In my first day at in Cinque Terre, I managed to visit 3 of the 5 villages. This second day, I went to see the last two and attended the annual Monterosso Lemon Festival which by chance, we were in town for.
Here’s what I did with my second 24 Hours in Cinque Terre:
1) Hike from Vernazza to Corniglia on The Sentiero Azzurro (The Blue Path). This leg of the hike was quite enjoyable as most of the view was of the ocean. It also gives you a nice breeze as you walk.
2) Enjoy the cliffside view of Corniglia. It’s the only village that is at a higher elevation and only accessible by train or car, and not the local ferry.
3) Explore the village of Corniglia and make new friends. I was overjoyed when this cat followed me around for a good 5 – 10 minutes and then was heartbroken when it stopped.
4) Check out the Monterosso Lemon Festival. While normally many lemon themed products are on sale, on this special day the whole village was decked in yellow. Stores competed for the title of largest lemon, many being the size of grapefruits!
5) Try Monterosso’s local specialty of anchovies from Il Bocconcino (if you need an excuse to get more deep fried snacks). Pretty good but calamari is still the best.
6) Be a bit bougie and eat prosciutto and melon. We got it at Ristorante Il Gabbiano and also tried Italian Beer instead of wine for a change.
7) Train to Manarola and fail to dine at the famous Dal Billy. It was fully booked for the night and within 5 minutes they turned down several other tourists. That’s how popular it is – make a reservation for it if you are in Manarola!
8) Dine with the most beautiful view ever. Nessun Dorma was our backup dinner/post-dinner drinks spot and the view was worth every minute in its long line! You can see the view without being in the restaurant of course since there is a winding cliff-side path up to and beyond the restaurant, but where else can you eat with such a magnificent view? Their charcuterie board was a great deal at only 24 EUR and delicious.
Cinque Terre was my absolute favourite out of the 3 places I visited in Italy; the others being Venice and Rome. Each village was not only picturesque but also extremely charming with its comfortable homely vibe – especially in our favourite, Monterosso.