Cinque Terre: Beach Day

Our plan was to sleep in and lazily make our way to the beach later that morning, but our windows were open so we woke up early to the sound of seagulls and the smell of sea salt air. Sunlight was pouring into our room and it was perfect. πŸ™‚Β We decided to go ahead and head toward the beach and hopped on the very first train heading there that morning. I wish I could describe just how packed it was. It reminded me of when we would ride public transportation in China (except that it wasn’t as stinky and there was air conditioning, haha). We were literally completely pressed up against total strangers. Like every bit of my body was pressed up against someone else on every side. It was only a ten minute ride so it was no biggie. We laughed when we saw a smear on the window where someone had been completely pressed all the way up against it and the outline of their face was still there.

monterosso (10)But it was so worth it once we arrived!

monterosso (12)Welcome to Monterosso al Mare, the fifth of the five towns. πŸ™‚ From our travel journal:Β “One thing we loved about the beach in Italy was how the people there seemed very unconcerned with the body image issues soΒ prevalentΒ in the States. Maybe we don’t know the culture well enough to see their issues, but the way people carried themselves really spoke of confidence. People of all ages and sizes wore bikinis and speedos as if they had nothing to hide or be ashamed of which we thought was great! I saw a total of three one piece swimsuits the whole time we were there. Coming from a society that expects only girls with great bodies to wear bikinis made it a refreshing change. Our favorite was the couple who appeared to be in their 60’s wearing a matching yellow bikini and yellow speedo. It really made us consider the culture our children will be born in and how we want to address issues like this and teach our children that they have nothing to be ashamed of while still teaching principles of appropriate dress for the occasion.Β 

monterosso (8)Us in Monterosso!

Il MassimoWe stopped at Il Massimo della Focaccia for a quick breakfast to go. It was delicious! All the focaccia bread we had in Italy was great, but the Cinque Terre really outdid themselves on it! SO good!

monterosso (7)We had heard that the free beaches are crazy crowded (like strangers sharing your same towel crowded) and when we scoped it out, that description seemed fairly accurate. So we decided to shell out the 20 euros for our own private bit of beach. An umbrella and two reclining chairs. Money well spent for our day on the beach. It gave us an established place to leave our stuff, a shady spot to eat our breakfast (see focaccia bread in picture above), and the perfect napping spot (which we totally did). Ah, it was wonderful.

nuovo bar edenMidway through the day we walked over to Nuovo Bar Eden which overlooks the Sea. We weren’t super hungry so we just got a light lunch of caprese and strawberries to share. It was while we were here that an elderly lady walked up to our table and asked in her New York accent if we were Americans. She had been listening to us talk and thought for sure we were. She was waiting on her family to finish up at the beach and didn’t want to sit alone. So of course we invited her to sit with us and we learned all about her family and her life. It was great! She told us that the secret to a long marriage (she’s been married 50+ years) was talking to each other. πŸ™‚ And then we got to meet her son when he came to pick her up and through talking to him found out that they too had flown AirBerlin from NYC to Germany to Italy and AirBerlin had also lost their luggage along with 20 other passengers from their flight. Yikes! Note to self: never fly AirBerlin again.

monterosso (1)Us on the beach! From our travel journal, my thoughts on the beach:Β “The beach was awesome! We loved having the umbrella to protect us from the heat. The weather feels perfect in the shade here! So much less humidity than Memphis summers. And the Mediterranean Sea was glistening and clear. We could see right to the bottom. The water was SO cold! It took our breath away and then it took a good bit to adjust to the cold. But oh, it was so beautiful! We spent the whole day on the beach, even napping a good portion of the morning just listening to the waves crashing on the shore and feeling the gentle breeze. It was perfect.”Β 

cruisin' (2)We decided to take a boat back to Riomaggiore so we could see all the towns from the sea. You guys, it was all just so beautiful. Cruisin’ along the Mediterranean Sea just taking in the beauty… so great. πŸ™‚

cruisin' (monterosso)Goodbye Monterosso! You were gorgeous!

cruisin'Yup, that’s more focaccia bread that I’m snacking on. SO good! And look at my handsome husband. I just love him. πŸ™‚

riomaggiore (5)So I had a blister bandage on my left foot that I didn’t take off before our beach day. When we got back to our room and I took it off and showered… this was the tan line I had left. Cracked me up! Walking 8-10 miles a day meant that our feet got treated pretty roughly and we went through a LOT of bandaids and blister covers. But we honestly didn’t even notice them most of the time because we were so busy enjoying the fact that we were in ITALY!

riomaggiore (7)All cleaned up and ready for dinner! Ps. Check out that wild hair… I missed my straightner, haha!

riomaggiore (8)The two of us on our balcony overlooking the Sea. Um, yeah, have I mentioned how much we loved the Cinque Terre? ‘Cause we did!

