That's right, friends - today I opted to try out a liquid diet. First I had a nice breakfast of foccacia con pesto - both of which are native to the Ligurian region (where the cinque terre is located). From that point on, I dined solely on coffee, wine, and gelato (and water, but pssh, who counts that?). I know you are thinking "What fortitude! How did she do it?" It was hard, let me tell you, but every time my stomach started to growl I would shut it up with one of those. I finally broke my fast at Trattoria locanda il porticciolo: grilled swordfish, veggies, and prosecco. Mmmm.
In other news, the main hiking trail (the blue trail) is closed due to mud/rock slides. I was incredibly bummed because half the reason I came to the cinque terre was for the hiking. Initially I settled on train-hopping from village to village; however, on the road to Corniglia I saw a sign for the upper trail (red and white, less travelled, rougher terrain). What is it that Yogi Berra said? "When you come to a fork in the road, take it" or some variation of that? Well, Yogi, I took your advice and started an hour and a half detour. It was AWESOME hiking! Such amazing views of all the villages I couldn't have gotten from the coastal trail and hills that make the one I complained about last night seem paltry.
I managed to get to all the villages today, but spent the majority of the afternoon at Monterosso al Mare. While it didn't have the most character of the villages (I'd give that to any of the three middle towns), it is the biggest and has the most area to explore. I found another red and white trail to Levanto and hiked that for a few km right after a large glass of sciacchetrà (shh-kay-tra), the local sweet wine. While one part of my brain really wanted to go the whole 10 km to Levanto, the wine-y party of my brain said "Dude, that wine was really good. Why hike up more hills when you could hike downhill and drink more wine?" Needless to say, that part of my brain won out.
Tomorrow I have my last morning in the cinque terre, then it's back to Rome! This time tomorrow, I should be
Here's a final picture from today- sweaty me when I decided to get more wine! More to come on facebook!