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Vino Infinito – Cinque Terre & Vineyard (Day 6)


Along Italy’s coastline are 5 charming villages collectively known as Cinque Terre in the Ligurian region of Italy. Here one can enjoy being cut off from the outside world and get a real sense of a small town. Reaching these villages is difficult by car, as a result we were only able to visit the 3 of the 5 villages. It’s also worth noting that this location is one of the many in Italy that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. They do have a highly connected railway system that we took at the end of the day.

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Hanna holding the map, this is only half of it!

On the way we saw breathtaking views of both the coastline and hillside vineyards necessitated by the terrain in the area. Our tour guide Johnny told us about the difficult  process of making wines in these areas! We decided we needed to try their signature wine!

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Beginning of the “Mamma Mia” views by Bus

We started our day trip in the Province of La Spezia and arrived at the first town, Manarola, by bus and walked down the only road in the town (residential alleys no withstanding), enjoying the view of the older but well-maintained buildings. We had lots of great views of the bay and the rock formations along the shore, which are apparently a popular swimming location as we saw people swimming out to the rocks to climb onto them.

From there we took a ferry to the next town, Vernazza. This town was a little larger than the last and seemed more tourist-oriented with more restaurants and stores. We tried some excellent gelato from Gelateria Vernazza, a small bottle of wine along with some of the focaccia bread that the town was famous for. All of it was pretty good but the gelato again stood out. There was a small beach here for swimming, and I mean small, maybe 20 people could lie on it comfortably.

We again boarded a ferry to take us to our final and largest village for the day, Monterosso where we spent the remainder of our time. This one had a larger port and a train station, making it more accessible to the outside world, and from what we understood it has a fair-sized hotel as well. Our local guide showed us around and pointed out some of the fruit trees grown in the area, the steepness of the roads, and the many stairways needed to accompany the terrain. She joked that just walking to and from work every day was enough to keep someone in shape. She was great, she even joked that she has a boyfriend in every town haha!

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Waiting, waiting to board the Ferry might as well take some pics.

We had our late lunch in this town and went to an excellent restaurant Johnny recommended, Il Piccolo Diavolo, ordering stuffed mussels and stuffed anchovies. Both meals were amazing, though we both liked the anchovies more.

After lunch we walked around downtown and visited both of the long-standing churches in the town which our local tour guide pointed out to us. Apparently one had been used for funerals and some other services and the other for regular mass. We visited the latter first and saw some well done sculptures while further resting our feet from all the walking we’d done. After that we went to the other church (which was literally next door) and paid a Euro each to walk through the back where there’s a short tunnel. There wasn’t too much that was interesting but we weren’t entirely sure what everything we saw was for, either way it was an entertaining look back in time to see all of the older sections of the church.

After looking at the churches we took some time to visit the shops, most of which had the standard products you’d expect for a tourist clientele. We didn’t really find anything that screamed for us to buy it.

Vineyard Tour & Dinner

From there we met up with the group again and took the train to meet the bus, skipping the final two villages in favor of going to a vineyard in Montecarlo Tuscany for dinner of course wine!

The Fattoria Il Poggio vineyard staff gave us a walking tour of some of their farmland and explained the surprisingly intensive way to make olive oil. She showed us some of the older equipment that they used in the past. Now I understand why the higher quality oil is more expensive! After the tour we were treated to an multi-course dinner and sampling of the 6 different wines that they made on-site (3 whites and 3 reds)! My personal favorite being one of their stronger reds. For dinner they had a pasta, anti pasta to pair with their amazing olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and various cured meats. To conclude dinner, they also allowed us to try the extremely strong Amaro liqueur. They suggested dipping the biscotti to pair with the drink. Then to really cap off a great night they even tempted us to try the even stronger Grappa (served in a plastic cup, similar to the ones at the dentist)! Just a whiff of the drink allows you to gauge that it’s probably 50% alcohol.

On the plus side all of the wine and other spirits lifted everyone’s mood enough for dancing! Just outside of the dining hall area there’s a patio where we all danced with some giant Saint Bernard dogs casually traipsing around. Somewhere out there our travel companions have a video of us probably looking silly dancing. We made sure to buy 2 containers of the premium olive oil before leaving! (1 as a gift and 1 for ourselves.) We can’t wait to use this for an upcoming special occasion! The jovial mood continued as we hopped on the bus and it turned into a party bus! Stefano set the lights to flash on/off while driving us round and round that small rotary on our way home. Johnny also blasted some 80s music (presumably from his personal playlist). Most notably we heard “Do Fries Go with that Shake” – George Clinton. Of course more dancing ensued until we retired back to Montecatini!

Rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★1/2

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Categories: Guest Author, Review, TravelTags: , , , , , ,

35 comments

  1. can’t wait to visit here

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a delicious adventure. Love all the gelato and anchovies you enjoyed. Those would be my favorite as well. Have not been to Cinque Terre yet, but good to know about the train system. Interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t know they made wine in the Cinque Terre. Just one more (very good) reason to want to go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully written and now I want to go to Italty more than ever. Currently planning on May 2019…definitely need to add Cinque Terre to my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cinque Terre is amazing!!! I went a few years ago and I’m dying to go back! Aren’t the wine and food just incredible?!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I went there in late March this year, and loved all five of the small villages in different ways. As it was a bit out of season it was not too crowded either. Regret not going to the vineyard though, it seems you had a great time there!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I went there in late March this year, and loved all five of the small villages in different ways. As it was a bit out of season it was not too crowded either. Regret not going to the vineyard though, it seems you had a great time there!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That sounds awesome! I bet the weather was not too hot then in March. I will have to definitely read about your visit there if you have written a post too! Yes the vineyard was amazing haha and we are using the “premium” olive oil very sparingly.

      Like

  8. I have only visited Cineque Terre once, and would love to go back. I didn’t realize there were wineries near Cinque Terre. Definitely adding that to my list!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Cannot wait to visit here!! I was in Cinque Terre just for a day about 10 years ago and have always wanted to go back. Love seeing what you did.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow. This place looks so beautiful with few of my favourites – churches, vineyards and obviously yummy looking food. Another one in my bucket list.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What a great experience you had. I have to go here – its on the list and this just makes me crave heading there even more. Thanks for the overview. I am bookmarking this for later.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. We had plans to visit Cinque Terre on our last trip to Italy but changed it to spend that time in Germany after finding cheap flights to Munich. Although I loved Germany, I still feel incomplete not seeing this part of Italy. You post make sure me want to book a trip immediately!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw hope you get to go there. The cheap flights to Munich sound awesome. Our flight to Italy had a connection there as we used Lufthansa and it seems like a fun place to explore! I want to go back and see the other towns we missed too on our tour too!

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  13. All of this food looks so yummy!

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  14. Fantastic review, sounds like you had a great guide and eat some amazing food. The gelato there is so amazing Im craving it as I type this haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. So beautiful. It’s on my list. Hopefully next time I get to Italy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lisa! Hope you get to visit as well. You’ll have to tell us more if you visit the 2 other villages we didn’t get a chance to stop at. I’m convinced taking the train is the way to go between Cinque Terre.

      Like

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