The five tiny villages on the Mediterranean coast of Italy are connected by a ten minute train ride or ten hours of hiking. We hike one way and take the train back to our middle city of Corniglia.
Day one we hiked to Manarola in 90 degree heat up a very steep path into the mountains and then back down again to the seaside town.
There used to be a flat and coastal walk between the three southern cities, but rain and landslides in 2011 washed the trail into the sea. Italy hopes to rebuild the trails in 2021.
Each city feels interchangeable but we made sure to see all five. The hikes between them are the real gem with their towering seacliffs and the colorful city silhouettes in the distance.
I would rank the villages, but aside from one having a sandy beach and one being up a steep hill, they really all felt the same. These are the towns from South to North:
We did a morning hike to Vernazza and then Monterosso. This was easier than the previous day, but still quite hilly with many narrow passages.
We spent the most time in Corniglia. The rocky beach was down a flight of stairs 100 meters high and the town has just a couple winding streets filled with restaurants and gelato.
We had gelato for breakfast this morning and likely for breakfast tomorrow too. Normally we do our own cooking, but there are no groceries and we have no kitchen. Tonight we had amazing pizza, and yesterday I had the best bruschetta I have ever tried.
I love swimming in the ocean, but I burn so fast I am probably part vampire. Here is what I usually look like at the beach.