In our travel destination series we explore the best destination in the world to chill out without worries in an Ambient Lounge bean bag. Today we look at the Cinque Terra - Italy.
There is something magical about Italy. One of the developed nations in the world and a certified fashion powerhouse, it has successfully preserved its age-old architecture and many customs and traditions. Moreover, as you move past the more popular destinations like Milan and Venice, you will encounter even more charming villages and people.
The French Riviera has always been a favorite hideaway of those who like to get more of their Italian experience. It is posh, it is rich, and it is accessible. But it can also get very crowded.
If you are looking for an equally awesome alternative and a more satisfying Italian experience, go to Cinque Terra. It's a gem.
Cinque Terra, or Five Lands, is a declared national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. As its name suggests, it is composed of 5 villages with homes built on the rugged hills. Almost no private vehicles are allowed, though the five places are interconnected with trains with regular schedules. Most, though, prefer to walk on the many hiking and walking trails.
Our Ambient Lounge team walked the 5 villages recently on a 'bean bag conference' and it was stunning. Here are the 'lands' we strolled through ...
The village of Manarola is located around south of the park. There are many paths you can follow to get here such as a walking tour from Corniglia or through Via dell Amore. Along the way you will see the captivating vast vineyards. If you are lucky, you may even find some of them harvesting the grapes, and some may offer you a free taste. Via dell Amore, on the other hand, has many nooks where you can rest with your beanbag and simply be amazed by the natural formations and feel the fresh breeze. For food, go to Trattoria Dal Billy, which serves an incredible squid ink pasta and a peek into the rest of the national park. Ask politely and you can even take the beanbag with you ;)
This is the southernmost village in Cinque Terra, but make no mistake, as it still offers you plenty. There is a bar called Il Girdiano, hosted by very friendly people, and serves fresh Italian dishes. You can stay in Villa Argentina perched on a hill but only a few minutes’ walk to the train station. To really get your money’s worth, book a room with a balcony and a vista of the Lingurian Sea. In the evening hear the peals coming from the nearby bell tower. Avid birdwatchers can proceed to La Batteria Racchia, a former naval installation.
This beach is isolated for a reason. One, there is no immediate path going down. You either have to walk through the Vernazza-Corniglia way, which is steep, or pass through a hardly lit tunnel near the train station. Before you can go in, call the attention of the custodian, who will charge you a cheap price for your entry.
Regardless, the mere fact it is isolated means the beach is hassle free and less obstructed. You can sit back on your beanbag on the pebbly sand and enjoy. Note, however, that because it is elusive, it is a popular destination for nudists ;)