Christmas card photo, maybe?
We had been planning our trip to Cinque Terre with the Arthur family since... August, I think? In fact, we bought our plane tickets even before we went to the Amalfi Coast, which is some planning ahead for you! Elliott spent a lot of time on AirBnB, our favorite website for home away rentals. We finally settled on this apartment and extra room in Riomaggiore, one of the five (in Italian, cinque) towns of Cinque Terre. I recommend the apartment if you want a prime location for a great price.
We arrived in Riomaggiore on Friday afternoon, found the apartment with some difficulty, and went out for a delicious meal in town that night at La Lampara, which our trusty friend Rick Steves recommended (although Trip Advisor apparently does not).
Seafood spaghetti wrapped in foil (a local specialty) for me and stuffed mussels for Elliott. Below, Miss Becca with two little munchkins.
The next morning, refreshed and excited, we took off exploring. Our plan was to see whatever we could before the kids called it a day. Thankfully, they were troopers, and we were able to enjoy three of the five Cinque Terre towns: some of Riomaggiore, a lot of Manarola, and a bit of Vernazza (which I'll share tomorrow).
Our plan was to walk the beautiful coastline trail called Via dell'Amore (Way of Love) between Riomaggiore and Manarola. The hiking trails between the towns are a major tourist attraction of Cinque Terre. Sadly, however, due to recent rain and mudslides, the trail was chiusa (closed). Le sigh.
We decided to take the train instead. Unlike the Amalfi Coast, where you must drive or take buses everywhere, Cinque Terre has an amazing train system. We paid 4 euro per adult for a ticket that would take us as far as we wanted to go in Cinque Terre for 6 hours.
Beautiful Manarola, the second town in the coastal necklace of Cinque Terre:
We popped into the cozy wooden "bar" (Italian for coffee shop) behind Lena for a mid-morning pick-me-up. Ahh cappuccino... how I love thee.
Lena and Lucas were having so much fun in this little hideaway. (The boards and barriers in front of doors are supposed to help with flooding.) Later, Lena got a smooch from Caleb. Already so popular with the fellas!
We found a beautiful vineyard hiking trail and followed that from the rear of Manarola back out to the coast. Along the way we could admire the carefully built dry stone walls (no cement), terraced vineyards and orchards, and spectacular views.
Prettiest location for a town cemetery... ever? And behind it was a fantastic playground!
To be continued tomorrow morning!