Wow, what an amazing day at Cinque Terre! It was such an awesome day in Italy and I’m so proud that our group made it there and back in one piece! We had an early start to our morning as our train left the train station at 7:45 am. I got breakfast at the McDonald’s across the street (weird eating Mickey D’s in Italy – it definitely isn’t the same!) and met the group by station 5. Getting tickets validated was a process but we all scrambled onto our train and departed for La Spezia Centrale. At 10:04 am we successfully got off and purchased our hiking passes and train passes so we could travel beween the “Five Cities”: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Corey, Alexis, SE, and I were dying to hike, so we jumped off at Riomaggiore, the first stop-Monterosso. It was sprinkling by this point but we trudged along anyway and it was well worth it! The scenic views were breathtaking and the fact we were hiking in a coastal cliff was just incredible! We signed our names to leave our mark, took lots of pics, and made it to Manarola in 20 minutes. From there, we caught the local train to Vernazza since the trails were closed between Manarola/Cornliglia and Corniglia/Vernazza.
Vernazza was so cute. It was seated in a little harbor with all kinds of colorful buildings and a castle on a hill. Basically, I was obsessed. We were starving so we found this awesome restaurant on the cliff and ate there. The food and wine was delicious and our waiter Paul asked us out for drinks! He loved us. After we were drunk off a good time, we met the majority of our group and began the 2 mile trek to Monterosso. The rain held off on us, thank goodness!
Walking to the trail I ran into Grace McCord – talk about blast from the good ole days of high school past! It was nuts. The hike was INCREDIBLE. Hard, but incredibly breathtaking and an awesome experience. I was worn out because the trek was super steep, but the sites and pics we took pushed us on. All in all, the trip took about 2 hours but we all did it!
When we arrived in Monterosso, I went straight to the sea and put my feet in before heading to a beach café for a celebratory beer with the girls. By now it was pouring and freezing cold so the train back to La Spezia Centrale was much needed.
We had a few little mishaps (SE, Alli, and Olivia getting on the wrong one and holding everyone up “is this going to La Spezia?” … “um, no”, it was hilarious! But the train ride went smoothly. After switching trains at Pisa, we arrived back in Florence around 9:30pm. The walk back home was the worst part of the day as it was freezing and pouring rain. After taking a hot shower, I passed out warm and content. Today was AMAZING and I’m so looking forward to my first day of class! So happy to be here with good friends and good times.