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Cinque Terre and the Walk of Love

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We left Rome in the late afternoon, on the 19 July. Everything seems to take a lot longer than expected here in Italy, or maybe this is just what happens when you have a baby. In any case, everything takes forever.

We left for what will be our longest drive while in Italy. We made three stops and hit some unusually wet weather. We were heading north towards Cinque Terre, to a hilltop location up winding and dark mountains. Upon entering the tiny village of Dosso around 10:30 pm, we parked outside and took our bags down a paved, but very steep path towards our B&B, L’Antico Borgo. For this time of night, the B&B was buzzing. A group of 5 English women travelling together sat in the living room planning out their next day’s adventure. An Italian couple had just returned from their day out and there were a few people sippng wine on the terrace. You could hear something going on in the kitchen and the entire place had the most amazing smell of cakes baking for tomorrow’s breakfast. The warm and exuberant signora took us up to our room, which was spacious and they had made up a cute little bed for Zavian. We quickly settled in for the night.

The next morning was bright and sunny as we headed downstairs for breakfast. We took a table on the terrace and were treated to a fantastic view. The previous night’s arrival in the late evening had not revealed how high we were in the mountains and the perfect view of the town of Levanto below us. The B&B was adorable, but by far, it was the staff that made the stay superb. We enjoyed cappuccinos and the most delicious breakfast, far better than you can normally expect in Italy! There was an assortment of homemade cakes, cereals, cheeses, salamis, fruits, freshly squeezed juices, homemade yogurt, breads and more. This place was tucked away in the mountains, a complete gem! Here are a couple pics of L’Antico Borgo.

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Breakfast on the terrace every morning
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View from the terrace
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The signora helped plan our visit of the area. Cinque Terre is a UNESCO National Park site and protected marina of 5 small fishing villages, each with their own charm and tiny street and alleyways to explore. You can take a train to visit the towns (only about a 5 minute journey to each), walk or bike between them. From afar, each of the villages have a characteristic pastel coloring and are peppered along the coastline. You can visit a few in a day, so on our first full day, we took the train to Riomaggiore, walked from there along the Via dell’Amore to Manorola, and then took the train to Corniglia.

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The Via dell’Amore is a great walk, paved well, and hugs steep cliffs with gorgeous views of the sea and some of the other villages far ahead. Along the walk, you see lots of love-related signs, art, sculpture and graffiti. You also see along the walk thousands of padlocks affixed to fences, doorways, anything. The pathway's legend holds that it was a meeting place for lovers from the two towns, and is now a favorite site for tourists to place their locks and throw the keys into the sea.

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We ended the day at a little local restaurant, Zita, in the neighboring village of Lavaggiorosso. Zita was a family-run place, and the beauty of eating there is that they have no menus. You choose from the various pastas, meats and vegetables they have that day and drink the only wine they serve. You eat very well, pay very little, and meet lovely locals. We met a nice Italian couple about our age who gave us some tips about Lake Garda, our next stop in Italy, a nice family with their cute 9 month old boy, Gabrielle, and the restaurant owner’s father, who told us about his travels all over the world while in the Italian navy. We also met Frank and Ninita, a couple from Germany who were also visiting the area. It turns out Frank and Ninita were staying at L'Antico Borgo, too, but we only learned that upon returning home after dinner, and they gave us some great suggestions for our upcoming trip in Lake Garda.

Posted by jknazef 16:23 Archived in Italy Tagged terre cinque amore

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Looks absolutely amazing - glad your having a fab time guys - Zavian is getting really big! Take care miss you guys! Sulin, Marc, Mum and Zenou xxx

by Sulin Ratcliffe

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