From the enchanting city of Rome, we embarked on a journey north to discover the breathtaking beauty of Cinque Terre, a collection of five charming villages nestled along the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region. Our Airbnb in the picturesque village of Riomaggiore offered us a front-row seat to the vibrant colors and captivating views of this coastal paradise. From the distance the houses are a colorful stack of art which the inhabitants call home. Up close, you must navigate the intricate network of stairs and winding paths, and we couldn’t help but marvel at the artistic weave of houses that seemed to defy gravity, each one a unique expression of the local spirit. To find any given house, you must make your way up and down steep stairs and through a web of mysterious forking lanes lined by high walls to the only door (always on the back side) of the house.

Every village in Cinque Terre possesses its own coastal allure, but our base in Riomaggiore allowed us to soak in the authentic charm of this southernmost town. We immersed ourselves in the local culture by exploring the bustling markets, gathering ingredients for delightful home-cooked meals. As we dined on our patio, serenaded by the melodies drifting up from the streets below, we witnessed the sun gracefully bidding farewell to the sea, painting the sky with vibrant hues.

One day, fueled by a sense of adventure, we hopped aboard the Cinque Terre express train and embarked on a journey to the northernmost village of Monterrosso al Mare. After strolling through its narrow streets and soaking up the quaint ambiance, we embarked on an exhilarating hiking adventure. The trails, though challenging, offered unparalleled vistas of the villages, rewarding our efforts with awe-inspiring panoramic views. Our stop in the village of Corniglia called for a well-deserved indulgence of gelato, especially after conquering the infamous “Lardirina” staircase, a monumental ascent of 33 flights consisting of 383 brick steps leading to the town’s entrance. Little did we know that an air-conditioned shuttle van could have spared us the stair-climbing feat!

In addition to the momentary gelato emergency, we savored every moment of our exploration, meandering through the charming streets, indulging in local cuisine, and immersing ourselves in the unique flavors of each village. Cinque Terre beckons with its unparalleled beauty and unforgettable experiences, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in its coastal wonders.

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