Credit: Couresy of Rick Steves. For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, Tonight, we're enjoying it on gnocchi. Rick: From Syria… Baker: Grazie! But those “five lands” aren’t the only game on the Italian Riviera. From the main street, you can pop into a series of narrow stepped lanes — called carrugi. You approach the Cinque Terre by train through long, dark tunnels. Sure the place is now well-discovered. In "Rick Steves' Heart Of Italy," Rick delves deep into the Italian heartland — the place where la dolce vita is a way of life. Normally, the seas will be too rough. Italian Riviera. Monica: My grandfather and my grandmother. Just sun, sea, sand — well, pebbles — and people. The sanctuary is quietly busy with locals remembering lost loved ones. Like so many Italian dishes, virgin olive oil is mixed in. Vino delle Cinque Terre. Perched just below Vernazza's castle, this restaurant is run by gracious and English-speaking Monica, her husband Massimo, kind Mario, and the rest of her family. All their pasta is "pizza pasta" — cooked normally but finished in a bowl that's encased in a thin pizza crust. Rick produces a best-selling guidebook series, a public television series, and a public radio show, and organizes small-group tours that take over 30,000 travelers to Europe annually. It’s bella chaos, This is the most resorty town of the group. You are happy because you are together with the people of your family, with your friends. And, normally, we have after libeccio, the wind from the north, called tramontana. Rick Steves European Travel Talk | Travel guidebook author Rick Steves describes Italy's top stops — the Cinque Terre, Milan, Venice, Florence, Tuscan and Umbrian hill towns, Rome, Naples, and more — and explains practical travel skills (eating, sleeping, taking trains, … Until a few years ago, they were forgotten little backwaters in the shadow of Rapallo and Portofino. From here you can scout the rest of your trek, and see your next stop: Manarola. Rick: What's an example? Italian Riviera. As the area's a national park, you'll pay a nominal admission fee, and enjoy better-maintained trails and a more pristine countryside. Life here is subject to the dictates of the weather. This time we're rebuilding medieval terraces, here on the most beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean coastline: Italy's Cinque Terre. Built without mortar, they require almost regular maintenance. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. In fact, in the mainstream tourism world, it’s almost quaint that Rick Steves readers are so fixated on the Cinque Terre. But I've never seen happier, more laid-back tourists. Italy's Cinque Terre is an irresistible mix of nature, culture, and human activity — well-worn locals, sunburned travelers, and inviting family-friendly piazzas. A tower has stood guard here for a thousand years. Monica: Exactly, exactly. Traditional farming techniques are complemented with modern know-how, as the delicate vines are prepped in anticipation of a hot growing season. I'm Rick Steves. Like many towns built in a ravine, Vernazza paved over the stream that once divided the town in order to make this people-friendly main drag. Giuseppe: You know the wind in Cinque Terre, you don't need a weatherman!…Sorry! We wandered in the university district going through the market, eating gelato and lunch. Rick: Very different. Manarola is petite and picturesque — a tumble of buildings filling its ravine above a craggy port. Andy: Looks delicious! Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the Best of Europe. Waiter: Gnocchi con pesto. Complimenting Monterosso's happy beach scene is Restaurant Miky. 2020-12 ... YouTube TV. And it's main square has some of the region's finest restaurants. Monica: Exactly. We will be staying in Rapallo, Italy for a week before going to Provence. On our Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days tour, the meat of the itinerary is the middle week when we visit Venice, Florence, and Rome in rapid succession. In the south of Europe is Italy, and between Florence and Genoa lies the Cinque Terre. The dry-stone-masons of the Cinque Terre are famed for their skill at artfully building and preserving the trails and terraces. Guilano: Cinquantaquattro. Last stop for this boat, the numero cinque of our Cinque Terre tour, is Monterosso al Mare. La Spezia Beachless transportation hub, with trains and boats to the Cinque Terre and buses and boats to Porto Venere. Beppe: Every village have a different dialect. The Cinque Terre are tops: five idyllic hamlets along a rugged coastline, connected by scenic hiking trails and dotted with beaches. Every one, want the people, have something like before. The tiny harbor, with its modern breakwater, does double duty — serving both fishermen and fun-seekers. Made famous by world traveler Rick Steves, Cinque Terre ("Five Lands") are five beautiful Italian Rivera hillside villages. With the lure of the modern world it's not easy to keep these labor-intensive traditions alive. Acciughe or anchovies, a regional specialty — served the day they're caught. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on the Italian Riviera. [In Italian: He wants to know if this bench has your names on it!]. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | While the Cinque Terre now endures the storms of the modern world, the region's charms are as endearing as its people are resilient. Rick: If you know the wind… From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta: with Rick Steves on your side, Italy can be yours! In the Cinque Terre, everyone enjoys great views — and that includes the dead. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. From each town stretches steep, terraced hills. Rick: In France! Using our Rick Steves Italy guidebook, we took a side trip by train to Padua. It's clearly a proud family operation: Miky (dad), Simonetta (mom), charming Sara (daughter, who greets guests), and the attentive but easygoing waitstaff all work hard. Instead, it seems to welcome people-packed excursion boats. Rick Steves Pocket Italy's Cinque Terre contains Rick's complete Cinque Terre and Nearby Riviera Towns chapters, excerpted from his full-length Italy guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other Italian destinations. Rick: Bellissima giornata. Explore the Italian Riviera! Savor the view and the unforgettable setting. From the beaches to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, Italy has it all. When our pasta arrives and the crust is broken, the steamy aroma heralds a taste treat to come. A stroll here — especially with a local friend who knows everyone in town — gives a good insight into this close-knit Italian community. Enjoying this stroll, it's easy to understand why so many artists and romantics are drawn to this region. Rick: Each one is a little bit different. We are careful to thoroughly orient our groups upon arrival–because the next day is entirely free. No, vino della Corniglia. Inside Rick Steves Italy 2019 you'll find: Comprehensive coverage for planning a multi-week trip to ItalyRick's strategic advice on how to get the most out of your time and money Monica: Lina is the first bed and breakfast in Vernazza. Of the five towns, Vernazza has the closest thing to a natural harbor. Above: A road in Tuscany. These days the castles, which used to protect the towns from marauding pirates, guard only glorious views. It's aperitivo time, and as everywhere in Italy right about now, families are out — kids and parents — children enlivening main squares. But those who appreciate the heritage of their land seem determined to keep things going. With evocative photos and finely carved memorial reliefs, any are worth a visit. In the densest parts of town, these lanes became interior passages. They died, both, in one week. Corniglia, the one town not on the water, feels more remote than its sisters. There's one main street — it runs from its train station down to the sea. 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