Top 5 things to do in the Italian Riviera
The world's most picturesque places are increasingly becoming populated by skyscrapers and big business. But there are still some special places that have remained untouched and make for the perfect modern escape.
Cinque Terre, a region comprised of five seaside towns perched on the picturesque Italian Riviera in the north west of Italy, is one such place. Here, the Italians have the notion of La Dolce Vita down pat.
Here are five simple things you can do to embrace the sweet life when visiting Cinque Terre. Where dolce faliente (the sweetness of doing nothing) is purposefully encouraged.
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1. Indulge in the best gelato
Decadent, indulgent, creamy, sweet, sugary goodness. Gelato is a must when strolling through towns exploring on a hot day. There is an abundance of gelateria’s across the Cinque Terre’s five towns so you will be spoilt for choice. Tip: Try the pannacotta or pistachio, they are to die for!
2. Unwind by going for a swim in the ocean
The five towns are perched across the exposed, rugged cliffs of the coast and therefore provide some amazing spots to swim. For something a bit quieter, take a dip in the clear and calm bay of Manarola. If you are looking for a full on beach day, check out the only sandy beach of the region in the Bay of Fegina at Monterosso Al Mare. Grab a sun bed under the rows of matching umbrellas and kick back and soak up that sunshine.
3. Get some fresh air by taking a hike
The Cinque Terre region is famous for its various hikes. They vary in difficulty from the famed short and sweet Via dell’ Amore (The Path of Love) between Riomaggiore and Manarola to the more arduous five hour Sentiero Azzurro (The Blue Trail) that spans across all five towns. It’s well worth it though to experience some fabulous views over the towns: cliffside landscapes, vineyards and some incredible coastal views.
4. Treat your taste buds to some amazing Italian local cuisine
Being next to the big blue makes for plenty of fresh seafood with several fish and chips shops dotted all around the towns. Alternatively, take a break at a cute family run café and sip on an espresso at the bar paired with some homemade ricotta cheesecake. The region is also well known for pesto. So get yourself a glass (or two) of local sciacchetrà vino and have your own Liz Gilbert ‘Eat’ moment.
5. Reflect by catching the sunset at clifftop church
Grab a friend or your loved one and walk up to the top of a town where the cute churches are usually located. The towns face west which make for some jaw dropping sunsets over the sea. If you’re lucky, some talented local musicians will often accompany the moment with some calming acoustic guitar tunes. The perfect end to the day as you watch the sky change hues as the evening descends over the Cinque Terre.
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