Cinque Terra, Italy - My Family Travels

Cinque Terra Italy is a real life fairytale travel destination.  Two summers ago, I went to Italy with my family, and Cinque Terra was my favorite place we stayed.  Cinque Terra is in Northwestern Italy bordering the coast, and is made up of five hillside towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore and Corniglia.  I had never been to Europe, and traveling to Italy broadened my perspective of the world.  I also learned a few helpful tips about traveling to a foreign country.  These experiences helped shape who I am today as a more informed traveler, and most importantly who I am as a more cultured young woman.

We took a train from Florence to the little unique hill towns of Cinque Terra.  Taking the trains in Italy is fabulous because you see the landscape of the country fly past you, and its much more efficient to go by train than having to deal with the hassle of renting a car.  However, one must make sure they are getting on the correct train, which can sometimes be confusing when everything is written in Italian.  I learned to ask many random people what the destination of the train was, much to the embarrassment of my brother.  This is how we successfully made it to the small town we were staying at in Monteresso.

The moment the train emerged out of the dark mountain we were passing through, I stared in awe at the beautiful scenery.  I felt like I was in a movie resembling the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, when the cinematography shows perfectly blue green ocean water, colorfully painted houses nestled quaintly on the hillside, fishing boats with young attractive fisherman, and beautiful purple bogenvia growing everywhere.  I couldn’t stop smiling because I had never felt so content.

My family and I stayed in a bed and breakfast run by a hospitable family.  My balcony overlooked the whole town, the harbor, and the ocean’s horizon.  The reason I fell in love with Monterosso, was how relaxed the environment was, and how friendly the native towns people were.  Every morning I got up and went for a jog along the beach and the same fisherman always said “buongiorno”, which means good morning in Italian.  I also spent time painting the beautiful scenery.  Any artist would absolutely love spending time in Monterosso. In fact they might never leave once they experience the beauty of the hillside towns.

Cinque Terra is also ideal for hikers, swimmers, and kayakers.  All the towns of Cinque Terra and connected by hiking paths.  One of the days, our family hiked to all five towns.  Luscious plants grew everywhere on the trails, and the ocean views were incredible.  In Vernazza, we stopped to swim and jump off the rocks into the crystal clear ocean.  The water is ideal for swimming because you can float on you back and look up at the sky.

After a day of hiking, swimming, painting, and lounging at the beach, we would have superb food every night.  Everything is home made and my favorite was pasta with the their famous pesto sauce.  I would go back to Monterosso just to taste the incredible food again.

Traveling to Cinque Terra was altogether a fantastic experience.  I felt I learned about a new culture and environment.  It also helped me view the world in a new way as an artist.  I came back from Cinque Terra with new ideas and inspirations for landscape paintings.  It was relaxing to stay in a town where everyone slows down and enjoys the simple pleasures of life.  

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