cinque terre, italy
i absolutely love italy. i've spent time in milan and piedmont, cinque terre, florence, tuscany and rome. everywhere has good food and wine. it is absolutely not a lie. i own a sweatshirt that simply reads "i just want pizza" i should add a sub line that says "any pizza but preferably napoli style pizza with mushrooms and chili oil". i even mention pizza in my nicaragua post. #alwayshungry
some lovely friends of mine just got engaged and are in europe for the summer.. congrats ben and leah! however, they are spending a few days in cinque terre on a trip from their home base with his fam in france. i went to cinque terre in october 2013 with my sister katie. i pulled out my travel notebook and here are my recommendations.
hike all the way from monterosso al mare to riomaggiore. it's a day hike but you can stop in all the different towns on the way. you have to purchase a pass (it was 5 euros when i was there and i think it's still under 10) take the train from whatever village you are in to monterosso. then take trail no.2 all the way back to corniglia. there you will have to switch to no. 6 because 2 hasn't been rebuilt since a landslide in 2010. #italians
ben and leah - you are hikers so you will probably want to try out one of the more exciting hikes. i wrote down that no. 7/7a was really awesome and goes through vineyards. take a picnic on that one.
take a day trip to portofino. it's like the french riviera but in italy. super classy. you'll take the regional train for about an hour to santa margherita ligure and then take a bus into portofino. it's just super fancy and pretty and has a church perched up on the cliff. if you go get the gelato that is in the bay and get foccacia in santa margherita ligure. it is a regional specialty. i like the onion kind.
you can also get to pisa in an hour. i didn't go but i wanted to mention it.
swim. the best beach in my opinion in monterosso. it's got two sandy beaches. we were there in october so it wasn't all umbrellas and lounge chairs but i'm sure it will be in the summer. i heard vernzza has a famous one as well.
there's a little park on the path out of manarola that stops at a park with roses. i sat and read here one afternoon and it was amazing.
trattoria dal billy. it's up on the hill in manarola and has amazing pasta, their own wine and a beautiful view.
pizzeria fratteli basso. this is a place where you can get farinata. it's foccacia but made with garbanzo bean flour. #chickpeaflourdoesitall - also get their house red.
aristide cafe - i got espresso here every day
cantina dello zio bramante. this was a great place to go at night. awesome vibe.
enoteca de elizeo. this was a great place for apertivo (happy hour). i have an addiction to aperol spritz if you were curious.
we stayed in manarola at ca de capun - we got it on airbnb and i think that's probably the way to go.
when i was looking up the cantina i ran across the cinque terre insider. looks like an awesome resource!