I went to Europe for 3 weeks In Sept. with my 4 friends that had graduated the year before with me. Cinque Terre was so beautiful. It was such a welcomed break from the hustle and bustle of European cities. Not only did the beautiful mountains descending into the bluest of water offer serenity, but the people adopted a serene mentality as well. We stayed in an apartment that offered a nice view of the water of Monterosso..oh it also had a washer which was a great luxury and we hung it out our window over the city streets.
Our experience in the Cinque Terre was like we were living there, experiencing it, not just seeing it; people knew our names, we hear Ciao in the morning on the way for coffee and on our way to dinner in the evening, the man at the wine store knew our favorite wine. In other cities, we view everything like tourists in a museum, here I felt like I was part of the museum. That was probably the best part of it. I learned more about the culture and Italy there, then any of the cultural stops in Florence and Rome.
We got our apartment by meeting this guy at the bar named Shawn, who was American but living there. He brought us to a place called the Internet Cafe. They had good internet service and was very friendly. Shawn, the American guy, brought us on a tour through the trails between all the towns (alright he took us by boat to the first) he definitely was in love with the area and was just sharing his passion throughout the day. We went to some cute old women’s house who made wine and her cellar and tried some wine, a couple of my friends went cliff jumping (I am afraid of heights and was the official photographer), we went out for a drink when we got back to Monterosso, and later on we got shuttled up to a restaurant up on a hill. The meal was one of the best I had and the people were so friendly. I remember the owner was Johnny, he kept pouring us drink of the local dessert wine and toasting with us The whole day was only like $35 everything included (I forget the lires). Salute!
The local bar was run by some really great people too! I remember Alex and Bruno. They had me behind the bar pouring drinks why they sat down and played a game with dice. Anyways, enough ranting about the Cinque Terre. The American guy, who gave us a tour, Shawn, just e-mailed us so we have been reminiscing allot. We met allot of people there and kept in touch. Also, there was an array of fish that was an appetizer called misto mare, it was to die for! It was at several restaurants it is a must if you like seafood. No matter what you do there take the time to know the people they are as approachable as the sea and allot warmer. We will be back!
Salt Lake City, Utah