Pastel colours and drying laundry line the rows of houses along coastline of Riomaggiore

Cinque Terre and Riomaggiore: The Italian coast shines in summer

Italy's a special place, but you already know this. Enjoy the food, look at the women, and don't complain about anything.

Italy’s a special place, but you already know this.

It’s practically its own continent, which you’ll learn if you travel anywhere else. There are Europeans – and they even include the English – and then there are Italians. The men wear underwear instead of board shorts and their’s as slicked as a cow’s tongue.

The woman are beautiful by osmosis. Their people know how to look like they’ll be in a photograph 50 years from now – even the ones who aren’t really from there.

It’s hard to tell which women are beautiful Italians and which women are beautiful because they’re Italian. There’s that feeling here – like everything changes colour and everything smells a little different – and the woman aren’t immune. When they arrive – from Spain, from Canada, from Bulgaria, it doesn’t matter – they become Italians. Their hair falls a little, their smile shapes a little, and their eyes are tired and cute and made for morning.

There’s something ‘tuff about an Italian chick, too. (Yes, I said chick. This is the Internet. I can pretend it’s still the 90’s.) That ability to wear a sundress with perfectly brown, bouncy hair and that thin smile one day. The ability to forgo it and get that dress dirty the next.


Vernazza, in Cinque Terre.

Vernazza, in Cinque Terre.

Kolby Solinsky in Cinque Terre

Me, rock bathing.

The harbo(u)r in Riomaggiore.

The harbo(u)r in Riomaggiore.

Yellow umbrellas line Monterosso al Mare, Italy.

Yellow umbrellas line Monterosso al Mare, Italy.


Cinque Terre is Italy’s Mos Eisley. (20 points if you understood that without clicking the link.)

I’d expect to find a refugee or two, a traveling band, an aging couple trying to regain youth on the rocks with a pizza and a bottle of wine in their hands… and, worst of all, Australians.

Swim. Sunbathe. Suntan. Sun-anything. Do it all day long.

Then, get a restaurant’s bottle of wine for 10 bones (that’s bucks) and enjoy the first sip, because you’ll notice right away just how good that house red is. (Screw white wine. Do you want apple juice or alcohol? Don’t come to Europe if you don’t want to go to Europe.)

There are five towns in Cinque Terre, which will be an obvious fact when you understand what Cinque Terre means – Five Lands.

Stay in Riomaggiore. It’s probably the most beautiful, but it’s absolutely the most accessible. The seagulls aren’t shy, the houses are authentic – don’t expect to find Maui’s Hilton in Cinque Terre, and be happy about that – and there is a mile of ocean front lined with topless women.

(We did Mar Mar hostel, by the way. I’d recommend it. It looked like Lulu Rooms was bumpin’ just fine enough, too.)

Before you go and say, “Well, not all topless is good topless”, just be thankful that complaint is an option. There are naked women, and they’re not afraid to be naked. This isn’t torture.

Vernazza is the postcard town. Monterosso is the sandcastle stop. The other two villages? I’ve never been, but I’m sure they’re just fine.

Like I’ve said all along… this is Italy. Don’t analyze it too much.


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