I was on holiday vacation last year and had the opportunity to visit Italy for 20 days. From North to South, Italy’s view is breathtaking. Its environment as well, is very friendly to female solo traveler like me. As a precaution though, you have to take extra care with your wallet and personal belongings when moving around anywhere in the country. Pick-pocketers who are usually in groups of young kids and masters of their craft have set their eyes on every foreigners waiting for their next prey.
I was able to explore lots of interesting places since mobility is very convenient. There are lot of choices when it comes to public transportation. One can opt for train ride, bus or taxi if you have more than enough budget.
The most remarkable view that I had the chance of seeing in Italy is Cinque Terre (meaning five villages). These five villages or towns are named Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso al mare and Riomaggiore.
Cinque Terre is located in the North, part of the Region of Liguria, Province of La Spezia. It is a 17.4192 square miles (4,511.54 ha) string of centuries-old seaside villages on the Italian Riviera coastline.
I was in Florence when I decided for a day trip to Cinque Terre. I have booked through my hostel, Plus Florence, and right away I received confirmation and instructions for the detailed preparations on the trip.
Our early meet up the following day was at Maria Novela Central Station, a few blocks from my hostel. There were few buses leaving for Cinque Terre few minutes before 7 o’clock during our scheduled trip. Each of the buses are well maintained and accompanied by a guide according to the language requirement of participants. Ours was an Italian guy who handled the English group. We enjoyed the 2 ½ time going to La Spezia because we had a very entertaining guide.
We took time entering La Spezia due to traffic jams, notwithstanding the narrow road and lots of constructions going on. By 10 o’clock we were dropped on the farthest village which can be reached by the bus, the Manarola. The view is really magnificent. We were given free time to enjoy exploring every corner of this village before taking the local train to the next stop Riomaggiore.
Riomaggiore is along the rocks of the harbor. Though small the town is very charming. Here, the colorful houses is set on more steep location than the first village we visited.
Corniglia is secluded on a hidden cliff but is under construction and off limits to foreigners during our visit.
Our tour continued to the next stop, Vernazza through a 20 minutes ferry ride. This is a community overlooked by the remains of a medieval castle with a cylindrical tower that you can climb and enjoy the view. Walking around will let you experience the narrow lanes and the steep stairways in the village.
Our next stop via train is Monterosso al mare, an ancient fishing village considered to be “the pearl of Cinque Terre”. This village with its lovely tranquil beaches will certainly astonish you.
The rest of the afternoon was our free time, so me and my lady companion from Sweden, visited the historical center and enjoy the sun before we grab food to fill us up in the seaside restaurant.
Afterwards, our tour continues to La Spezia, where the bus is waiting to take us back to Florence.
My memories of Italy is so rich and it would not have been so amazing without this tour to Cinque Terre. I will treasure this experience forever and if given another chance, my passport and my bag is always on the go.
Loida Z. Lalongisip_VA_Activity3