Cinque … oh! Cinque, Cinque Terre!! Ti amo! (Part 1)

Cinque Terre which means 5 lands is a little paradise comprising of 5 little yet shining jewels in the Ligurian Italian Riveria.

Famously known for its splendid views of the Mediterranean sea, limoncello, pesto, terraced hillsides where olives and grapes are cultivated, freshest of seafood, and very friendly locals!

Take a walk along the Via Dell Amore (Walk of Love) which links from Riomaggiore to Manarola around sunset, and you will be richly rewarded with beautiful sunset, calm waters, beautiful skies and cries of seagulls flying above you. For the fitter ones, you can continue the path number 2 all the way up the hills till Monterosso al Mare (be aware of the closing times though).

Beginning of the Via Dell Amore at the Riomaggiore side.

Looking back at Riomaggiore as we walked towards Manarola

Lookout into infinity along the Via Dell Amore

Nearing the end of the Via Dell Amore

We see cactus even here next to the sea, well…vandalised. Very funny sight.

Though very over-run by tourists from ferries during the day, the best times where you feel like you can have the whole place to yourself even in the summer is from dusk till dawn. Serenity! The sounds of waves crashing against the rocks below the village calms the spirits of city-dwellers like us.

Here you are!!! Look at the many many locks of love!!

We waited on the bench along the pathway until dusk to see Manarola began to shimmer in the dark.

Even in winter, the temperature hovers around 12 degrees celsius (although these days our weather system has gone haywire! Apparently, Cinque Terre had snow earlier this year)

Stay in a Bed and Breakfast, choose those rooms with a terrace facing the village, hills and the sea and seriously, that is a prelude to paradise on earth.

View of Manarola below, the Mediterranean sea and the terraced hills from my terrace … PARADISE!

Enjoying sunset moments on the terrace, with a cup of orange juice, my travel diary, and yes, I had an unexpected guest: a big fat white cat from one of the neighbors below. MEOW…

Enjoying the colors of the sky and patterns of clouds nearing sunset from my terrace

Enjoying the colors of the sky and patterns of clouds nearing sunset from my terrace

Lounging on the hotel’s top floor terrace facing the Mediterranean Sea’s blue waters and skies that seem to merge into 1. ZEN!

Magnificent sunset with a glass of red wine on the top-floor terrace

A comfortable room with a stylish rainshower bathroom, big terrace and a good view over-looking Manarola. This is the top hotel in Manarola. Excellent service by Matthieu and his staff.

Super chic outside reception area where is one of the 3 reception areas you can gather and mingle with other guests. Each evening from 5-7pm, free tidbits and wine for your pleasure. I was welcomed with cavier and Sciacchetra, a sweet wine special in this region.

My big terrace that is way too spacious for 1 person. However, I tried to maximise by lounging on the sofa and eating complimentary italian chocolates (heavenly!!) and on the wooden chair.

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