July 20, 2016 - July 22, 2016
Arriving midday from Florence, we found parking and headed in to Rio Maggiore via train. Upon arrival in the first of the five towns of Cinque Terre, we discovered the coastal path was closed due to a collapse of the trail during a previous rain storm. Instead, we found a trail that went up and over the hill to the next town. There were lots of stairs and it was hot and humid ... let's just say we were pretty happy when we got to Manarola and had an amazing meat and cheese spread and plenty of wine.
Since the day was already getting late we took the train back to the van and headed out in search of accommodations for the night. Many of the campgrounds at the north end of Cinque Terre weren't very appealing or were completely full. In our last attempt we drove all the way to the coast and as we approached a tunnel leading to the campground we wondered why there were so many people just before and inside the tunnel. Allie asked, "What's with all the tunnel people on their cell phones?". We later realized it was because there was no reception at the campground. After struggling with how much it was to camp for a small site we threw down almost $70 settled in for the night.
The next morning, we took the train to Corniglia, hiked to Monterroso and then took the train to Levanto. We had a surprisingly quick and excellent meal down by the beach before hitting the road to Interlaken in an effort to beat the clock and get there before reception closed (clearly a theme of this trip).