Scott & Janet on Rick Steves' Heart of Italy 2016
Scott & Janet on Rick Steves' Heart of Italy 2016

Levanto & Cinque Terre...pretty as a Postcard!

Dov'e al mare?

Dov'e al mare?

The picturesque village of Vernazza

The picturesque village of Vernazza

Our tour led us onward to Levanto & the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is five picturesque villages clinging to the rocky edge of the Tuscan coast.  We hiked the 4 km (about 2.5 miles) trail between Corniglia and Vernazza with two of our Rick Steves traveling companions, enjoying lively conversation and breathtaking views of the Ligurian Sea.

We spent our nights in the nearby beach town of Levanto, where the proprietor of our hotel taught us how to make fresh basil pesto and treated us to a feast of local specialties including stewed rabbit, fried squash blossoms, that fabulous fresh basil pesto, and cheese, glorious cheese! His generous offering of house-made limoncello was enjoyed by all!

We truly felt relaxed in the town of Levanto with its simple charm and local feel. After our long hike, we sipped a spritz and watched the locals, young and old, catching the last rays of the setting sun over the sea. Ah...so very relaxing. 

Spring had sprung on the Cinque Terre!

Spring had sprung on the Cinque Terre!

Timing is everything

The beauty and charm of the Cinque Terre is definitely not a well kept secret!  We were very happy to visit off-season and avoid crowds in this very well loved part of Italy. 

We like to plan our travels for the "shoulder season" whenever we can. Typically that means we're less jostled by crowds and the locals are more willing to interact with us. That leads to greater connection and memorable experiences. Another bonus? There are bargains to be found outside of peak season! 

The view as we hiked away from Corniglia on our trek to Vernazza

The view as we hiked away from Corniglia on our trek to Vernazza