We established our home away from home in Cinque Terre at the town of Monterosso al Mare, in fact using the word “home” never seemed more appropriate since the hostess at our B&B made us feel very welcomed the second she opened the door of our room. We chose Monterosso because it is the largest town, with the easiest access from the airport and with more accommodation options. Although we chose it purely for practical options we fell in love so deeply with it! Monterosso became our favorite despite it may not seem as picturesque as the rest of them.
We arrived from the Pisa’s airport to Monterosso by train and all the stress I have when taking a plane (a little/much plane phobic here) disappeared with the excitement of the Intercity train that looked in my eyes exactly as a train that would appear in a Wes Anderson movie (Darjeeling limited); even more with the addition of the Milano World Expo assistants from Indonesia wearing uniforms who were riding along with us.
Once you are outside Monterosso’s train station the first sight you have is the beach and the sea, and all the people walking by with bathing clothes, it was kind of funny and made us realize: yes, we are in a coastal town with people almost jumping from the train directly to the beach. One thing that caught my attention was the blue of the sea, you could almost watch the fishes swimming underneath, the colorful beach umbrellas and the garlands along the seaside walk.
Monterosso is divided into two areas, one is the beach (the marina I think the Italians call it) and the other is the old town, both physically separated by a tunnel. The old town is what you would imagine an Italian town should look like, pastel worn down houses, stone arches and walls, black & white stripes painted churches (like out of a dream!), teeny-tiny doors making you feel part of Alice in Wonderland and busy ristorantes.
While on the first day we visited the old town we knew that walking down the shore to the town was a done date for the next day. When we arrived from Vernazza and Corniglia (we’ll share our hiking in the next Cinque Terre post, stay tuned! it is worthy If I may say) we hasten to the B&B for a shower and an outfit change, we then climbed down (our B&B was on top of a mountain, 161 steps up to be precise) and walked from one side of the beach to the beginning of the connecting tunnel to have a pizza for dinner at the old town. The sea walk was super fun, no matter how many little rocks were stuck into my jelly shoes I had a smile on my face all the time, the water was so clear and chilly but not too cold. It was such a memorable experience that once back in Barcelona during my dentist appointment I closed my eyes and used the memento to fly away again to our sea walk, very far away from the dental instruments.
What do you think about Monterosso? Hope you enjoyed it, we took loads (loaaads) of pictures so we are going to share the rest of the town in a second part, we can’t resist it!