During my time in Florence, Italy I decided to take a couple day tours to some of the surrounding towns. It is easy to go online and find the big tour companies, but if you have read some of my previous posts, I always like to seek out small local companies. Walkabout Florence Tours is based out of Florence, hence the name, and provided me with two outstanding full days of tours. One of my favorites was a trip to “Cinque Terre.” Since this was a hiking tour, we had two guides, Lavie and Chris. We had two small groups, one with each guide, and I was so impressed that they didn’t lose any of us! During the two hour drive out to Cinque Terre, they took turns telling us the history and what each place is known for of the five towns, but also the towns that we were passing on our way to get to our final destination.
The bus dropped us off at the train station and we were given our train tickets to use during the day. Everything was calculated out to a T. I didn’t have to think about anything, but taking in the beautiful scenery. We started with the town Manarola and took the train to Corniglia for lunch. You can either have lunch with the group for a set price or go off and find lunch on your own. There is a meeting place and time before the hike starts. It should be noted that the path of the hike is not paved and you must be able to hike on uneven terrain. Wearing good shoes is a must and it is a good idea to bring water as well.
We braved the 4K hike through the rough trail to Vernazza. Everyone was able to go at their own rate with our guides hiking back and forth checking on all of us to make sure we were doing okay and safe. There is only one trail, so it is impossible to get lost and the trail is marked with the symbol pictured below. Be sure to make stops during your hike to take in the beautiful views! Halfway through the hike is a family owned bar/coffee shop known for their Lemoncello slushies (vodka optional).
Once we made it to Vernazza, we were told about the best gelato in all of Italy (really just based on the opinion of our guides). I ate at least one gelato a day during my trip throughout Italy and I can honestly say it was the best! What is the name of this gelato shop? I guess you’ll just have to take the Cinque Terre Trek Tour with Walkabout Florence to find out.
We arrived by train to Monterosso where Lavie showed us all the best places to get wine, shop for local goods, and try some of her favorite foods. We were able to wander around by ourselves, but given a meeting time and place. Once everyone was checked in, we hopped on a boat and took a relaxing breezy ride to the town of Riomaggiore. It is here that has the best fried calamari and fried anchovies (if you are into that). This is also where you have probably seen those pretty Instagram pictures of girls in their long flowing dresses and heels (note: they probably brought the heels just for the picture and put their tennis shoes back on after). Rigmaggiore is one of the more hilly towns, so be sure to wear appropriate shoes.
We finished off the day by taking the train back to Manarola and finally getting back on the bus where we all had grand plans to nap the entire ride back to Florence. Chris and Levie made their way around to each person answering any questions about the trip or about Florence in general. I cannot give enough praise for our guides and the organization of this tour company. While you can find them on big sites such a Viator, it is better for them to book right through their website by clicking here. Walkabout Florence is not just limited to tours, they also offer cooking classes as well. While I didn’t have time to take a class, I met someone on one of my tours who had and she had nothing but good things to say. She said food was delicious and they made it so easy to follow along. When you decided to book a tour tell them hello from offtheclocknurse!
*Disclaimer* This is a sponsored post for Walkabout Florence Tours, however, I never recommend something I didn’t enjoy doing myself.