From Rome we moved north to visit Cinque Terre, the five small villages on the coast of the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy. I had arranged for us to stay via AirBNB in one of the colorful painted houses in the small village of Riomaggiore. Our flat overlooked the town and its small harbor. We made our way via train and climbed the crazy stairs and passageways to find the door that led to our two story house in the midst of the painted village. From the distance the houses are a colorful stack of art where the inhabitants call home. To find any given house, you must make your way up and down steep stairs and through a web of mysterious forking lanes lined by high walls to find the only door (always on the back side) of the house.
Each one of the five villages in Cinque Terre is along the coast. We stayed in the southernmost town of Riomaggiore where we shopped the local markets for our home cooked meals which we enjoyed on the patio as music drifted up from restaurants below and the sun faded into the sea. One day we climbed aboard the Cinque Terre express train and rode to the most northern town of Monterrosso al Mare. After exploring the quaint village, we began some rather extreme hiking as we trailed our way back down. The hike was challenging but worth the effort as we saw incomparable views of the towns from the precarious trails. We explored each unique village as we walked about, window shopped, ate lunch, had a drink, and sampled local delicacies.
If you ever get the chance, please visit the five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre.