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Hidden Gems of Cinque Terre

sunny 28 °C

On our last full day in Cinque Terre, we visited the final two small towns, Monterosso and Vernazza. Along the sea, we watched teenage Italian boys jump off a paved platform into the sea and get pushed up by the waves back onto the platform and land on their feet. Zavian also learned a new trick, how to hide in his stroller. Luckily, we found him. :) He also filled in temporarily for a dwarf! Lots of people seem to have little ceramic dwarfs from Snow White in their gardens or doorsteps. Zavian fit right in.

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We had a relaxed evening and per the recommendation of our new friends from the inn, Frank and Ninita, we went to another teensy tiny hillside town for dinner (as I write this I can't recall, its name, but will find it!). Frank and Ninita have spent a lot of time in Italy, as they can drive from Frankfurt where they live. Frank is an ears, nose and throat surgeon and Ninita used to work for NATO. Frank loves to motorcycle on holiday, so they have a special car that allows them to store the motorcycle inside and they can drive around, and then use the bike whenever they want. Pretty cool! Dinner, was nice, although we weren’t exactly sure where it was once we parked the car. We saw a lady walking and asked her where the restaurant was. She said there was only one place trattoria in the wee village, and pointed us in the right direction. To our surprise, Ninita and Frank were there, and we enjoyed chatting with them during our meal. They were both interested to hear how people from so far away were able to find these obscure, tiny places like L’Antico Borgo and Zita restaurant from the previous night. They had only found them in a special German book that is not translated into other languages. Naim borrowed Frank’s book one night, but it was in German (doh), so we couldn’t read it! We did all our holiday research on the internet, but we had to call a lot of places from the US to find our availability and information. I am sure both Naim’s family and mine will agree we spent a lot of time researching, bargaining and creating a humungous itinerary with every detail of our trip. Naim’s mum and sister Sulin also helped us do some research, and I still think Sulin should consider a career as a travel agent. She would be amazing!

For anyone planning a trip to Cinque Terre, we would highly recommend staying outside of the 5 tiny villages. They are small very cute, but somewhat isolated as walks between, if possible, can be 1.5 to 2 hours in length. Otherwise you must take a short train ride in between, and trains do not run all night. The town of Levanto, about 10 mins down the hill from where we stayed, is considered the gateway to Cinque Terre, and we were originally looking for accommodation there. It was so busy, we couldn’t find anything, so we had no choice but to look slightly further away. It was certainly the best choice (if you have a car). You cannot beat the amazing views, the feeling of being tucked away in a secret spot that other people don’t know about, but still close to Cinque Terre. Aside from our German friends, there were never any tourists where we ate and prices were cheaper. And we certainly cannot say enough about our fabulous stay at L’Antico Borgo.

Posted by jknazef 10:41 Archived in Italy Tagged terre cinque

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Love the pics from Cinque Terre, looks absolutely stunning. Zavian is ridiculously cute. Am loving the blog :)

by Anu Perera

Hi guys - cinque terre looks lovely - so pleased your having a great time - can't wait to hear about your travels to Thailand next. Miss you guys terrible - and thanks for the kind words -I have very much enjoyed planning our Marrakesh visit, and i even have made an on-line itinerary and you have inspired me to do a blog too - what a great memento of family holidays! I have also secured a placement at a local surestart centre in chorley and have been given my first paying client with them - hope this is the start of things to come - I am praying and hoping... Love you lots speak soon xxxxxx Oh an me and mum are doing a car bootie on Sunday - make some money for our holiday spends! xxxx

by Sulin Ratcliffe

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