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IMG_4032After getting my flight benefits – the first place I wanted to go was this magical looking little known about place in Italy I had found out about from Pinterest. I kept seeing these pastel colored houses against cliffs jetting out into the sea and imagined myself there almost daily. Actually making it back to Europe was a dream come true and making it to Cinque Terre made it all feel so surreal.

Cinque Terre is a stretch of five towns along the Italian Riviera that looks like it is straight out of a storybook. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are the names of the 5 towns, all with a bit of a different flair to them.

Italy has declared the entire region a park in order to preserve it. It is in northern Italy between Pisa and Genoa. The 5 tiny cities are all connected by train or boat but many people prefer to hike among them along the rugged coastline.

Cinque Terre forces you to take on the relaxed vibes of Italian culture because quite frankly, there is not much else to do there but relax. There are no cars allowed down in the towns which makes it an even more unique area. Unlike other popular Italian destinations, there are no museums or clubs. Perhaps it is for this reason some backpackers choose to stay for only a brief time while others choose to stay to relax longer since it is a great place to recharge if you have been traveling for a while.

It doesn’t take long for the vibes of Cinque Terre to win you over to the slower paced way of life. My favorite memory there was spending an afternoon laying out marveling at the beauty of the coastline and jumping off the rocks for a swim. Evenings were spent strolling about after a delicious meal of pesto pasta paired with a glass of the region’s own wine.

If you are interested in visiting Cinque Terre, check out what my man Rick Steves has to say about it as well – when it is one his favorite places, you know it has gotta be good!

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There is no such thing as too much espresso.

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Intriguing art in unexpected places everywhere you look.

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The view outside the room I rented the last evening. One nice thing about staying in Cinque Terre is that you will always be a very short walk to the ocean’s edge no matter where you stay.

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Yay gelato!

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The view outside the hostel I stayed at in a town of 400 near Cinque Terre. The landscape was so breathtaking and peaceful!

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