Exploring Italy // Cinque Terre
Thoughts on adventure, rest, and finding enjoyable forms of movement
Days 2 + 3 of our Italy adventure consisted of exploring each of the five little villages that make up the Cinque Terre - Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. This beautiful area of the Italian coastline is largely untouched by modern corporate developments, despite being an incredibly popular tourist attraction.
Beautiful old buildings line the narrow streets in each of these towns, which each have their own unique charm. Boats, trains, and the most beautiful walking paths connect each of the villages together, which are all carefully positioned on the rugged, steep landscape right to the edge of the cliffs that overlook the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea.
Lunches have largely consisted of ciabatta, fresh tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, pesto alla genovese (this region of Italy is famous for pesto), and cold meats like salami and prosciutto. I think that last night’s dinner takes the cake though. We had the most amazing fresh, handmade pansoti with salsa di noci - triangular ravioli filled with ricotta and greens dressed with another traditional Ligurian sauce made with walnuts and cream - which was purchased from a little just shop, La Pastaia, which was located just below our accommodation.
Yesterday I shared a few thoughts on having the freedom to eat all foods, without guilt, and how liberating it is to be able to enjoy them in the moment if you desire. Today I thought I’d share my thoughts on movement and exercise within the context of a holiday. I used to believe that fitness and being ‘healthy’ requires sticking to a training schedule/routine no matter what the circumstances. Whilst having structure has its value, more often than not having to follow a rigid exercise routine on holiday brought about anxiety and guilt (if not followed as expected) rather than freedom. Over time I have come to realise that I love being active, but activity doesn’t necessarily have to be a 10km run or 3 days of HIIT training per week. Movement can also be valuable in the form of hiking, exploring a new place on foot or by bike, or going for a swim in the ocean.
I also don’t think I ever really valued the importance of rest until recently, but am slowly beginning to understand how crucial it is in the context of living a healthy and happy life. Although I still wake up with the sun, it has been so good to lie in for a bit and really soak up the extra time for resting and relaxing whilst on holiday
I remember listening to a podcast a few months ago where the concept of chronic sleep deprivation was discussed in detail. In our busy Western society, often sleep and rest gets placed on the back burner as we soldier on through busy weeks of work. If we miss out on 2 hours of sleep per night, which our bodies really need, by the time the weekend arrives we can end up being deprived of >10 hours of sleep (that’s more than a full night’s worth of sleep). Hopefully by the end of this holiday I will have caught up on some much-needed sleep!
Anyway, we have waved goodbye to the Italian coastline and have just arrived in a beautiful Tuscan city called Lucca. I’m excited to start exploring, but first it’s time for a siesta ☺️😝