I’m jumping forward just slightly over Portofino, which I’ll be sharing next. If you followed our path on Instagram or Snapchat, you’ll know that we went from Lake Garda to Portofino. While we were in Portofino, we had plans to take a day trip to Cinque Terre, but the weather didn’t really allow us to do so. Instead, we made a detour after we left Portofino on our way to Tuscany. Since we didn’t have the whole day to explore, we picked two of the towns in Cinque Terre to visit and ones that were easily accessible to each other, Manarola (on the right below) and Riomaggiore (on the left below).
If you’ve been to Cinque Terre or have looked up the geography, you’ll know that it’s a set of five seaside towns along the Italian Riviera. There are a few ways to get between the towns depending on how much time you have- there are hikes, ferries, trains and you can also drive and park outside of the towns. We chose Manarola and Riomaggiore because they’re right next to each other and it was easy for us to get out and get back on track to Tuscany. We drove to Manarola, parked just outside (you cannot drive in any of the towns) and walked the short distance into town. It’s definitely not as bad as everybody says, but definitely get there early because by 10am, the parking was completely full. In Manarola (above), we followed the path that led us up to a great vantage point, looking out over the colorful town. It was the scene I was envisioning in my head, straight out of a postcard (or Pinterest!).
Even though we were technically there in low season, it was packed! Like body to body lining up to get pictures packed. I can now see why the Italian government has plans to limit the number of tourists allowed to visit Cinque Terre per year (1.5 million a year vs. the 2.5 currently, 1/5 of that is from cruise ships alone). In the future, they’re saying that you’ll have to buy tickets online or they’ll have an app that will say which cities are closed. It’s unfortunate, but just being there, I can see why. It takes away a bit of the experience when you can barely move through the tiny towns. With that being said, it was definitely worth the trip and I would have been so sad to miss it!
To get to Riomaggiore, we took the train, which was the quickest and easiest experience. We would have loved to hike the path between the two, but unfortunately it was closed while we were there (and we also didn’t bring proper shoes, ha!). But the train worked out perfectly for our limited time we had to spend in the two cities. If you take the path on the left side of the town looking out at the water and follow it, you’ll come down to a spot of rocks where you have a great view looking into the harbour and the rainbow of buildings that make up Riomaggiore.
When I saw this Lovers + Friends dress, I immediately thought “Italian Riviera”. Anything blue and white stripes is almost an immediate yes! The day started off a little bit chilly, so I initially had on this light pink sweater over it, but by the time we made our way through packs of tourists and walked up to the good vantage points, the sun came out and I was warm enough in the dress alone.
The other two got a table for lunch while Thomas and I kept exploring. We stumbled across a focaccia place in Riomaggiore called Panificio Rosi that was incredible! We bought enough for the two of us to snack on all day but we ended up eating it all right then and there. Definitely add this spot to your list if you’re looking for lunch or just a quick bite to share. Our favorite was the one layered in olive oil, pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes and olives.