So, we are on the road to Italy’s northwest to Portofino and Cinque Terre which are our Italy trip’s goal for me. This is Italian Riviera and our first stop is Portofino. We arrived Portofino at night. We parked our car in the entrance square, it is forbidden to drive to the coast. Before settling in the hotel, we walked through the coast. The narrow street was empty. There were classy boats, a few cafes and restaurants on the coast. Portofino was silent. Click for detailed Portofino adventures.
We were surprised. We thought that everyone would be having fun at night on the streets of Portofino. It was exactly the opposite, complete silence. We went back to our hotel. We woke up early in the morning, before the breakfast, as the Togay family we wanted to make a little discovery by walking in Portofino. Portofino actually is a little bay. A 150-foot bay with a U shape.
However, it is fascinatingly beautiful, we are in an Italian movie set again, this time with a coast village decor. The bay is so small that when I say something to my son, Batur who is on the other side of the bay, he can hear and answer me. Thong sandals on my feet, wearing shorts, I stuck my feet into the sea. Ahmet is taking photographs of Portofino while Batur is taking photos of his father. I am sitting near the sea while singing, “I find my love in Portofino.”
There are extremely classy boutiques with astronomical prices, wine and olive oil stores, a few cafes and restaurants. But the shops that I said aren’t more than 20. Already, the number of buildings in Portofino isn’t more than 100. There are only 3 hotels in the center.
After completing the discovery in the coast of Portofino, we went back to our hotel for breakfast. We ate our breakfast in the well-groomed garden of our hotel, with assorted flowers, trees, under the sweet-scened lemon and magnolia trees. Everything was just perfect, I didn’t want to leave Portofino. Photos are telling everything clearly.
We are slowly moving from Portofino to the Cinque Terre region. Cinque Terre in Liguria, Italy is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It is impossible to not to be impressed by Cinque Terre, which is formed of 5 little villages, means 5 pieces of land. The 5 villages are named: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
When you look at the maps, you can’t see a place named Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is in Italy’s northwest coast, in the south of Genova and Portofino. You can find the 5 villages that I wrote in the maps.
Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore… They are all beautiful. A special footpath is used for the transportation between the villages which takes about 2 hours. Also, there is a railway and a winding road where only one car can pass.
Cinque Terre is in the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its villages’ cultural and historical features and it is under protection as a national park. There are a lot of natural beauties, but there are also a lot of natural difficulties. Despite the difficulties of nature, the people of Cinque Terre built their beautiful houses on rocks and used the other places as vineyards and olive plantations.
How did the people of Cinque Terre planted vineyards on so high and perpendicular places? The grapevines seem like they will touch the waves of the sea. I guess that’s why the wine of the region is so popular all around the world.
You are walking parallel to the sea. People from all around the world are coming for tracking between these 5 villages. We were late and had two children with us, so we couldn’t walk and used our minibus to travel. Actually, the officer in the train office said that the hardest road was the car road, it was about 30-35 kilometers, hard and a mountain road. However, we weren’t afraid, so we decided to go with our minibus. We started the road with our minibus but the road was a pathway near gap. Still, the landscape was worth to see. We needed to stop after each kilometer to watch the beauties of Cinque Terre.
I felt far away from the earth in that height. I was also very scared. Especially when we were going to the last village, at night on the single-lane, winding road.
When you coincide with a red light in the tunnel entrances, you have to wait about 10 to 15 minutes because you have to wait for cars coming from the opposite side to pass.
Also you don’t see the trains because the railway passes through the mountains, you only see them in the stations. The village you arrive after the road is magnificent. The fish restaurants, little wine and olive oil shops in villages are superb. There are usually Mediterranean style foods and fish is the most common food. Also the focaccia and farinata of Cinque Terre are popular. Foccacia is a type of bread with cabbage, olive, tomato and pesto on it. Farinata is a type of pastry made of chickpea flour. The most of options for staying are in Monterosso.
Cinque Terre people, like all the other Italians, are always cheerful and happy, chatting with each other, relaxed and joyful. They are not interested in the tourists. They are probably like that to not to bother the tourists. The sea is awesome in the whole region. Although it is April, me and Batur swam in the cold seas of Italy.
I can’t find a lot to say about Cinque Terre. Just perfect, and mysterious. Every village is better than each other. We are planning to visit Italy again just for Cinque Terre; to travel with car, train and by walking. If you want to see a different, special and an impressive place I would recommend Cinque Terre. If you want to see a romantic place I would recommend you Portofino.
To sum up:
– The places from Portofino to Portovenere in Italy are worth to see,
– I would recommend you to reserve 4-5 days, even a week of your Italy trip to this region,
– The distance between Genova and Portofino is 38 kilometers, Milano and Portofino is 171 kilometers,
– You can go to this region from Milano with a rental car or a train easily,
– The distance between Portofino and Monterosso is 52 kilometers,
– The distance between Cinque Terre villages is about 10-30 kilometers, it takes about 10-15 minutes with train,
– The best choice of food would be fish. There are a lot of fish restaurants down at heels, and of course pizza restaurants,
– You can have a romantic spring vacation in Portofino,
– You can have a satisfying sea and discovery vacation in Cinque Terre.