Day 7: Cinque Terre
Today we woke up bright and early and took the train south for 1 1/2 hrs to the Cinque Terre area. This is a popular spot of Instagram influencers, promoting its startling turquoise-blue waters and five charming fishing villages. A network of hiking trails connect the villages, as well as a ferry boat and a regional train. Our group would arrive in Monterosso, then hike to the next town, Vernazza. The climb became challenging almost immediately, with the entry to the national park trails leading us up to steep & irregular stone stairs. The hike was beautiful. Better than I could have imagined, and more beautiful than photos could ever capture.
My favorite part of my time in the villages, was sitting on large rocks in the harbor of Vernazza and plunging my sore feet into the icy turquoise waters. I enjoyed a small pesto pizza and a coke that I’d bought to go from a restaurant, and people watched for an hour or so. The rest of the afternoon I spent checking out the other villages and taking the trains in between. The weather turned cold and rainy at the end of our day, so I took the train directly back to Genova at the end of the day without stopping. It was good to get back to the flat after our long day out again, and I slept wonderfully!
Day 8: A Day of Rest
Today was the first day of the trip with no set plans on the calendar. It is Sunday and so I was inclined to rest and not run around the city too much. After sleeping in and starting some laundry, I wanted around one of the piazzas where I found another FIU student sitting on the church steps. We wanted around town together, finding yummy pastries to try, and just noticing how different streets look on different days. Sometimes squares are dead, and at other times they are brimming with life, with people gathering around over food, or chatting with merchants at vending booths. We lingered over old books and prints for sale at a flea market, wishing we could by them all, though we don’t read Italian!
On my way back to my flat, I did a little grocery shopping. I bought a pack of freshly sliced salami, cheese, a pack of marinated fresh olives, yogurts, cream (for my coffee), and a large multivitamin fruit juice – all for under 10 euros! Tonight I am packing for a 3 day outing to Pisa, Lucca, Florence, and Rome – so I will enjoy my simple feast at “home” and get to bed early.
Now, I’m in the Piazza de Ferrari people-watching on this Sunday evening, and catching up on this blog. I love seeing people out and about. The endless parade of characters pass by, like actors on a stage.
I love Italy!