Italy Day Three: Cinque Terre

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The streets outside came to life early that morning. The chatter of locals about the days activities filtered in through our windows along with the cool breeze off the ocean. Waking up in Corniglia felt like some kind of dream. It was a chilly day so grabbing our trusty down jackets was a must.

We began the day with a cup of coffee from the bar we had wine the night before. It was the best we had had our whole trip or maybe it just seemed that way because of the view and surroundings we had.

After soaking in a slow morning meal we decided to head to Vernazza. Though we wanted to take the trail we had to opt for the train since the recent flooding had taken out parts of the trail. We walked down the over 400 stairs to the train station with a view of Manarola on one side and the steep stairs on the other side. Even the simple act of going down the stairs felt beautiful and like something out of a movie. I was so excited to head to another town and explore though.

The slowness of life in Corniglia and the surrounding towns felt as if we were transplanted almost in to another time. Our phones did not work on any level and wi-fi was something that did not even exist it seemed. It leaves this really wonderful feeling to know there is little pressure to upload a photo or to check Facebook when you cannot at all.

Coming off the train in Vernazza you are in a long dark tunnel so when you get down to the street it is really bright and beautiful. The locals are opening their shops and setting up their food stands. It is everything you expected and more when you travel to Italy. The shutters are open on the apartments above and women are hanging their laundry. Some how the things we normally see as chores have been glamorized in to something beautiful.

The town sits right on the water and is still recovering from a flood from less than a year ago, but you can still see the beauty in the way of life they have here. The rock formations are amazing they rise vertically from the water and the-I-was-almost-an-earth-scientist part of me was really curious about the reason for this. It was just so amazing to see.

The windows on almost every building looked like something you would see styled in a magazine. The Italians are so talented with their plants and gardens. They feel wild, unkept, but so well planned at the same time. Exactly how I want a garden to be.

The church here was one of my favorites we saw in the towns. I loved the dome and how it faced the town. The colors all together just still were taking my breath away.

Since we arrived in Vernazza just after 12 we were able to see the locals enjoying their lunch break. While watching them chatter together in groups, drink wine, and literally take thing slowly I learned how I really have no idea how to do that. It really challenged me to think of ways in life I could enjoy moments more like the Italians do. They know how to live.

After tasted a little sorbet we began decided to get lost in the town. We wandered by the water and discovered the cliffs and jagged rocks in the angry ocean that was clearly brewing with the on-coming storm that was on the horizon, but we also discovered a trail up through the town that took you to the best view you can think of.

Walking alongside the piles of fishing nets and the most amazing foliage you can think of. It was one of the best hikes up a hill I have ever done.

At the top we had to snap a photo. The view was like being in a postcard. This town, this land, the colors, the water, the steep cliffs surrounding it all. It couldn’t have been more amazing.

I also found out this town was the location of some of the last pirate raids. Someone correct me please if I am wrong, but everything I read said it held strong against pirates many times. It made me imagine a character like Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean wandering streets of this town. Kind of awesome to think about.

After wandering back down the hill we came back in to town to get a meal before heading back before dark. We were told by our friend Cammie from Epicure Catering to get pizza at the place just between the Monterossa and Corniglia trail heads. You cannot miss it. I didn’t know what to do without a name, but she was right.

We found the little place and got some Peronis and ordered a pesto pizza. It may have been the best thing we had eaten up till that point. I will not lie it was the best pizza I probably will ever have. No way it can get better than the one we had sitting outside the little shop.

Peroni and Pesto pizza…really do we need to say much else? I don’t think so.

What a day it was wandering through those streets and to end it with a pizza like that. I don’t think it gets much better in life. Oh Italy how I love you.


Hello! I’m Megan Gilger,

A strong believer that nature and the seasons are our greatest teachers. We live on a hill in Leelanau County, Michigan just a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan. This land we are responsible for is where we are focused on building a life around the seasons and intention. We spend our days here building a regenerative model of living and focusing our garden on native plants and intensive polyculture planting styles. My focus is less on self-sufficiency and more on community-sufficiency through how we grow and connect through the seasons.
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