Planning to be in the Cinque Terre in September? Don’t miss a great opportunity 

In my line of work, I’ve met hundreds (if not thousands) of visitors to the Cinque Terre. To be honest, most everyone is lovely (lucky me!). But every so often I’ll meet a traveler that I immediately click with and a friendship is born that lasts well beyond their time in the Cinque Terre.

That’s the case with my dear friend, Nicole O’Neil. We met when she stayed with us in Riomaggiore umpteen years ago. And she has been back umpteen times since. The Italy bug has bit her hard, too. 

I’m super excited because Nicole will be back in the Cinque Terre starting tomorrow for a few weeks. I can’t wait to catch up & hang out with her as I haven’t seen her in two years. But I won’t lie, I’m also excited because she’s a professional photographer (check out her website or Facebook page) and she takes the most gorgeous photos for us!

The last time Nicole was here I was quite pregnant with my youngest son. Now I can’t wait for her to take pictures with our family al completo. I love that Nicole takes candid and spontaneous photos that really capture the essence of the moment (but of course she can take traditional portraits, too).

So how do you fit into all of this?

Well, this is your chance to get professional photos with an ah-mazing backdrop taken by a professional photographer that speaks *perfect* English (and did I mention she knows the Cinque Terre like the back of her hand?). Nicole can take photos of you/your kids/your significant other/your friends/whatever your heart desires! Because really, who doesn’t want a beautiful photo of themself or their loved ones in a magical place like the Cinque Terre? And don’t forget Christmas is just 112 days away *gasp.*  Nicole’s portraits are perfect for your holiday cards or as gifts for loved ones.

Nicole is offering mini sessions in the Cinque Terre at great rates. Because she’s away from her home base (of Boston, Massachusetts) she’ll be offering up high-quality digital files rather than prints (so you’ll be able to print and use the photos as you please).

Because Nicole’s time here in the Cinque Terre is limited so are the time slots available… you’ll need to act quickly to reserve! Seriously, you don’t want to miss out on this amazing opportunity.

Contact Nicole directly at:


Nicole O’Neil, my friend and sharer of belly laughs, shopping and hiking adventures and my go-to personal photographer.  She’s beautiful inside and out!

5th annual Sciacchetrà Festival in Riomaggiore 

 On Saturday, July 22nd, the 5th annual Sciacchetrà Festival will be held in Riomaggiore. For those that don’t know, sciacchetrà (pronounced shock-keh-trah) is a highly prized local dessert wine made from select partially dried grapes (more details on sciacchetrà and other local specialties can be found here). The festival in Riomaggiore has events that take place throughout the day (see the flier above).  Of most interest to those who do not speak Italian will be the drop-in visits (starting at 4pm) at participating cantine to see where the wine is made as well as the stands with local wines and products (that will open on Piazza del Vignaiolo at 6pm).



International Music Festival preview today in Monterosso 

Today in Fegina (the newer side of Monterosso) preview events will be held for the 36th annual International Music Festival. The schedule is as follows:

  • 5:30pm: Guided walk to points of interest in Eugenio Montale’s childhood. Adequate footwear required for walking/hiking on unpaved paths. The walk will last circa 1 1/2 hours and is free of charge but limited to 25 participants. To reserve call +39 346 8299811 or +39 339 8340911. The meeting point will be at the TI office at the 1st platform at Monterosso’s train station. 
  • 7:30pm: A free welcome aperitif will be served. 
  • 8:30pm: Tales will be recounted of the ties between Montale’s poetry and Monterosso (and the Cinque Terre). 
  • 9:15pm: Madrigal homage to Montale’s poetry (with a pianist, soprano and narrator). 

The latter three events are all free of charge and take place at the Circolo Velico “Gino e Bebe De Andreis” located in the Fegina neighborhood of Monterosso at via Fegina #13.

Storm warning in effect for June 28, 2017

After a long, hot and humid (yet rainless) June it sounds like things are about to change up. A yellow (level 2) storm warning is in effect for Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Our entire region (Liguria) is on a yellow alert but more specifically the Cinque Terre are on a yellow alert from 6am to 8pm on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

Meteorologists are expecting storms with heavy precipitation, strong winds and rough seas. 

Just to be clear, this is the key for the color coded storm warnings:


Green = Slim to none 

Yellow = Slight danger

Orange = Dangerous

Red = Extremely dangerous 

What does this mean for visitors to the Cinque Terre?

  • All hiking trails within the Cinque Terre National Park will be officially closed during the storm warning.
  • In case of torrential downpours, stay away from low lying areas or potential flood zones. 
  • In case of rough seas, stay away from the water’s edge. 
  • Use prudence. 

For more information and updates on the alert you can consult (in Italian):

Allerta Liguria