I had originally planned to come to the Cinque Terre about a week later than I actually did. My plan was to stay in Vernazza as my slow down part of my trip and then I heard about an amazing place to stay called The Heart of Cinque Terre. One of my mom’s friends had just stayed there and said it was beyond amazing. It is literally the only room that you can rent in the Cinque Terre National Park. There are plenty of rooms in the five towns of the Cinque Terre, but there’s definitely nothing like the room I found. I heard it was quiet at night with beautiful views over the water. Seriously, look at this view:
I decided it was a true experience that very few people get to live locally with a view like this at an amazing price, so it was time to reschedule my trip. I cancelled my segment through southern France and decided to plan on extra time in Italy. It was an excellent choice although I made a very stupid mistake my first day by not respecting the hills, heat, and weight I’d be carrying to get there. That said, this was an amazing place to stay.
Upon arriving at Heart of Cinque Terre, I was greeted by Pierpaolo, the amazingly nice and generous owner. I arrived starving and thirsty and enjoyed drinking the cold spring water he had on site, which he also offered to hikers passing through. He told me the kitchen was stocked with some things left by previous travelers and I found some good pasta and tomato sauce. I whipped that up and it was appropriately delicious. However, Pierpaolo now told me about the olive oil that he made himself. There was a bottle of it in the kitchen and Pierpaolo told me I could have as much as I wanted. I had some left over pasta, so I threw that together with some olive oil and salt and pepper and wow…
It’s amazing how good those simple meals can be with a few really good ingredients. This meal strongly influenced what I ate the rest of the time in the Cinque Terre. Pierpaolo was kind enough to drive me into town so I could do some grocery shopping, so I loaded up on fresh produce, excellent sliced cheese and meats, and some delicious bread that was really just another excuse to mop up more olive oil. That’s pretty much what I ate for a couple days outside of one meal in Vernazza and it was great!
The experience of staying at Heart of Cinque Terre was perfect for me since I was tired from traveling a little too fast and needing some quiet time. You are about a mile from any kind of city life. Obviously, if you were planning to go out in the evenings, then you need to get a taxi. For me, sitting back an enjoying the sunsets, the peace and quiet, and the cool evening breezes was all I could ask for. Pierpaolo was an amazingly gracious host and really goes out of his way to make you feel at home. As long as you’re fine with being away from the cities for a few days, Heart of Cinque Terre gets my highest recommendation.
Additional Note: If you’re really traveling on the cheap or just want a unique experience, Pierpaolo also sometimes allows people to work for their stay. At times, he needs extra help for preparing olive oil and working in the garden and that can be arranged to pay for your stay. If you’re interested contact him through his web site.
I paid for my own room and my review comes straight from the heart.