Before we are done with the Europe posts, I think we all need some eye candy
in the form of Cinque Terre. Spending the last week our Europe life in Italy was
probably the best but worst idea because it was so perfect, which made it even
harder to be leaving! But…we got to soak up some Italian sun in some of the
prettiest spots with amazing friends for our final days over here before we
move, so we really can’t complain. Here are some snaps of Cinque Terre:
I was lucky enough to come here with my mom in college on a mother-daughter
trip where we stayed in Monterosso (the furthest town) and did the whole hike, etc.
It was a dream and I completely fell in love – who doesn’t – and have been dying to
bring Chase back ever since. No one else had been in our group, so I was excited for
them to see the picturesque views of the coastline + colorful towns built right in.
We were thinking of parking in La Spezia and taking the regional train or a ferry
along through the towns since we just had a day to explore and couldn’t hike it all,
but at the last minute we decided to just drive through ourselves. We had a car, it is
still offseason without too many crowds, and then we would be on our own schedule.
It ended up working out great and we just parked a little above each town and walked down
into them. A few of the hikes back up were a little long, but it helped us earn our pasta ;)
We did lunch in Vernazza (the 4th and probably most famous town)
and it was one of our favorites of the trip. We escaped from the sun
and sat out on the terrace with pesto gnocchi, pizza, and caprese.
Lemon trees, a sparkly sea, and 75 degree weather! ^^
We took the hiking path just a little ways up in Vernazza to catch
the postcard view ^^ It was so beyond beautiful and an ideal day.
We stayed up here for a long time just staring at that view
and taking way too many millions of photos.
Perched up here on this lookout I had a little melancholy moment.
Maybe the word isn’t melancholy, but nostalgic. I think it finally hit me
that this European chapter is closing for now, and we won’t be able to hop
an hour flight to the Italian coast. I am SO excited and ready to go home, but
I still think I needed to have a moment of realizing a change is happening. As
I stared out at that sparkly sea and took in the view, I had to hide some tears
behind my sunglasses as Chase and our friends came back over! :) Change is
a good thing and we feel like our year abroad was absolutely ideal for us. It’s
not that I don’t want to leave, it’s just that I have such a soft spot and amazing
memories of this magic time in Europe together…and ending in Italy was so amazing
and heart-wrenching at the same time! I read online that the pregnancy hormones are
supposed to return now in the third trimester, so let’s blame the tears on that too :)
Hiking back up to the car in each town ^^
I adore the hillside farms through this whole area. It still feels local and
authentic despite the mass crowds, so I hope it can remain that way!
From local feeling Riomaggiore, peaceful Corniglia perched on the cliffs,
pretty Manarola with its vineyards, bustling and picturesque Vernazza, and beachy
Monterosso, the Cinque Terre has something for everyone… and we love love love it.
Ahh Cinque Terre, you are a special place. I already had nostalgia for it
from my first visit with my mom the last summer before I got married,
and now it is cemented with another memory of our final days living in
Europe before baby comes in a few months. I am so glad we got to share it
with lifelong friends, and we all kept saying how one day we will be telling our
kids about the time their parents were in Italy together before they came along :)
Luckily it only gets better, and this is just a special place to return to again & again!
Ciao for now, Italia!