Man Oh Manarola!

by Johnny

As most of you probably know, Cinque Terre is a series of five villages located in the Italian Riviera. Anna and I both have amazing memories of Cinque Terre from previous, separate trips, so needless to say we were thrilled to go back with my parents for a couple of days. While Cinque Terre is no longer “off the beaten path” and the tourists now far outnumber the fishermen, it’s still so beautiful that you have to pinch yourself every few minutes to make sure you’re not dreaming.

Manarola Manarola
Ciao Mamma e Papa!

We based ourselves in the picturesque town of Manarola. I’ve probably used the word “picturesque” in every one of my blog posts, but this time I really mean it. After checking into our small hotel, we set out to walk the trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore, otherwise known as Via dell’Amore or “Lovers’ Lane.” Just like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, walkers fasten locks and tag the walls wherever they can along the path to mark their love for each other. We didn’t partake in this tradition as we were lock-less and Sharpee-less, but we did continue the new Sherwood tradition of afternoon wine and bruschetta, this time at a wine bar perched over the sea at Riomaggiore. There was an unusually large swell in the water that sent waves crashing hard into the rocks, providing an amazing backdrop. That night we were treated to an incredible sunset before a mouth-watering meal at Trattoria dal Billy. Knowing that we had some serious hiking to do the next day, we carbo-loaded with some lobster and shrimp pasta, lemon and white chocolate cake and local Limoncino.

Our wine bar in Riomaggiore
Some wine… …and bruschetta
Some other lovers already tagged the wall for us Locks of love
Pre-dinner sunset
Lobster pasta at Trattoria dal Billy
Walking down to Trattoria dal Billy Real men drink Limoncino

After a quick breakfast on day two, we headed out to explore each of the five towns. We couldn’t hike between Manarola and Corniglia because of some recent landslides, so we took the train between the two towns and then hiked from Corniglia to Vernazza. The scenery could not have been more beautiful and the weather could not have been more perfect. Still nursing some sore buns from our bike ride in Lucca, we took our sweet time on the trail. We had a great lunch at Gambero Rosso in Vernazza’s Piazza Marconi down by the sea (one of Anna’s happy places) before taking the train to Monterosso. After exploring that town (read: eating gelato on the beach) we made our way back towards Manarola for one final walk down Via dell’Amore. Another perfect sunset led to another great meal, and before we knew it our time in Cinque Terre had come to an end.

Hiking to Vernazza View from the hike
Hiking into Vernazza Check out the olive trees down by the water
Vernazza’s Piazza Marconi
More Vernazza Lunch time in Vernazza
Vernazza

Check out all our Cinque Terre pics here.

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4 Responses to “Man Oh Manarola!”

  1. The picture of the sunset is amazing! What beautiful weather you’re enjoying. It seems I’m always drooling by the end of your posts! Yummy! Keep them coming… xoxo to all of you!

  2. oh johnny and anna what a great time we had in cinque terre with you two! Beautiful pictures and perfect description of a special place,thanks for letting us share it with you! We love you xo

  3. Definitely need to go back to Cinque Terre, what a special place! Sad Brian and I couldn’t fit it in our trip, but we will just have to go back one day :). That wine bar in Riomaggiore looks awesome!

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