riomaggiore (10)And la di da, we are walking along to dinner and decide that naturally we need another photo together. πŸ˜‰ We didn’t have a lot of opportunities to get dressed up on this trip because we decided to focus mostly on sight seeing so we were pretty excited to have a night to dress up a bit. πŸ™‚

riomaggiore (9)The sun began to set on our way to dinner. By the by, an early dinner in Italy begins around 7pm. Most people eat around 8 or 9pm. Occasionally on this trip we would eat around 7, but mostly we ate late dinners as well. We liked the atmosphere and the way that we got to watch the sunset while we ate. πŸ™‚

la lanternaDinner was at La Lanterna. Massimo is the cook and he has a passion for making bread. Normally I’m the bread lover, but Christopher couldn’t get enough of this! I had the seafood pasta which was absolutely wonderfully delicious and Christopher had the seafood pasta with tomato which he enjoyed.

riomaggiore (21)Sunset in Riomaggiore

bar centraleAfter dinner we walked around exploring and came across Bar Centrale where Christopher stopped in for some gelato. Β He’d half eaten the top of it by the time I got a picture, haha! The chocolate (which you really can’t see in this picture) was his all time favorite chocolate gelato of the trip. He said there was a creaminess about it that just couldn’t be beat! I loved those moments when our exploration led to a great find! πŸ™‚

After this we went back to our room and before going to bed bed we walked out onto the balcony. It was such a serene scene. Twinkling stars, the bright moon, the glistening midnight blue of the water lapping up on the harbor. We ended up grabbing a blanket from our room and wrapping up in it together (it was chilly at night!) and snuggling on our balcony for a long time just taking in the beauty around us. I had so many favorite moments of the trip and that sweet night on the balcony was definitely one of them. πŸ™‚
Love Rach


34 responses to “Cinque Terre: Beach Day

  1. What a perfect day!!! The beach, the food, the romantic dinner…. I am LOVING the Cinque Terre and I wasn’t even there!

  2. LOVE your dress. and that view and that food= omg.

  3. Sounds like my kind of day! I love these updates (I have said this a million times) but it will be so great to look back and remember all the great memories and little moments together! πŸ™‚ love it!

  4. Oh my gosh, the sites, the food, it all looks so wonderful. You two are a beautiful couple.

  5. Girrrrlll I think your hair looks gorgeous all wavy like that!! What a beach oh my goodness. I would have probably died on the ride over though, I get SOOOOO anxious with minimal air flow and NO room. NO NO! HAH.

    • Aww you are such a good friend, haha! And yes, the beach was just gorgeous! And girl, no worries about the train! You could’ve just hopped on a later one or even on a BOAT with the wind flowing past you… oh, it was so lovely. I miss it, haha!

  6. oh my goodness, these pictures are beyond breathtaking. And that dress is darling. You guys are too stinking cute. Great post, love. If you get a moment, I have two new looks I’d love to hear your thoughts on. πŸ™‚ xo

  7. I’m loving your hair AND the adorable outfit! πŸ™‚ (GORGEOUS!!!). AND I cannot get over how beautiful that beach looks!

  8. Oh my gosh! That beach is gorgeous! It looked like such a romantic day! I have to agree with everyone else. Love your hair like that! πŸ™‚

  9. just got caught up on your posts–last time i visited, your vow renewals weren’t posted yet–so it was lovely to continue reading your journey!! i scrolled down and then worked my way back up. and now i’m hungry from looking at all the food! πŸ˜‰

    • Aww, glad you got to catch up on the Italy posts. It’s been fun to relive it for sure. πŸ™‚ And I know what you mean – it’s easy to get hungry reading these posts, haha! I have a bolognese recreation simmering on the stove right now. I’m hoping it turns out great! πŸ˜‰

  10. Looks amazing! I like those relaxed days – it’s hard on vacation to remind yourself to take them and not HAVE to see everything at once! I would love to go someplace sunny…I always seem to end up in Europe in the dead of winter. :/

    • Oh yes, definitely! We were glad that we did the Cinque Terre last so we felt like we could relax and just enjoy our time there without worrying about site seeing since we’d done most of it already. πŸ™‚ And yes, you should definitely go back when it’s sunny! It’s so gorgeous!

  11. Oh this makes me miss Italy SO much! Such amazing photos, and you look gorgeous in that dress Rach πŸ™‚

    The Other Side of Gray

  12. THAT BEACH!!! It looks just incredible. And the culture of other places is so interesting. You don’t even think about body issues in North America; they’re just (sadly) so intrinsic to our society. Definitely worth thinking about how to address it with future kiddo’s!

    • Yes, exactly! I had the same thoughts. It makes me sad how much these body issues are a part of our society. We don’t watch just a ton of TV, but a couple of weeks ago Christopher and I were watching something on TV and after the series of commercials he looked at me and said “Wow I’m glad we don’t watch TV much. I would feel awful about myself if I saw these messages every day.” And it’s true, every commercial tells us what we’re missing out on and so much of it has to do with our bodies (food we should be eating, how to lose weight, how to grow hair, how to improve your sex life, how to have a six pack, etc etc etc). It’s sad, but I honestly didn’t even notice it until he pointed it out to me. A lot of things to consider when we think about raising our kids.

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  14. Wow, what views!!! I’m glad you got a photo of yourselves all dressed up.

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