Stunning snapshots of Cinque Terre (which means Five Lands in Italian) have been peppering my Instagram and Facebook newsfeeds since I moved to Italy. It’s less than a two hours train ride from Bologna so several of Evan’s classmates have been, which made it a necessary last stop on our road trip. Well, we made a mistake.
Don’t get me wrong – the one village of Cinque Terre that we were able to see (Vernazza) was beautiful and quaint. Our mistake was made when we tried to drive there. Our initial plan was to stop in the northernmost town, Monterosso al Mare, but we ran into a hiccup when (after driving almost an hour out of our way, down winding roads and tiny mountain towns) we discovered that the limited parking spots in the town were full.
No problem! We’ll just head to the next town, Vernazza, and grab some lunch there. Well, while the two towns are technically right next to each other on the coast, if you have a car that means you have to drive all the way up the mountain then all the way back down.
The journey was filled with sharp turns, crumbling roads, and breathtaking views. After almost 40 additional minutes in the car, we finally arrived in Vernazza, parked our car, and walked another 20 minutes into the tiny town.
While I’m thrilled that we were able to view just a handful of the areas picturesque landscapes, I will definitely be taking the train next time I visit. Perhaps for a weekend spent backpacking between the five towns, which seems to be the thing to do in Cinque Terre.