This is a massive check mark on my travel bucket list.
Years ago I got a postcard from my friend Hayley. It was a photo of Vernazza, the most popular of the five towns in the Cinque Terre. At the time I was using a little plastic pouch to hold pens and pencils to take to my University classes, and this postcard fit right in. Suddenly I had a Vernazza themed pencil case! I used it for years and the photo just fueled my need to visit.
I took a day trip from Florence and visited Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, and Riomaggiore (in that order). A bus dropped us in some random spot and we hiked a few hours to Corniglia. We had a lovely lunch, then continued on to Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare by train. Our last journey was by boat to Riomaggiore.
It rained a bit on and off. That sucked. But hey, no one slipped down the mountain so all is well.
My favourite was obviously Vernazza, but Riomaggiore was a bit bigger and might be better if you’re spending a few nights. In any case, they’re a few minutes apart on the train that goes through all the towns.
Fun side note of this visit — I made friends with Ruth, the only other person doing the tour alone, who happened to be a mother of two from Comox, British Columbia. She was a few days away from starting a two week art class in Florence, the first thing she’s done for herself in 21 years since becoming a mother. Ruth was my photo-taking buddy, and she said lots of nice things about how brave I was moving away from home and traveling alone. She was so nice and lovely, and it made the day even better spending it with a fellow Canadian on her own personal journey.