On the day we left Florence, we caught the train to the string of centuries-old seaside villages perched upon the rugged coast of the Italian Rivieria known as Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre was on our Italian bucket list right from the very start of planning our honeymoon – we’d seen lots of pictures and heard lots about it. But when we finally arrived in Riomaggiore, the first of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre and our home for the next two days, we realised all those pictures never did quite do it justice. The outstanding beauty of the coastline and the dramatic way in which the village sits perched upon it really is something that needs to be seen with your own eyes to believe.
Originally, we wanted to stay in an apartment recommended to us by a friend, but as we soon learnt, accommodation books out very quickly in Cinque Terre so we sadly missed out. However, thanks to Booking.com, we managed to find the most idyllic rental apartment and now that we’ve stayed there, I wouldn’t ever want to stay anywhere else! It was perfectly located in Riomaggiore village, with shops, eateries, the marina and the train station all within easy walking distance.
The town itself is quite small, and as you can imagine with it sitting on one of the most rugged parts of the Italian coast, it is very hilly. We arrived at the train station, ready to make the short walk to our accommodation with our luggage. Only thing is, Ty’s phone had the directions saved in it, and it died – completely without warning, mind you – right as we stepped off the train.
Even though it was Autumn and the weather was pleasantly warm, it soon felt sweltering as we dragged our suitcases and bags up steep hills to the main road. At this point, I’d like to point out that if it was me by myself, I’d have been a complete wreck – I have the WORST sense of direction and no intuition at all when it comes to these things. Tyrone, on the other hand, has a freakishly amazing sense of direction. Somehow (and to this day, I’m not sure how he did it!), he managed to navigate our way to our accommodation sans iPhone, directions or any help whatsoever from me. I married me a good one!
Of course, after we’d arrived and breathed a major sign of relief, we realised we’d made the journey from the train station the long way around, and if we had have made a right turn right at the beginning instead of turning left (the left turn part was my idea – my only contribution to getting us to our accommodation, and a wrong one at that!) the walk would have been about 5 minutes tops. As my Nan would say though, “there are no wrong turns to be made, just another adventure to take”.
After a quick shower, change of clothes and finally tossing my hair into the top knot I’d been longing for since getting off the train, we were starving. It was 3pm and we’d missed lunch thanks to the train journey, so we strolled down to the centre of town for a bite to eat at Veciu Muin. This was where we had our first Italian pizza, and it did not disappoint. We ordered the pork sausage pizza and the Greek salad, and two glasses of white wine.
I intended on just having one or two slices of pizza alongside my Greek salad, but after one bite I managed to convince Ty that it was a much better idea to share everything 50/50. Everything was absolutely delicious – the Greek salad was divine, the wine was perfect and it’s 100% this pizza’s fault that I developed an obsession with Italian pizza for the rest of our trip.
The afternoon was spent sitting on our terrace, set among the gardens and overlooking the cliffs and the sea, sipping wine, eating peaches and chatting nonsense. After the sun set, we made our way back into town for some fresh fish and chips and enjoyed the nighttime atmosphere that was building. Sleep seemed more appealing though, as we had plans to hike between the villages of Cinque Terre the next day (I’ll be sharing about that next – stay tuned!), so it was an early night for us.
Have you visited Cinque Terre? Is it on your Italian bucket list too? Thanks so much for reading!