cinque terre is without a doubt my favorite part of italy. i think we’ve established this, since i can’t seem to stop going there. one reason i love it: when you’re in cinque terre, you get a really italian vibe*, whereas in more touristy italian cities (venice, rome), you sometimes just feel bombarded with street vendors and cheesy t-shirts. but at the same time, there’s not necessarily a shortage of tourists in cinque terre, so you don’t feel especially foreign or out of place; it’s the perfect balance. i hope it never changes.
*we ate a pizza in vernazza one night and watched a group of little italian children playing soccer in the narrow street (more like a weathered dirt road with not a car in sight), barefoot, while their parents looked on, drinking wine, conversing and loudly laughing with one another in the most animated way. it seemed like everyone was family and as i watched, i thought, “this is italy”.
another fun memory from cinque terre: we stopped at a little art gallery (also in vernazza), where a middle-aged italian man was selling his work. kaitlyn was interested in buying one of his pieces, and asked him how late he’d be open, as she needed to get some euros from the ATM down the road. he told her he was going upstairs, where he lived, for just a bit, but that he’d be back shortly. kailtyn withdrew her euros from the ATM, we returned to the shop, sat in front of it and waited for the man to return….and waited….and waited…and continued to wait. we resorted to taking pictures of ourselves (we looked really great after hiking all day, let me tell you) for about 90 minutes, before giving up and taking the last train back to riomaggiore. kaitlyn decided right then and there that she hated that man with all her heart, and probably always would. but, thankfully, our night was far from ruined, and we have the world’s best nutella crepes to thank for that! (i get them every time i’m in cinque terre – despite the fact that i may or may not be allergic to nutella.)
sigh. i love this place. i don’t even know the next time i’ll be back but i pray it’s within the next year. …….we’ll see how that goes.