Checking into our hostel in Monterosso was very difficult. The lady kept chatting Italian with us giving us info on the best places to go where.
We didn’t care. We just wanted to get on the beach. The weather was beautiful and the water looked inviting. There was no sand which was weird, but the pebbles were easy enough to walk on, Moretti beer in hand.
The Cinque Terre is collection of five small towns scattered along the coastline, all within walking distance of each other. Unfortunately for us, the hike that connects them along the beach was closed due to a landslide. This left us with a lot of extra and unnecessary time in Monterosso prior to the tourist season. We started to recognise the locals and formed nick-names for most of them, and were on first name basis with others.
Small town means small nightlife
As it was still prior to the busy season, the town was pretty quite. The nightlife was minimal, but we still found ourselves with drinks in hand every day. One night Emily and I ended up in conversation with an American couple on their honeymoon.
Only taking coins out with us, we strategically were able to score drinks out of the couple as they told us (unconvincingly) how happy and successful they are back in the states. The joke was definitely on them as we pretended to listen eagerly while drinking off their pocket. That’s rule number one from the Backpacker’s Guide to Being Cheap.
After two nights we moved on to Riomaggiore, where Emily celebrated her 21st birthday. Again, the nightlife was not exactly what we expected but we still had a great time. With friends we made from the hostel (which resembled an orphanage or a scene out of Madeline) we frequented the one bar in town each night until it closed, or the bartender hooked up.
The day after her birthday, Emily nursed her hangover on the train all the way to Florence. A reminder that she is not as young as she used to be.
The Cinque Terre was a great beach experience for us and we definitely left more bronzed than when we arrived. It was just a shame that the hikes were closed while we were there.
In the next edition: Follow Damien to Pisa.