Day 18 – Siena to Cinque Terre
You Take My Breath Away
Today, we left the wonderful city of Siena and head east towards the Coastal Community of Cinque Terre (or the “five villages”) where we will spend the next three nights in a small fishing town called “Vernazza.”
This was to be a very long day. We have two train changes to take before we reach Vernazza. In La Specia, we actually missed our train connection because we couldn’t quite figure out the correct platform (or “binario) for our train. By the time we figured it out, our train left. Anyway, with the help of the train conductor guy, we catch the next train to Vernazza.
Cinque Terre is located on the coast of Italy in the region of Liguira. To get there, the train must pass through several tunnels. After a few minutes, there is a little bit of spacing between the tunnels and we catch our first glimpse of the spectacular view. The few seconds that we saw literally took our “breath away.” We were both stunned by the beautiful coastline!
The train arrives at the first of the five villages in the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. This is where we first begin to understand the huge popularity of this coastal gem. There are tons of people.
We finally reach our destination, Vernazza! We struggle a bit to exit the train due to the crowds. Next, we head down the stairs and I looked around. A guy asked me if I was looking for my hotel? I said yes. He asked me what was it’s name? I said Gianni Franzi. He said, oh yeah! Go down this street, it’ll be on the left. We walk down the street and suddenly see the water.
On the left a Bar with the name Gianni Franzi. This was one small town. I go in and speak with I think Marissa. She asks for my name and then informs me that the hotel is booked but she has a very large beautiful apartment that she can give me. I was a little disappointed. She then asks where my things were and she tells me that she’ll take me there.
Getting to our Apartment entailed lugging our luggage up some cobblestone stairs. The final set of stairs could barely fit my luggage and was nearly at a 45 degree angle. Marissa pulled my luggage out from my grasp. I had to run up the stairs to catch up with her. My first thought: for a little thing she’s pretty strong. When we finally catch our breathe and look around our new digs, we realize that this is a huge apartment. It has a full kitchen, two twin beds downstairs and a full bedroom upstairs with a queen size bed. I was so happy! Marissa was right it was a beautiful apartment…
We agree that my friend will sleep upstairs and I will sleep on one of the twin beds downstairs. It was like we had our own rooms. After oooing and ahhing for several minutes we kicked off our shoes and take a long nap.fter a nice long nap, we wake up in time for dinner.
We walk down towards the water and decide to have a nice dinner at the outdoor tables of Gianni Franzi
Since Vernazza was a fishing village, we decide on the “fish.” Our dinner finally arrives! My first thought! I guess they don’t fillet their fish here! Okay, so I’m not used to looking down at my meal and having it stare back at me! All jokes aside, I actually did find the fish to be very good.
While enjoying our dinner we are treated to a fantastic sunset. I am so glad we included Cinque Terre in our extended stay in Italy! I could actually stay here for a couple more weeks!
It was a Slow Traveler that recommended coming to Cinque Terre to me. More specifically, it was his vivid description of his stay in Vernazza that really sold it to me. And now I know why!
We look around a bit and admire the small town feel of Vernazza. Most of the day trippers are now gone.
After dinner we treat ourselves to our first Gelato in Cinque Terre. My choice, Coco! It was absolutely delicious!
Now, I can go to bed a Happy Camper! Tomorrow will be another great day in Cinque Terre. And I will wake up early as usual to greet it!