The.ego.tripper probably isn’t the most romantic guy in the world, but he couldn’t resist Cinque Terre. Please take a moment to say Cinque Terre out loud in your best Italian. Doesn’t matter that you’re pronouncing it awkwardly, it still sounds good to me. I visited these beautiful Italian villages in 2003 for the first time. I was backpacking through Italy with my buddy Sebastian and he proposed we’d go to Cinque Terre. Honestly, I had never heard of the place. But that didn’t matter. Soon, I fell in love. With the village, not with Sebastian. Although we did share a bunk bed. Stop talking now.
Okay, so, Cinque Terre is one of the few places I’ve been back to two more times. And therefore it has earned it’s place among legendary destinations such as Venice, Florence, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Barcelona and Los Angeles (don’t ask me why I’ve been to L.A. three times, it’s just the way it is, and although it’s on the Lonely Planet’s list of most terrible cities in the world, I still enjoy L.A.). But compared to these cities, Cinque Terre is completely different. The five Ligurian fishing villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore (from north to south) – all have their place on the Unesco World Heritage list. No one wonders why. Just look at these pictures!
In the summer months Cinque Terre is packed with tourists. Strangely most tourists are Canadians, Americans with Canadian flags sewed on their backpacks and Australians. Which means English becomes the most spoken language in the five villages. But that doesn’t mean Cinque Terre has lost its authenticity. No sir, the five villages still ooze Italian charm! And they offer great food, a little culture and amazing nature, best seen from the ‘Via dell’Amore’, a 12 kilometer “road” connecting the five villages. Did you notice how I used the term “road” loosely. Good luck finishing the hike, it’s beautiful. And the good thing is: you don’t have to walk all the way back, you can just hop on the train.