Going to Cinque Terre for the weekend was one of the most magical times of my life. It was the first time I had ever traveled alone in Europe.
Cinque Terre is made up of 5 different sea-side villages. The name translates to five lands.
They are, in order, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al mare.
I stayed in Riomaggiore and fell in love with the colorful buildings. The whole city is saturated with charm. I bought a bottle of wine and wrote poetry while watching the sunset on my first night here, with this amazing view behind me.
Riomaggiore is pretty lively. There were several different bars. I met up with people who were staying in my hostel which included a girl from San Diego, a guy from Minnesota, and an Australian. We all went out together and ended up swimming at night where I discovered the most magical thing of my LIFE – bioluminescent algae.
Swimming in Italy with the moon above me and seeing the water literally glowing as you swim in it was something I will never forget.
Since this was my first time traveling alone, I thought I would just be alone the whole time, but I realized that traveling makes you meet so many different people. I met up with a lot of different Americans, Canadians, and Australians who were backpacking and we were able to share stories.
Manarola was my favorite town in Cinque Terre. Mainly because of this incredible swimming hole. I spent an entire afternoon swimming and jumping off rocks into this magical earth-made swimming pool. The current was pretty rough, which made it super fun and the water was so magically blue.
I was truly living my mermaid DREAMS.
I would definitely recommend either staying here or in Riommaggiore. Manarola also had amazing food! The town is pretty popular for seafood, which isn’t my favorite but they have a lot of amazing focaccia and gelato places.
Corniglia is less accessible than all the other towns because it’s on a very high mountain and you have to climb a TON of stairs to get there. I hiked all the way up and the view was definitely worth it.
There weren’t as many food options as the other towns, because it’s so remote, but I did have one of the most spiritual experiences up here. I never thought I would tell anyone this because it’s so scandalous, but here I am blogging about it.
I found this bench overlooking the ocean and in broad daylight, I sat there, masturbated and orgasmed with nothing but the view of this expansive and beautiful coastline.
I just felt so alive in every sense of the word and it was such a spiritual experience to be in this remote sea-side town in Italy and have the sun shining down on me and the glittering sea before me. It was magical and I don’t regret it. #noshame.
On the second day of being in Cinque Terre, I hiked from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. Cinque Terre is known for it’s amazing hiking trails and I wanted to take advantage of it – plus the Canadians I made friends with kind of forced me to go. Usually hiking is not my thing, but if it meant catching beautiful views like this one, then I was in. The hike was super hard (about 2 miles), there’s a lot of rough terrain and some of the steepest stairs I’ve ever climbed.
You can buy a pass to Cinque Terre National Parks to get on the hiking trails. It’s a pretty big touristy thing to do. The trail from Monterosso to Vernazza is known as the hardest, so I’m pretty proud that I was able to do it. If I can do it, you can do it.
Vernazza itself was again, blessed with the colorful charm of little buildings stacked on top of each other. It’s a big fishing town and as you can see, the port is more for boats, and not swimming.
Monterosso Al Mare
I would say that Monterosso is the best town for laying out and getting a more typical beach experience.
As you can see, there are a lot of umbrellas out, beachside bars, and people enjoying the water. I spent a couple hours here as well, feeling more like I was at a beach in Mexico. There were lots of people coming around to sell things.
The town is also the flattest, meaning there are less hills to walk up and down, so it’s probably for the less adventurous type.
I definitely preferred swimming in Riomaggiore and Manarola because it felt more wild and adventurous and I was living my true mermaid self, but I still had a great time in this beach-y town.
I had an amazing time in Cinque Terre. I ate a ton of delicious focaccia, had squid ink pasta, delicious cheap wine, limoncello (which is popular here) and swam in the most beautiful mermaid places in the WORLD. I would love to come back here with a romantic partner since it’s such a beautiful, romantic place and besides swimming, eating, hiking, and drinking, there’s not a ton more to do.
Honestly what more could you hope for? Those are basically all of my favorite things. Definitely the most perfect vacation spot!