1 reason to go to Italy right this minute: Manarola
Let’s talk Italy and how somehow this country knows how to do absolutely everything in the most beautiful, most stunning, wonderful way possible.
No really, I have proof. Enter: Cinque Terre, the ridiculously gorgeous string of five seaside villages on the Italian Riviera. Recently my family and I spent a few days hiking, eating and boating around the area, it was ______ (pick one: GRAND!, joyous, MeMoRaBlE, splendid, LOVELY, muy bien!).
Upon arrival in Manarola we hopped off the train and skittered through a long pedestrian-only tunnel that opened to the main thoroughfare in the village. The streets were filled with boats, brightly colored buildings, restaurants and admittedly, quite a few tourists.
Mom and I didn’t make it far before grabbing a table at a cafe for coffee and breakfast. While waiting for our order, I skittered down to the harbor for a few pictures before a summer storm rolled in.
The views from the peninsula that juts from the harbor are indeed postcard-perfect. Manarola, you are a gem and you know it!
So you see what I’m saying, right? It is positively nuts just how scenic Cinque Terre is. To drive home my point, I’ll go on.
After slow sips on our coffee and people watching, Mom and I parted ways. I was eager to follow Rick Steves’ advice to take a vineyard walk while Mom went to meet up with my dad and sister in another village (for the record, my family doesn’t often just ‘meet up’ in villages…).
Trudging my way up, up, up, I arrived at a small plaza at the top of the village. There, just as Rick had promised, a small dirt path with a wooden fence was just off to the side. Famed for it’s winemaking, the path was a catwalk through the steep vineyards that embrace the village providing absolutely stunning views the entire way.
Perhaps one of the most beautiful (and easiest) walk of my life, I couldn’t get over the dramatic views coupled with the delicate grapes hanging in the vines just before me.
Have you been to Cinque Terre? If not, do you want to go now? 🙂
Holy monkeys what a place. Kudos to you, Italy, you’ve got it all figured out.