Cinque Terra






































































In northwest Italy, on the Ligurian Sea, you'll find Cinque Terra. Cinque Terra is a series of five little fishing villages (hence the name "Cinque Terra", or "five lands") each relatively equidistant from each other, nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. It's my favorite place in Italy. The scenery is indescribable. It inspires several cliches, such as "has to be seen to be believed" and "pictures can't do it justice". If you like to hike, walk, or leisurely stroll, this is one of the best places in the world to do it. And the seafood is fantastic too. I just can't say enough about Cinque Terra.

(You can see more photos of Cinque Terra HERE)

Click on picture to enlarge...

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This is Vernazza, our favorite of the 5 villages

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This is Monica, who runs the Il Castello ristorante just below the castle in Vernazza. I was first introduced to Monica through Rick Steve's book, "Postcards From Europe".  When Virginia and I went to Cinque Terra this past May, we made sure to stop in, have dinner, and introduce ourselves. Well, Monica turned out to be a fantastic host, and a wonderful person. She has an affinity for Americans, so if you're ever there, I highly recommend having dinner at her ristorante. But make reservations, as they get full quickly. The food is great, and it's not as pricey as you would think for such a beautiful view. Of course, Rick Steves also recommends it, and when you go, you're likely to see - literally - about 80% of the clientele are Americans, complete with his book. On our last trip to Vernazza (July 2004), we spent another evening dining at Il Castello and were quite pleasantly surprised to find out that Monica is now 5 months pregnant, so if you go in the near future, be sure to wish her and Massimo "Augurri!"

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We spent the 4th of July weekend in Vernazza once again and had an opportunity to visit with Monica and Massimo and to see the new addition to their family, Maristella, born in November 2004. Here are some photos:

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The proud Papa

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Monterosso, the first of the 5 villages (depending on which way you come in...):

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More Cinque Terra photos

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