Is there a better place on the planet to get engaged than the five little fishing villages that make up the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian Coast in Italy? The magic of starting a new chapter of life is pretty cool all on its own, but thrown in a different culture, Italian food, great hiking trails, Italian food, a sense of adventure, a few great bottles of wine and a great trip quickly became absolutely amazing. If you left my page right now and typed in cinque terre on google you’d get at least 100 distinct travelers telling you some variant of what we experienced–if you only take one trip in the next two years, make it an early Fall trip to the Cinque Terre.
We’d picked a nice little agriturismo in a town called Pontremoli for the first couple nights of our visit. It was called Costa d’Orsola, and was an absolutely lovely place. The chef/owner made multi-course meals each night in her old stone grotto and it was not too far for a day trip down to the Cinque Terre. After a good night’s sleep, we stopped by a local market to grab some water and headed down to La Spezia to park before taking the local train out. The parking was an adventure and I don’t really have any good tips other than, like San Fransisco or New York, leave a little earlier than you think so you can find a place.
Jumping forward to the arrival, we got out of the train, crossed the platform and voila, it was breathtaking. We headed out on the “mild” 5-mile hike that was designed to get us through all five villages. I say mild because it was just a bit more strenuous at times than the website we’d found suggested. Still, it was a fun adventure along the side of a coastal hill with the water stretching for miles…really amazing stuff. Usually I wouldn’t be all that keen on combining my tourism with alot of exertion if I knew we weren’t going to be near running water for awhile, but it was such a fun adventure that I didn’t really notice. Of the growing number of parts of the world I’ve been, this is one to put on your list. I hear there were major natural disasters last year and hope the villages–and the families who live in them–are recovering. So maybe do a bit of research before booking flights. If you’ve been and have some good stories to share, please do. I’m sure we missed things while we were there.