VISITING CINQUE TERRE PART II
This morning we woke up and moved accommodation to a beautiful, charming bed and breakfast called La Rosa dei Venti. This accommodation is very close to the station of Vernazza therefore it is very handy in terms of travelling. Opposite the bed and breakfast there's a café called 'Pirata' where the staff is very friendly, the coffee is authentic and not to mention there is an amazing selection of pastries.
Corniglia was in our itinerary today, therefore we made our way to the station and took the train one stop. I warn you, when you arrive, in order to reach the actual village you will have to walk up something like 384 steps, but I promise you it is worth the hike. Corniglia is a beautiful little village with squares overlooking the hills and lots of tight streets with souvenir shops and bed and breakfasts. The village is filled with life, it has a different vibe to the other villages I visited. It appears to be more authentic, maybe for the fact that it is the smallest out of the five lands and hidden in the hills with no access other than those steps!
As you enter the town there is the Chiesa S. Pietro, a beautiful gothic style church with baroque architecture internally and built in 1334. On the left hand side of the town you walk through the little streets until you finally reach the Torre Panoramica. It is such a romantic spot where you have a 90 degree view of the sea in front of you, hills on the right and Manarola on the left. On the way down from the Torre, you can visit the Oratorio dei Disciplinati, an eighteenth century chapel that contains many beautiful art pieces. If you walk behind this chapel there is another panoramic spot perfect for taking photos and acknowledging these incredible surroundings.
Our next itinerary was Riomaggiore and Manarola, so we made our way back down the 384 steps and took the train to Riomaggiore. After walking through a tunnel to reach the village, we walked northbound towards the centro storico and the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. On our way up we stopped in a little shop and bought some fried calamari and sardines for just €5, an essential snack to fuel our hikes. We continued the journey up some steps until we reached the castle. The walk was beautiful; the houses are so colorful and typical of these small Italian mountainous towns. We walked down so many steps to reach the marine, where we had an incredible view of the sunset on the open sea. We saw so many beautiful restaurant terraces in the middle of the mountain on the coast, however I wanted to eat in the next little town called Manarola.
However, after 20.00 the trains are less frequent and pass only every hour, so we just missed it and had to wait until 21.10. We found a terrace bar on the right hand side of the station and ordered an Aperol spritz and a "tagliere Di salumi"; a selection of cold meats. This is a very good idea if you want a quick meal as it fills you up and at the same time it is very delicious. Five minutes before the arrival of the train we headed down to the station and took the train to Manarola.
Manarola is the most beautiful town out of all of them, unfortunately we only saw it by night, but even by night it was breathtaking. You follow the main road, three minutes long with bars and restaurants either side, down to the coast and already have a 180 degrees sea view with mountains on your left and right. On your left the Bastione di Manarola is visible, and on your right we spotted a restaurant/bar up on the hill. We had one hour before the next train so we decided to walk upwards on the road called "via dell'amore", a road which connects the towns, but the most famous one connecting Manarola and Rio maggiore is shut as it is considered to be too dangerous. Anyway we are walking up this incredible road with a view over Manarola, the sea and the stars. It is such romantic walk; I definitely recommend to do this by night. We arrived to the restaurant/bar called Nessun Dorma and were seated straight away. A glass of the traditional Doc Cinque Terre white wine and a bowl of strawberries complemented the view perfectly. It was heaven. We also saw some incredible dishes coming out of the kitchen so if you have the chance to go to Manarola I would definitely recommend this restaurant as the price is the same as all the other restaurants on the main road but the view is a million times better.