Vernazza to Monterosso Hike, Italy

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I have had a very fulfilling 2015 with many travels opportunity solo or with friends. I have managed to ticked off my to do bucket list of travelling solo in Japan and South Korea. Yet, I can never have enough of group travel, be it being exploring in the UK or going away with my travel buddy to Cinque Terre.

This is one of the two hikes that I have hiked in Cinque Terre region. The first one that we decided to do was the route from Vernazza to Monterosso route. We quickly went hiking as soon as have dropped our baggage and got myself ready. Grabbed some water on the way to the start of the route, following our host’s advice we opt to start from the end of the town centre, walking up staircases between the green doors and off we go….!

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There wasn’t any signs once we have reached the top of the staircase, using our instinct, we opt to go for left hand side.. and luckily, our instinct was correct, we are at the back of these residential area and walking up the unpaved path towards the start of the hike…

be aware that when you want to go hiking, you will need to buy Cinque Terre hiking pass. There’s option for 1 to 5 days pass to suit your needs. You can either get this pass at the train station or from the start of the route where there will be someone checking if your pass is valid.

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The weather was absolutely amazing on my arrival day!

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I guess, you rather have the photo under expose than over exposed? which one is best?

After you have walked passed the forever long alike staircase, you will reach to a path with wooden fence. As a dare devil person (aka “don’t know how dangerous things are” person) I jumped off the fence and opt to have a photo taken closer to overseeing Vernazza town.

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Hey, there are  love locks everywhere! Can I find someone that’s wiling to hike around the world with me?

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Being able to see it real life than images on the google search, its pretty amazing!

It once again, make me realised how amazing this mother nature is!

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I didn’t find this hike difficult to hike  at all, even for an irregular hiker like myself. And what I really suggest hiker to do if you don’t hike often, its take it slow and breathe deep as you can. No point rushing the hike but run out of breathe where you will end up lightheaded.

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Have to share this scene in horizontal view. Amazing colour building forms this amazing town!

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And then we have reached another photo spot… but another devil in me told me to walk to the edge and have a photo. er…. I didn’t know I was so closed to the edge until I have had my photo taken. That was close…. scarier than the previous one!

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Every time when you reach to such photogenic scene, all the pains you have on this hike are totally worth it.

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We walk kind of mid way and there were some area to have a pit stop, where you begin to see some landscape of Monterosso.

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Not to mention that the hikes in Italy are differentiated by colour coding on the walk of the path. This hike are represented by red and white signs, like the photo above.

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As we reach to this area, we are going more down hill hike and guessing we are almost to the end of the time or maybe just a quarter of distance left until the end of the hike.

Yet, we have reached to an area that doesn’t look like is a path with no protective fence, yet again I won’t say its dangerous but rather be more careful when walking across it.

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And we have reach to downward staircases, met an American couple that told us to walk past them. However, we still decide to take it slowly… and walk down at a similar pace to them, slow!

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The hike near the end seem a bit dark and the path seems rough, but yet you wouldn’t feel unsafe hiking down hill.

Likewise, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The end of the hike will lead you overlooking into the Monterosso beach; by then you can the walk down the stair case and jump into the beach. Be aware that this is not the main Monterosso outside the main station, this beach is further away to the main Monterosso beach.

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Look at how pretty Monterosoo town is! This is it, the hike is complete. What an amazing journey that I have had over the last 1.5 to 2 hours. We didn’t keep track of time while hiking but I know we have spent quite sometime on the hike.. what’s the rush? Enjoy every single moment on the trail while you can right? You never know when you will return to this piece of mother nature in the future.

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Hike Information
Vernazza to Monterosso
Duration is approximately 1 hour 30 mins
Trail mark: red and white stripe
Start of the trail: From end of the Vernazza town next to a pizza shop, between the two green doors. Walk up, once you have reach to the end, turn left and follow on the path.

top five gelatorias of Cinque Terre and Pisa

There are times that you would feel really guilty regarding what you’ve eaten into your belly! We all to some extent tends to be really cautious of what we eat during our daily meals, however, when we are away from home and on holiday, your cautious mind relaxes and think this is he time to indulge in foods that you cannot get back home..

…and this is the same with Italy. What they are famous for?? GELATO!!!

My 5 lists of gelato places in Cinque Terre and Pisa region. Its always so good to be back to Italy and explore different area.

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La Bottega del Gelato, Pisa
We had a very satisfied meal on our arrival night and googled the nearest gelato place that are still opened and found this little gem across the bridge. It’s roughly about 10 mins walk from Pisa Centrale Station and it is super easy to get to, just walk down through the main road of all the shops, cross the bridge and you will see it by the little square full of locals/tourists.
I’ve got mine in a waffle cone with hazelnut and pistachio flavour gelato for 2.50E and from then onwards, I was shocked at the price that I have to pay in London!! The gelato texture in La Bottega was on the soft side but the flavour was awesome!!

Love Italy once again OVER a gelato!

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Gelatoria Vernazza, Vernazza
Next up, its the famous Gelatoria Vernazza, the name says it all. Its located in Vernazza the town that I called home for the 4 days while I was there. Pretty amazingly it was only diagonally opposite my studio flat, I had to control myself every on my way back to the flat. It was super tempting….. honestly!
Once again, I had the same flavours as the last location, hazelnut and pistachio flavour, oh la la.. I thought the previous one was good. This one is even better! Not only the gelato was more dense in terms of texture so were their flavours too!

The only downside of this place is, they use an icecream scoop on me? whyyyyyy not the traditional gelato scoop?

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Gelatoria Il Porticciolo, Vernazza
After getting back into Vernazza from the afternoon hike, I said to myself I need to this gelatoria by the dock, else I would not have enough time to fit them all in. I am glad I choose to try it on the spot, because the following few days this gelatoria closes early or I wasn’t in town early enough before their shop closes. Definitely a great gelatoria, I tried Pistachio and Mango sorbet, another classic combo of mine! I can tell you not only the pistachio flavour taste so great, real smooth and not artificial taste. The mango sorbet was really greatly made, love the texture..! Definitely on my recommendation list for you.

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Gelatoria Alberto, Cognilia
This was already on our list even before we depart for our trip, their infamous signature Nutella gelato was waiting to be tried… We instantly noticed his gelato shop as we walk into the centre, you cannot miss it, at the entrance to the center of the town. We decided to try the gelato after our lunch instead… and I have to say do not missed this place, I went for nutella and coconut flavour, I wanted something lighter to balance the richest of nutella, I was right! Their nutella gelato was so rich in flavour and really smooth in texture that it was good to pair it with something light.. Definitely worth giving a try!

Forget about the calories you are taking, you’re on holiday!

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Bar Centrale, Riomaggioire
I really was trying to hold myself back from eating another one but as we wander around Riomaggioire, we got a little bored after our lunch by the pier, thinking shall we go back to vernazza or wander around a little more? In the end, we went to get ourselves a gelato before chilling by the benches and start people watching activities (Saw two cool oriental bikers in their motorbike!). Can’t fault much but yet I find their gelato a little lack of flavour and generally on the bland side. Texture wise was pretty smooth but melts relatively fast.

Think I have absolutely nailed it with my accommodation location!  I do think my top two choices are within Vernazza, so make sure they are on your list to visit!