A quick Google image search of Cinque Terre, also known as the Italian Riviera, will make you want to get up and go immediately. I heard from friends that going hiking in Cinque Terre was a must so it was at the top of my list of things to do once I got to Florence last August. I found a guided bus tour on viator.com through Walkabout Florence that took us from Florence to Cinque Terre for the day. The tour included a hike, a boat ride, and lunch. If you can, request Martina! She was awesome. Each of the five towns (Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Riomaggiore, and Monterosso al Mare) are absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. It was beyond what I imagined it to be and exceeded my expectations. With the exception of Corniglia, each of the towns are right on the Mediterranean and are full of restaurants and cute shops. We started in Manarola, took the train to Corniglia, and hiked from there to Vernazza. The hike from Corniglia to Vernazza definitely wasn't easy. Our tour guide mentioned that it was one of the more strenuous hikes but the view along the trail, and especially once you get to Vernazza, is absolutely worth it. However, the trains are extremely convenient if you don't want to hike through each of the towns or the weather isn't that great. You can easily visit each town in one day however, if I could've stayed one more day, I definitely would have. Out of the five towns, Riomaggiore was my favorite. Don't forget to eat tons of focaccia and gelato!
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