Every once in a while, you visit a place that is exactly as gorgeous in person as it is in postcards. Vernazza is one of those places, and we were lucky enough to spend our second night in Cinque Terre staying right in the heart of the village. Seriously though, we weren’t even there for 24 hours, and together we took over 200 pictures. This place is crazy amounts of photogenic. So let’s have a look!
We arrived in Vernazza mid-afternoon, after about three hours of hiking from Monterosso al Mare. Remember in that post when I said that it was too cold to swim when we left in the morning? Scratch that. By the time that we reached this incredible overlook…
…I was about ready to throw myself forward and just hope I’d hit water. That’s what a couple hours of hiking combined with 90 degree (F, of course) temperatures and a heavy backpack will do to me. It was toasty.
As soon as we got down to sea level, we made a beeline for the water. Vernazza doesn’t have a real “beach,” but people swim in the harbor, and while it wasn’t what I would call crowded, it wasn’t empty either.
We spent the next few hours alternately submerging ourselves, resting our aching feet, people watching, and lounging on a big rock while giving our sweaty clothes a chance to dry off. Shout out to the American girls who sat behind us for a bit and commented on how sweaty my gray t-shirt was… thanks ladies! I hadn’t noticed at all… and also thanks for commenting on the fact that BV was wearing *ahem* a more Euro-style of men’s swimwear. So was every other guy on this beach. Note: most people speak English, act accordingly. *Rant over.* Back to the pretty.
Dark clouds did roll in, but the six drops that fell on us were most welcome. But eventually it was time to put clothes back on, grab a beer, and check into our AirBnb for the night. We were situated right between the end of the trail into/out of town, and the train station, which meant that it was a fairly high traffic area. This afforded some solid people-watching fun, and a bit of creeping. Always a good combination.
For dinner we decided to leave the main street and water behind, to see what else was on offer. We happened across a sign that promised a restaurant if we headed up the hill along the path to Corniglia, the next village. After going up far more than the posted 50 meters, and past a few places that looked like they had been restaurants at one point in time, we were rewarded. Perched on the cliff above terraced gardens and groves of lemon trees, was a restaurant wrapped in grape vines with a million Euro view.
Blogger fail: I don’t know the name, and can’t seem to find it via Yelp or Google Maps. If you’re there… just follow the questionable signs towards Corniglia. That’s all I can say. The food was great, the wine was good, the service was friendly… and that view. Come on.
After dinner we meandered our way back down into the main village, and decided to return to the beach with a bottle of wine.
Like Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza was much quieter after dark, allowing us to have a good wander. Taking pictures is always much easier when you aren’t dodging hordes of tourists running for their trains and boats. We grabbed a bottle of wine – handily this seems to be the norm which meant the shopkeeper was happy to open it for us and provide plastic cups, and looked for a suitable spot to lounge.
Finally we settled on the same rock we had occupied early, and toasted to our sore legs. There were a few people around, but mostly we were on our own. Minus a disagreement on the merits of drinking wine out of plastic cups (darn BV, being all classy and European), it was pretty high on the romantical scale. I’ll recommend it to any of you out there wanting a good destination to go with your significant other. Plus, it gave us an opportunity to creep on shadow people. Sensing a theme here?
Eventually though, our bottle of wine was empty, and it was time to tuck ourselves in for the night. But not of course, before a few more shutter clicks on the way home.
That concludes our short stay in Vernazza… next up, Riomaggiore!
Anyone out there booking flights yet? Perhaps a cruise?