In my opinion, the best way to see a city or area is to run or hike through it. While in Italy and over indulging in food, I took a break from gelato, pizza, wine and pasta and took a train from Milan to the Cinque Terre to hike for the day. No words or photograph can describe the beauty of the Italian coastline. Two thing I can say…It’s a hard workout, and it’s worth every moment. I can describe it as something like Big Sur in California but hike-able and totally charming.
Most people take a few days to hike the steep 8K through 5 coastal towns; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. I only had one day and powered through it and would suggest at least two days. Each town offers a beauty unlike no other. Pack a bathing suit as 3 of the towns are on the coast and offer great and refreshing swimming along with fresh fruit and restaurants. I did’t eat any pasta, gelato, or fried fish but you can find it there.
If you are planning a trip to Italy take a day or two to check out the area. You won’t regret it. Make sure you have a map and communicate with the people working on the trail as there are often closures and you’ll need to detour. There are two trails, the Blue (easier) and the Red (more challenging). I chose to hike the Red (obviously)
Check out a New York Times article on the area.
Go! Travel! Work it out!