And We Manarola-long to Cinque Terre!

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Doctor in the House, Fit for Foodies, How Did You Do That?, How's the weather?, Uncategorized | 0 comments


What a great morning to wake up in Roma!



It’s good to be back in Rome, even if it’s for a little bit. Craving for some good cheap local food this time, Paul, Mihaela and I headed to the food court within the Termini train station for brunch.



Then picking up our bags back at the lodging and checking out, we returned back to Termini for a 1:57pm train to La Spezia Centrale.



We arrived at La Spezia about 4 hours later and slightly delayed. Luckily for us, the 5:55pm train from La Speiza to Manarola was similarly delayed as well, allowing us to run and board it right in time before it departed.

3 stops later through multiple tunnels, we arrived at the heart of Cinque Terre at 6:05pm and where a long pedestrian tunnel from the train station to the town greeted us. During World War 2, the residents would spend the nights here for protection.



Just in time for golden hour.



Finding our Airbnb among the hills and windy streets of Manarola was like playing an Escape Room, but after a cute video sent to us by our host on WhatsApp, we quickly settled in and headed back out for a 4 minute walk for the classic iconic viewpoint that Cinque Terre has been famous for.



With the well-positioned bar Nessun Dorma closing early, we instead chose to have dinner at highly rated Trattoria de Billy. Specials today was a Lobster Tagliatelle and Truffle Tagliatelle pasta.



During our dinner it began to thunder and pour heavily with intense lightning storms in the distance. If I weren’t feeling so cold at this point and slightly feverish I would’ve thoroughly enjoyed the surreal nature of our experience: Cinque Terre at night, dining by the coast, lightning storms, great food, great company, unlimited hot tea….so we made the best of the wind chill with the conversations while also watching a woman at the table next to us pass out drunk a few times.

We stayed at the Trattoria until closing, but it was still pouring to the point of near flooding. So we made a run for it down the long steps back to our Airbnb and cozy’ed up with a very chill night enjoying listening to music and the raindrops pitter patter outside our windows. Although the lightning storm had taken out some of the power in our lodgings (thankfully our lights remained on), it finally settled down by 11pm and our host contacted us at 11:30pm to reset the breakers to bring the power back. Nevertheless, we were in bed by midnight.

We woke up the next morning at 7am and finally enjoyed doing nothing for once; no bus to catch, no train to catch, no place to see…that was nice. But by 1pm we were getting hungry. But after waiting too long to get inside Nessun Dorma on a second attempt, we instead had a great carb-heavy lunch at Bar Enrica:



We then wandered around town, climbing up the hills of Manarola:



There’s a church by the center before you hit the hiking trails:



Then after a good walk around, we made a third and last attempt to dine at Nessun Dorma; third time’s the charm!



Be wary of the portions here. The 3 of us could barely finish this:



After dinner we walked Mihaela back to the 6pm train to Florence for her morning flight home. Paul and I stayed behind, ordering gelato back at Casa Enrica and then headed back to our lodgings, turning in at 10pm. We would then wake up at 5am for a 6:32am train from Manarola to La Spezia, before boarding a one hour train to Pisa Centrale so I could catch my own flight back home via Brussels.

But before my flight and within an hour’s window, we tried to take a quick visit to the Tower of Pisa despite a morning full of rain. But even with storing our bags at left luggage at the train station, taking a quick train stop back and forth and looking for a way to reach the tower without getting soaked (and too proud to buy umbrellas), we figured it wasn’t worth missing my flight to Brussels. So we returned to Pisa Centrale station where I said goodbye to Paul — who’s crashing at my place anyway back in NYC in 2 days — and boarded my long voyage home where I saw the Tower of Pisa anyway from my airport window on takeoff. It always works out!

The return home: A whole United Polaris row to myself!




- At time of posting in Manarola, it was 22 °C - Humidity: 51% | Wind Speed: 13km/hr | Cloud Cover: stormy, rainy, wet, and gray


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