Back in October with a bunch of people from first semester, we went on an organised Erasmus trip to Cinque Terre. This is something I had known about for weeks prior to moving to Italy and it made me so excited to move.
First day in Liguria
Whilst we were there we stayed in a small town called Levanto in a hostel called Ospitalia del Mare. The first day we stayed in Levanto and it’s up there with some of my favourite days since living in Italy. The majority of us spent the day relaxing on the beach, listening to music and getting to know each other a bit better. We ended our afternoon by turning JP into a sand mermaid. I was so content that afternoon that I literally wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.
The best sunset that I have ever seen
After a while, we all went back to the hostel to get ready for our dinner all together. Before going out for dinner we started the evening by having a few drinks on the terrace of the hostel. Having heard that the sun sets over the sea, we decided to take our drinks down to the beach. It was one of the most beautiful sunsets I had ever seen. The sky went from light blues to pink and then it was bright orange. There was a singular boat in the right in the middle of the sea making the perfect photo opportunity.
After having taken a gazillion pictures, we all went for dinner all together to a place called Totano Blu. After dinner, we went back to the hostel to grab all of the necessities for a night of chilling at the beach. Everyone was fairly merry needless to say. There was laughter, dancing and maybe a song or two from High School Musical.
Cinque Terre day
The next morning, despite waking up with a splitting headache, it was time to embark on “Adventure Day”. This was the day we were going to explore one of Italy’s most photographed sites – the infamous Cinque Terre. This National Park is made up of 5 man-made towns (Cinque = 5, d’you get it?). They have a geographical order, however, the order that I would give them from favourite to least favourite is: Monterosso al Mare, Manarola, Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Corniglia. These are all just my personal opinions so pls don’t @ me.
Monterosso al Mare:
This village has a great beach that you can sit on and relax. There’s also a hill that you can walk up and get a great view of all 4 other “Terres”. It also happens to be the first village geographically speaking.
It’s the one that everybody Instagrams to say they’ve been to Cinque Terre. It’s the village with the colourful houses carved in the rock. This is also where a lot of courageous Erasmus students were cliff diving in front of at least 100 people. Manarola could’ve easily been my favourite one if it wasn’t so crowded with tourists.
Here is where we stopped for a much-needed lunch. I had the absolute best pesto pasta (fun fact: pesto originates from the region Liguria) with a view of the Ligurian Sea (when there wasn’t a swarm of tourists in the way). After lunch, we had time to kill so we climbed up some extremely steep steps up to Belforte Tower, where at the top you can see the small village from above and the sea from the other side.
It’s fourth on my list as I was kind of hoping it was going to be better than it actually was. Whilst we were there we stayed by the port and watched the sunset. I can’t lie, the sunset wasn’t as good as the day before.
Most people hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia but Team Lazy (hi!) decided to get the train. However, we actually scammed ourselves by doing this as we were unaware that unlike the other towns where you just walk into it, for Corniglia you have to walk up at least 300 steps to reach it from the station. Additionally in Corniglia, there wasn’t really any views, it was essentially just a small town on a big hill.
At the end of a jam-packed exploring day, some of us went back to Levanto for dinner and to refresh after a long day. For dinner, we went to The White Goose for burgers. It was the first time in over a month, since moving, that I had had one and it was AMAZING. After dinner, we went back to the terrace for drinks and to wait for the others. When everyone got back we all went down to the beach. We stayed there until about 4 in the morning. No wonder I had an awful cold when I got back.
*for this paragraph wants to insert the display picture on our Whatsapp group chat*
So yeah, those are just some of the things that happened during the eventful trip to Cinque Terre. It was probably my favourite trip, it got everybody together to get to know one another and to make memories together. It’s strange to feel nostalgic for something that happened just a few months ago, but as everyone from first semester has pretty much left, it’s sure to say that nostalgia ensues.