Travel Journal: Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre, Italy, captivates with stunning villages, vibrant culture, and rich cuisine. It offers car-free exploration, great food, and some of the most beatiful beaches in the world.

Hello, dear readers! I’m excited to tell you about my trip to Cinque Terre, Italy, one of the most stunning and charming destinations in Europe. Cinque Terre is a group of five colorful villages perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I visited Cinque Terre as part of my family beach holiday in Tarquinia, Lazio, where we are enjoying the relaxed and easy-going vibe of the Italian people. Let me share with you some of the highlights of my trip.

How I feel in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a place that makes me feel happy and amazed. The scenery is breathtaking, with the blue sea, the green hills, and the rainbow houses. The atmosphere is lively and festive, with people walking, biking, boating, and hiking. The culture is rich and diverse, with a mix of history, art, and tradition. Cinque Terre is a place that reminds me of other relaxing (but rustic) vacations that I had, such as Morro de São Paulo in Bahia, Brazil.

What I see, smell, taste, and hear in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a place that appeals to all of my senses. The place has a lot to offer in terms of sights, smells, tastes, and sounds. Here are some of the things that caught my attention:

  • The sights: Cinque Terre has some amazing sights, with each village having its own character and charm. The five villages are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. They are all connected by a scenic trail, called the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail), which offers spectacular views of the coast and the villages. Some of the most beautiful places that I visited are the Spiaggia di Fegina (Fegina Beach) in Monterosso, the Castello Doria (Doria Castle) in Vernazza, the Lardarina (a staircase of 377 steps) in Corniglia, the Nativity Scene (a light installation with thousands of bulbs) in Manarola, and the Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane) in Riomaggiore.
  • The smells: Cinque Terre has a distinctive smell that I find very refreshing and inviting. It’s a mix of sea, flowers, and herbs. I noticed that many people grow plants and vegetables in their gardens and terraces, and they use them for cooking and decoration. They also make some delicious and aromatic products, such as limoncino (lemon liqueur), pesto (basil sauce), and focaccia (flat bread).
  • The tastes: Cinque Terre is a place that satisfies my palate and my stomach. The place offers a wide range of cuisines, from seafood to pasta to pizza. Some of the local delicacies that I tried and loved are the acciughe (anchovies), the farinata (chickpea pancake), the trofie (twisted pasta), and the pannacotta (cream pudding). Of course, I also enjoyed the famous and exquisite Cinque Terre wine, which is made from grapes grown on the steep terraces.
  • The sounds: Cinque Terre is a place that entertains and delights me with its music and language. The place has a rich and diverse musical heritage, from folk to pop to rock. Some of the most famous and talented musicians from Cinque Terre are Fabrizio De André (a singer-songwriter), Andrea Bocelli (a tenor and crossover artist), and Zucchero (a blues and rock singer). The place also has a unique and charming dialect called Ligurian, which French, Spanish, and Arabic influence. I enjoyed listening to the different accents and expressions and learning some new words and phrases.

What I learned in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a place that teaches me something new every day. I learned a lot about the history, culture, and politics of Cinque Terre, which is a small but influential place in Italy. Here are some of the things that I learned:

  • Cinque Terre means five lands in Italian. These are five tiny fishing villages that have been isolated for centuries, and have developed their own identity and traditions. They are also known as Le Terre (The Lands) by the locals, or Le Cinque (The Five) by the tourists.
  • Cinque Terre is a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which helps preserve and protect the place. As such, a small fee is required to access the trails and the villages. The park also regulates the number of visitors and the activities that are allowed in the area, such as fishing, farming, and building.
  • Cinque Terre is a car-free place, and that’s awesome! The only way to get to the villages is by train, boat, or foot. The train is the fastest and easiest option, as it takes only a few minutes to travel between the villages. The boat is the most scenic and romantic option, as it offers a panoramic view of the coast and the villages. The foot is the most adventurous and rewarding option, as it allows you to explore the nature and the culture of the place at your own pace.

What surprised me in Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a place that never ceases to surprise me. There are always some unexpected and interesting things to discover and experience. Here are some of the things that surprised me:

  • The most unexpected thing about Cinque Terre is how resilient and adaptable the people are. Despite the challenges and difficulties that they face, such as landslides, floods, fires, and tourism, they manage to maintain their way of life and their spirit. They are also very innovative and creative, as they use their limited resources and space to produce quality products and services, such as wine, olive oil, and accommodation.
  • I didn’t expect how sophisticated and diverse the lifestyle in Cinque Terre is compared to other places in Italy. The place has a lot of culture and entertainment, such as museums, art galleries, and festivals. Some of the most notable ones are the Museo del Mare (Sea Museum) in Riomaggiore, the Oratorio dei Disciplinati (Oratory of the Disciplined) in Corniglia, and the Festa di San Giovanni Battista (Feast of Saint John the Baptist) in Monterosso. The place also has a lot of shopping and dining options, such as boutiques, markets, and restaurants, where you can find local and international brands and cuisines.
  • The most surprising thing about Cinque Terre is how beautiful and charming this place is, and how sad I feel about Brazil not being able to leverage its beautiful beaches for tourism. Places like Porto de Galinhas in Pernambuco are as beautiful (or even more beautiful) than here, and yet we don’t see many European tourists traveling to the northeast of Brazil. I wonder what are the reasons and the solutions for this situation, and I hope that one day Brazil can become a more attractive and accessible destination for the world.

What I want to remember about Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is a place that I will always remember with fondness and gratitude. It is a place that gave me a lot of joy, inspiration, and contrast. It is a place that showed me the best of Italy, and the best of myself. It is a place that I hope to visit again soon.

Here are some of the things that I want to remember about Cinque Terre:

  • The family: The family that I traveled with to Cinque Terre are some of the most important and valuable people in my life. They are the ones who shared this amazing adventure with me, and who made it more fun and meaningful. They are the ones who supported me and challenged me, and who helped me grow and learn. They are the ones who made my trip unforgettable and special.
  • The beauty: The beauty that I saw in Cinque Terre is some of the most stunning and impressive sights in the world. I saw the beauty of nature, with its colors, shapes, and textures. I saw the beauty of architecture, with its styles, details, and functions. I saw the beauty of art, with its expressions, emotions, and messages. I saw the beauty of Cinque Terre, and I loved it.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. And if you ever have the chance to visit Cinque Terre, don’t hesitate to do it. You won’t regret it. Trust me. ?.

Recommended Reading

(1) 7 Fast And Fascinating Facts About Italy’s Cinque Terre.
(2) 10 interesting facts about Cinque Terre.
(3) Top 10 Facts about Cinque Terre in Italy – Discover Walks Blog.
(4) Cinque Terre National Park, Italy — National Geographic.

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as VP of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

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