Home base for our three days in La Cinque Terre was Riomaggiore, the first village encountered by those arriving from La Spezia or Pisa in the east or south. There are few hotels or B&Bs in the area, and we rented a room for three nights from a rental agency made up of American ex-pats.From our little balcony we could barely see the sea between other buildings, so we could say we had an ocean view. Better - we had a prime spot to watch the little kiddies play while moms jabbered away in the piazza below us. Riomaggiore's little harbor is pictured below.
After checking in, we took a walk on the "Via dell Amore," an easy seaside trail which leads to Manarola, the nearest town on the Cinque Terre.
Manarola is even smaller than Riomaggiore, so exploring its streets does not take long. The highlights of such places are, of course, the local people and their way of life, vineyards, church, cemetery, etc.
The next day we boarded a ferry boat to Vernazza, third along the coast.
For those interested in a quiet hideaway in a relatively non-touristy setting where you can wander the back streets, Corniglia is a charmer. Below is a picture of a typical neighborhood, one where you don't have to worry about keeping your fence in good condition or your lawn mower blade sharp.