This morning we headed south toward La Spezia and the Cinque Terre region of Italy. The Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage sites famous for its coastal villages, scenic vistas, rugged cliffs and colorful villages.
Today we had the whole day free to ourselves so it quickly became my favorite days of the trip. I hung out with two super fun guys. We had a great time drinking tons of wine, eating delicious food and exploring the quiet streets of the different Cinque Terre towns.
We started our food tour of the Cinque Terre with pesto focaccia pizza. We chowed down before exploring a breathtaking castle in La Spezia. At the top of the castle there was a harp player!
Afterwards we checked into our tiny hotel.
Where did I stay? Hotel Firenze Continentale
Then we took the train to Monterosso al Mare where the boys and I decided to sit back, relax and treat ourselves to wine and aperitifs.
Afterwards we traveled to Manarola. There we saw the Befana! The Befana is a witch who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5). It was so neat to see the old woman parading down the street with hoards of children following and singing. What a special time to be in Italy! After the celebration I grabbed gelato and strolled down to the coast where I watched the sunset.
Then we traveled to Riomaggiore for dinner. Our group filled a tiny restaurant. I tried pesto pasta and we had two bottles of local wine! Feeling happy we caught the train back to La Spezia where we hung out at the hotel bar and chatted the night away.
I truly had an amazing, cinematic, life-affirming day today. I will cherish the Cinque Terre for the rest of my life.