
    Looks like such a romantic trip. Im dying to go!



    xx
    Nikki

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  22. Just stumbbled upon your blog today!

    Vernazza!!! Possibly my favorite place in the entire world! I didn't get to spend nearly enough time in Cinque Terre.. it is so wonderful there!

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  23. my husband and i literally just got back (yesterday) from rome and the cinque terre! we stayed in Riomaggiore (the southern-most town) and did the full hike to Monterosso, stopping for forcaccia and a swim in Vernazza. heaven on earth- absolutely! we're already planning to stay there for at least a month in the summer of 2012 or 13. ill have pictures up on my blog asap, love yours though, totally different to mine! love the old film look of yours. romantic :)

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  24. Bridge!
    Okay, don't think that just because I haven't commented for a while that I haven't been READING and still following your blog posts like the true fan that I am. Duh.

    It is my dream to go to Cinque Terre. Like, I think I have dreams about it even though I've never been there. Weird, I know. I almost planned a last minute trip this August with my best friend. But we're going to postpone til April to have more time to plan. Anticipation is more than half the fun, right?!

    SO, I will need to pick your brain in the coming months. Just warning you. Thanks for the fun recaps of your fav cities of Italia :)

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  25. My husband and I were here for our honeymoon. It is my favorite place in the world... so dreamy seeing it again through your pretty photos!

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  26. Ignore my above comment. I'm not going in April. I'm going this Wednesday!

    And guess who just emailed Monica Lercari? Yep.

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  27. this is exactly where I stayed :) I LOVED IT. It holds a special place in my heart :)

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  28. My husband and I also were in Cinque Terre this past summer! A-mazing...loved every minute of it!!

    So enjoying your blog--can't wait to read more! :)

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