Heading off to Italy tomorrow. Monterosso, in the Cinque Terre region. Returning next Thursday. We’ll be spending time on the beach, hiking the trails (4min video) between the five villages, and eating lots of fresh seafood.

The Beach at Monterosso
The Beach at Monterosso

Monterosso is the only one of the five with a beach. We stayed there for a few days on a three-week Europe driving tour four years ago that took us from Paris to Barcelona and then all along the Med through Spain, France & Italy to Pisa, Florence, onto Switzerland, Germany and back to Paris. One enormous 6,000 km triangle with no hotel reservations. We found hotels on the fly at places we could not not stop at. My preferred way to travel. This was what we enjoyed the most with close seconds in San Pol, Spain, Cadaques, Spain and Casis, France.

Most people will recognize the picture of the nearest of the five villages to Monterosso, Vernazza. It’s in lots of tour books and websites.


We’re traveling very light — carryon only. I’m not even taking my MacBook Pro. The iPad will have to do. Little blogging, if any. I may tweet some, including pics here & there of food & scenery. So, if you want to follow along, here.

I will publish a pretty amazing guest post tomorrow before departure. I generally don’t do guest posts but when you read this you’ll understand why I made an exception.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Andy on July 21, 2010 at 05:55

    Enjoy the Cinque Terre! I spent a marvelous overnight there nearly 20 years ago (1991) while studying in Florence.

  2. sara on July 21, 2010 at 01:08

    Report back on what you eat? As someone living in Italy, I’d love to know how you get on eating paleo here.

  3. Kimberly Sharpe-Slage on July 21, 2010 at 06:37

    Keep posting. Love this!!

  4. ben on July 21, 2010 at 07:29

    Oh id love to get a paleo-eating-related update regarding availability and ease in Italy, too! Of course i think the default thinking would skew toward pastas, breads, and perhaps polentas but i would love to see what the reality on the ground is. I can imagine a good deal of seafood, etc. Thanks

    • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2010 at 07:43

      It’s easy to eat paleo anywhere along the Med. Just go for the seafood, lamb, salads, fruit.

      • sara on July 21, 2010 at 10:55

        What about breakfast?

      • Richard Nikoley on July 21, 2010 at 10:57

        I don’t typically eat it, but if I do it’ll be a few hard boiled eggs & fruit — perhaps a cold cut or two as they do in the hotels throughout Europe.

  5. T-bone on July 21, 2010 at 08:02

    Was just in Cinque Terre. Did not want to leave. There are several good cliff jumping spots with one perfectly positioned along the trail about 40-50 feet up dumping you into a cove of sorts. Lots of edible catcus pears along the way as well. Ciao

  6. Jeff Montgomery on July 21, 2010 at 09:13

    First southern France, now Cinque Terre. That’s tough.

    Those roads high above the ocean in Cinque Terre are just spectacular. Seems like anything grows there, too: figs, lemon trees everywhere. Amazing place.

  7. Adam Scavone on July 21, 2010 at 09:35

    Probably my favorite place on planet Earth that I’ve found so far. Enjoy.

  8. Mountain Dew on July 21, 2010 at 10:30

    I see no topless women in that first pic. Highly disappointed.

  9. Deborah on July 21, 2010 at 13:53

    Envy is such an ugly emotion, Richard. But I’m fighting it with all my carnivore’s heart. Seriously, sounds like fun and you deserve it. (The YouTube reminds me of places we saw in Portugal, with the fishing villages, the hiking and the beautiful old buildings.) Safe, fun trip to you.

  10. […] Italy on a whim, to spend a week in our favorite set of five villages from the previous trip. That log starts here, and the series includes food […]

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