Holiday eats day 2: Riomaggiore, Manarola & Corniglia

30 Apr

Phew, we did lots of walking! Cinque Terre consists of 5 villages perched around the headlands. They’re pretty small, and it’s apparently possible to hike from the first village, Riomaggiore, to the fifth, Monterosso, in 5 hours (without breaks). We weren’t able to do that as the walkway was closed between the second and third village due to a landslide. We still did plenty walking on Monday though. We took our time, leisurely wandering around the first 3 villages, lingered over lunch and finished off with a leg-busting walk from Corniglia (village 3) back to our Vernazza (village 4), where we were staying. At least some of the pasta got walked off.


Thanks to the guide book borrowed from our B&B, we found Il Pirata, a cute little cafe run by twin brothers, who speak English in American accents and call you “beautiful”. They assured us their Sicilian pastries would give us energy for the day. Who am I to argue? I chose a cream brioche and a strawberry granite (they kept emphasising it was made from real fruit).


– Antipasti: white fish carpaccio (I fail as a foodie, I can’t remember what fish it is)
– Pasta: taglierini with prawns and artichoke
– Dessert: tiramisu

What a find Billy was! We were going to just buy foccacia from the village and picnic, but we got hungry while high up the hills in Manarola, and were too lazy to walk down to the village. Luckily Billy was close by, so we decided to treat ourselves to a lovely lunch. No regrets whatsoever. The carpaccio was fresh, like the best sashimi, and the taglierini was simply beautiful and tasty tasty tasty, coated with the prawn oil. Now this is the kind of Italy I came for.

Trattoria dal Billy
 Via Rollandi, 122
Manarola, Italy 


Corniglia, the third village isn’t actually along the coast like the others, but is perched up in the hills. To get there from the train station, you take a little shuttle bus or, if you’re a sucker for punishment like we are, you climb over 300 steps to get to this tiny place of 240 inhabitants. Climbing takes energy ya? Therefore a gelato, made from honey from Cinque Terre, is tewtally allowed.


– Mixed anchovies
– Mixed seafood grill
– Fish soup (more like a stew)
– Tomato salad

We liked the sound of both main dishes so much, we shared everything. Such an enjoyable meal. The grilled seafood had that wonderful barbequed flavour, and the ‘soup’ was absolutely scrumptious. The bread wasn’t enough to mop up the soup, so we asked for spoons to get every last drop of liquid.

Taverna del Capitano
Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 7
Vernazza, Italy


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