Cinque Terre

by ann

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La Rosa dei Venti
via Gavino 19, Vernazza (La Spezia)

La Rosa dei Venti was spacious with two beds, a crib, and a fridge stocked with a beer, coke and some waters for us, free of charge. Best yet, the windows opened and a clothesline was available for our use! Perfect for light packers on a two week journey.

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“The Beach”

Vernazza does not have a real beach. It’s a beautiful place but if you want to go swim and tan, go to Monterosso.

When we asked a local directions to the beach, he pointed us to towards this cavern.

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Sketchy, but there was a beautiful, secluded area on the other side.
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Batti Batti Friggitoria
via Visconti, 19018, Vernazza, Italy

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A yummy snack of fried seafood in a paper cone. I would tell them to not give you the imitation crab and more of that calamari!

Batti Batti Focacceria
via Visconti 3, Vernazza, Italy

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Crisp on the outside and a soft, chewy center, this olive focaccia defied all others I have ever had. (We also tried the rice one at Batti Batti and don’t recommend it.)

Note: I wanted to try more focaccerias after eating at this place and entered Panifacio Focacceria but quickly left after seeing multiple flies with the bread.

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There isn’t much to do in Vernazza but one main attraction is the Doria Castle. This involves walking up lots of steps. If you have a baby, use a carrier. We did not. There is also an entrance fee of a few euros per person.
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The view is amazing though._20140709.Cinque Terre.31

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Restaurant Review
Ristorante Belforte
via Guidoni, 42- Vernazza- Cinque Terre (SP)

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Belforte offers the best dining with a view in Vernazza. The mussels were delicious, as were the black squid ink pasta and the pesto pasta, or trofie al pesto. If we had more time, we would have eaten here again and tried the un piatto particolare, a curry rice with prawns.

We decided to do the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso. It had been stated to be the most difficult of the hikes between the cities but also the most gorgeous. We focused on the latter portion.

Leaving at 8 AM, we took about 1.5 hours to  make it to Monterosso. If you want to make the hike, you should leave earlier because the paths can get packed as the day gets later. It is also less hot earlier.

You do have to be careful. There are rails but not throughout the whole trail and the path was often so narrow that only one person could fit.

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We finally arrived in Monterosso!

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(Left) Gastronomia San Martino, Via San Martino 3, 19106, Monterosso al Mare, Italy
Gastronomia was good, simple food. Nothing too fancy.

(Right) Perhaps one of my favorite food items here was the anchovy sandwich. It was just thick toasted bread, butter and anchovies but it was so, so good. I forget the name of the restaurant where I picked it up BUT it is located down the street from Gastronomia San Martino. Say you are standing outside Gastronomia San Manrtino. Turn to face the main street. Take a left. It will be the restaurant on your right side. It will have outdoor seating and two indoor dining areas.

Enoteca Internazionale
Via Roma 62 19016 Monterosso al mare

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Enoteca Internazionale is known for its collection of wines. One in particular that is famous to Cinque Terre is sciachetrà, a sweet wine. However, a small bottle of sciachetrà was pricy so our eyes lit up at being able to try it in gelato form. It was sweet and light and Amy was persuaded enough to purchase a bottle to bring home.

Restaurant Review
Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Via gavino 36, 19018, Vernazza, Italy

Il Pirata is run by two cheeky brothers who love to have lively banter with its patrons. It was located next to our lodgings and we went here twice for croissants and water and once for dinner. The croissants, plain and nutella, were delicious. Below are pictures from dinner.

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Panna cotta

The meal was good and filling. I would give it a three star. Nothing was bad, but nothing was spectacular.

Vernazza to Nice

The trip from Vernazza to Nice took 5 1/2 hours.  The trip went from Vernazza to Genova/Genoa to Ventimiglia/Vintimille to Nice.