We left Lake Como bright and early after our wedding (more on that to come) to drive to Cinque Terre. We decided to do a day trip before we headed to Florence to drop off the car. Even though it added about 3 hours to our drive, everyone had told us how much they love the cliff side towns, so we had to go see them for ourselves.
For some reason, we had completely forgotten to account for rush hour traffic in Milan (one of Italy’s major cities, silly us!) so we arrived a bit later than we had originally hoped, but as we pulled up into Riomaggiore (above) the views were absolutely breathtaking as we saw the colorful town lining the bluest sea. We parked up a hill in a free parking spot on the side of the cliff (thank goodness for our tiny car) and walked the last half mile along the roadside into town.
We had originally planned on spending our time in Riomaggiore and Manarola, the two southern cities, but in my excitement I accidentally put us on an express train to Monterosso al Mare (above), the northern most city. It was an unexpected detour, but we made the most of it, dipping our toes in the Ligurian Sea and enjoying some focaccia before getting back on track.
When we finally made it to Manarola (above), it was definitely the most crowded city, but also the most picturesque. This is the city everyone comes to see, and the one you’ll find on Pinterest if you search for Cinque Terre. And with good reason, it was stunning.
I have read the best way to see Cinque Terre is by staying there so you can enjoy it after all the day trippers have left, and I can totally say that if we go back, we’ll be spending at least one night there. As we headed out near dusk, many of the travelers had left and walking up the big hills in Riomaggiore was so peaceful. Luckily we found someone to drive us back up the cliff to our car, because although the walk down was beautiful, our new marriage would have been tested on our straight uphill climb back.