After 3 nights in Rome, David and I headed up to Cinque Terre for a night. Cinque Terre consists of 5 little towns along the coast that are absolutely beautiful. We stayed in Monterosso al Mare, the last of the 5 towns.
This portion of the trip was entirely planned by David. I have to admit I wasn’t too excited to travel for 5 hours by train to spend one night by the beach. I was going to Italy to experience the art and culture. If I wanted a beach I’d have gone to the Caribbean. I reluctantly agreed to go, but told David he had to plan it all. In the end I was so glad we went. It was beautiful.
Unfortunately, our last night in Rome I started to get sick and it continued the entire next day and evening while we traveled to and were in Cinque Terre. When we arrived all I wanted to do was sleep, I felt so miserable. I started to panic because I had started to feel so ill and had no idea what to do since we were in another country. I was a crying, useless baby while David saved the day by running down to the village and getting some cough syrup and vapor rub. I loaded up on both, popped some Advil, and passed out for a few hours.
Meanwhile, David went to explore. At the end of the first half of the village there is a tunnel that leads into another little village. I think it may be surrounded by the city walls. David had dinner over there while I was out cold at the hotel. I woke up when he got back, took more medicine, and passed out again.
The next morning, I was feeling a little better. No more fever and my coughing was less frequent. David wanted to show me the area he had explored the night before so we walked through the tunnel to the little hidden village. It was adorable.
There were winding little alleyways with cute shops and restaurants. We walked around and had lunch before heading back to catch our train to Florence.
I have to admit that the beach was beautiful and walking along it was such a change of pace from our time in Rome. However, I cannot imagine how crowded Cinque Terre must be during the summer at the height of tourist season. I think it would be much less enjoyable then. Part of it’s charm while we were there was how quiet and peaceful it was. It was exactly what I needed to try to recover from whatever sickness I had before we set off for Florence.
Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to stop in the other towns of Cinque Terre. I really wanted to visit Vernazza, having seen it in so many pictures. It looks beautiful. Hopefully one day we can go back and explore them all.
Our Hotel: Hotel Suisse Bellevue – The hotel was great. It was up on the mountain a bit and had an amazing view (be sure to ask for a room with an ocean view). Since the hotel is up the mountain, you have to take a shuttle, but the shuttle leaves every hour I believe, possibly every half hour, and takes you down to the village and back. It was super convenient. It also picks up and drops off right by the train station, which was super helpful.
Must See Sights: Definitely go through the tunnel and explore the other half of Monterosso!