Ever since I left the Scandinavian islands and made my way inland through Europe, I was anxious to get to a coastal city again– Cinque Terre, the five towns that sit alongside the cliffs off the coast in Italy. The salt-filled wind brushed against my skin; I made it. I finally made it from the Baltic to the Mediterranean. After the hustle and bustle of the Italian city life, being on the beach was a nice breather.
I found a spot to camp in Deiva Marina, 15 minutes from Cinque Terre National Park by train. It was more like glamping since the campsite, Camping La Sfinge, provided tents complete with a bed: there were even showers and toilets! I could not wait to get the ocean after spending a lot of time in cities under the blazing sun. After checking in at the campsite and fighting millions of mosquitoes along the way, wine and prosciutto was obtained for a drunken walk to the beach. The Mediterranean is just a walk away from the train station, where you can find a handful of restaurants. The sun was setting by the time we arrived at the beach, but that didn’t prevent us from jumping in. To my surprise, the ocean was as warm as bath water. I was content in the water, finally feeling free from the restraints of being inland. It was then that I truly realized that growing up on an island affected me; I needed to know that the shore was near.
Ah, it was that night that I discovered Trofie al Pesto. One word: pesto. This pasta resembled long-grained rice or worms a covered in pesto, one of my favorite things to drench my mouth with. Which reminds me, I must find this at a restaurant near me because it was THAT good.
Cinque Terre is not a place to escape the crowds. They’re here too, especially while waiting for trains to get between the five towns. I only explored one. It wasn’t until I took a detour away from the beach and into the buildings, I finally got to have that taste of Italy I imagined– laundry hanging on clotheslines, a good hole-in-the-wall food joint, sitting outdoors, taking as long as possible to finish a small cup of espresso.