Cinque Terre is a series of five small fishing villages along the northwestern coast of Italy. These villages are, in order, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. In fact, these villages are so secluded that it's faster to get to the other villages by foot (several hours) or by boat (several minutes) than by car. Because the villages are so secluded, the people of each village developed their own specific local dialect. The remains of ancient fortresses and churches pepper each village; the rocky outcroppings and secluded locations made them popular targets for pirate raids.
This iconic view of Manarola was taken from the bay's other side, by climbing up a set of stairs and leaning over the rails.
This was one of our first hikes. We took this shot of Manarola on our way to Corniglia.
We hiked from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare; the hike took about two hours. We were often alone on the trail. Every so often, the trail would open up to give breathtaking views of the seaside and of fog-covered, lush green mountains.
We climbed through a tiny opening in the side of the cliff to find this hidden beach; the beginnings of an underground river flowed from the sea to a cave on the side of the cliff.
Vernazza has a secluded, inner bay as well as its main harbor port. The dark part to the right is the castle remains.
Every night we made sure we made it to the sea side to watch the sunset throw incredibly colors into the evening sky.