Cinque Terre is by far the worst place so far to not have my iPhone simply because it is so incredibly beautiful and I want to share it with everyone I know. Each of the 5 towns has its own character but they're all beautiful, old Italian villages built into the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. I'm staying in Corniglia which is the most picturesque, most romantic (says the girl traveling by herself) and quietest, despite it being located in the middle of the others. Things start to get quiet[er] here around 9:00 even on the weekends. You can hear the sounds of insects and the waves breaking hundreds of feet below all day long. The air smells so...fertile? I'm not quite sure how to describe it other than a mix of flowers, dirt and ocean. Every direction you look, whether out at the enormous, uninterrupted seaviews or up at the colorful stucco cottages and the bright green terraced mountains, you're reminded of a postcard. People here don't put their cameras away - they just snap continuously all day long.
Now I know what everyone's waiting for - the food! Isn't the food amazing?! Like you've never had before?? Honestly, the food is great but nothing has stood out as OMGIwanttoeatthisuntilIdieandtheneatsomemore. I've had the requisite pizza, pasta and gelato out the wazoo but nothing has wowed me as being superior to the Italian food I grew up with in New York (shout out to Mama Marino's lasagna!). Maybe I'm just spoiled? But every place here offers basically the same things - tomato sauce, pesto sauce, caprese salad- and they're all good. The only thing I really dream about eating again (and probably will in a few hours) was vanilla frozen yogurt topped with fresh lemon juice, honey and nuts. Doesn't sound too exciting, huh? It was delicious though and their frozen yogurt here actually has the tang of yogurt unlike the vanilla ice creamy stuff we get in the States.
What I really miss are vegetables! They sell tons of fresh, local veggies at the markets here but their menus are strangely lacking. And I can't exactly roast them on the hostel's radiator so the market doesn't do me much good. I think I had hoped Italy would open my eyes (culinarily speaking) and maybe convince me to get back on the meat-eating wagon for good but it hasn't really. Sorry, guys. That being said, I'm heading to Bologna tomorrow and it's supposed to be a food mecca. I sure hope so!
Ciao for now!