Buon Viaggio, Part II

7:21 PM

So after three days in the City of Lights, we headed to the Italian Riveria to a truly magical place on earth: Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre or "The Five Lands" is composed of five towns built into the hillsides and is part of the Cinque Terre National Park.  These town are only accessible by train, trail or ferry, which help it keep its rustic charm. But even though it may seem remote, tourists flock to this corner of Italy. Despite the fact that at times it felt as if we were on some movie set with lots of tourists and newlyweds, it was breathtaking on every turn. And the food?

Fried Seafood Cone in Manarola   
Woman making fresh pasta early one morning in Monterosso al Mare
"We don't sell these lemons. We squeeze them for the slashy"

Butcher sign in Manarolo
Bruschetta with pesto, tomatoes and olives and sangria on the beach. Sigh. 
Sun-dried tomatoes at the local market in Montorosso 

So badly wanted to take all this cheese home!

Porcini Mushrooms
This hidden street led us to one of our best meals on our trip...
Dumplings filled with cheese and pears and Gnocchi with zucchini and prawns. 

One of several hillside restaurants we passed on our hikes through the villages.
Vernazza - the jewel of Cinque Terre. Not food, but gorg. 
Outside of our favorite Gelateria. Had no idea what we were ordering, but all so good.
Gelateria owner - sweetest man ever. And so evil too with his tasty gelato!
Amazing antipasto in Pisa

There are so many more photos (like, obnoxiously so) I took on this trip. I barely saw anyone hurrying about with their to-go coffee cups. No one was sitting in a cafe with a laptop or nose to their smartphones. Locals were engaged in conversation over good coffee or wine. Parents were attentive to their (well-dressed) children over fresh fruit and bread. Both Paris and Cinque Terre are magical places and made me stop and take stock in what is truly important: good friends, good health, family, and of course good food. Now excuse me while I make myself a cappuccino. 

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