CINQUE SCOOPS OF SORBET
Bright red strawberry. Yellow mango. Pink raspberry. Green pistachio. An ice cream cone filled with heavenly, sweet italian scoops of sorbet. When I stand in front of Manarola in Cinque Terre, I feel like eating it. The charming little village looks like a colorful icecream. The little bright houses are scoops of sorbet, holding on to the steep rocks shaped like a cone.
Luckily I am not far from an ice cream bar. After all, this is ice cream heaven. This is my guide to Italy´s five little villages, Cinque Terre.
WHY GO HERE:
Cinque Terre is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Cinque means five, Terre means earth. You can walk on beautiful trails between the villages, and see all of them in one day. The distance between each village is between one to two hours of hiking. If you do not feel like hiking (you will miss out on breathtaking views!) you can take the train between every village. Hiking between all the villages in one day took me about seven hours, since one of the trails were closed due to restoration. The alternative routes was one hour longer than the initial one.
HOW TO GET HERE:
Fly to Milan. From Oslo it took me two hours. Then take the train from the main train station Milano Centrale towards La Spezia. The ticket was around 20 Euros. The train ride takes around three hours, or two and a half with the fast train. The slowest train stops in all the little villages in Cinque Terre, so you can hop on and off where you want.
WHEN TO GO:
This is a very busy place! Especially in summer. I recommend going a bit outside the main tourist season in July, since you will probably end up walking in a long line everywhere.
WHERE TO STAY:
Staying with AirBnb is highly recommended. It can be expensive to stay in the little villages where all the tourists are. I stayed at a wonderful place called Poggio del Salice, on the top of a hill:
Here are tips for the hike:
1. Get moving! The best way to see Cinque Terre is not the train. This is the view from the hike at Vernazza.
2. Stop to drink prosecco. Maybe not in each town if you want to get back in time ;-)
3. Eat as much ice cream as you can. You are in ice cream heaven. So act like it!
4. Stop and smell the oranges. And the flowers.
5. Finally, after a long day of hiking, try the fried calamari on the beach in Monterosso.
6. Make a flower crown with flowers from the hike. I know, I am SO scandinavian.
7. Stay with AirBnb on the top of a hill near Bonassola and watch the Meditteranian Sea before going to sleep.