March 31, 2018 – Cinque Terre is probably the least known and hardest to pronounce place that we will visit on the experience. To clear up the pronunciation debate, I’m including a video from linguist, scholar, and semi-famous Youtuber Mark Wetzler (*disclaimer* I’m not sure if he is a linguist or a scholar, but he is definitely a semi-famous Youtuber as you can see he has gotten over 8,000 views on this video, at least 20 of which have come from me in the past hour). Another note, he definitely pronounces it wrong the first time he says it, but if you wait for the end, you are in for a real treat!
I hope you enjoyed that! Anyways, Cinque Terre is pronounced “Çinque Tære,” and it means “Five Lands.” Cinque Terre itself is not actually a city, but is rather the region of coastline which encompasses the five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. We will be staying in the coastal town of Riomaggiore. (pictured below)
I think that Cinque Terre may be the most underrated city that we visit on the experience. I believe that Cinque Terre often can get overlooked because all the other places we will visit are all so saturated with art, history, and culture, but also because people view Cinque Terre simply for its beautiful views. Cinque Terre honestly reminds me of Machu Picchu in a sense that the pictures are amazing, but there is a certain feeling of awe that comes with actually being there and taking in the moment with all your senses, a feeling that cannot be captured by a picture or even a thousand words.
Because it is such a difficult thing to describe with words, I challenged past CR members to do exactly that. When I talked with CR alumni about Cinque Terre, one of my favorite questions to ask them was “Describe Cinque Terre in three words.” I believe Michael Drake (CR7 alum) summed it up pretty well with “Stunning, Relaxing, Happy.” I know Cinque Terre will be that and so much more!
Personally, I am truly so excited to go to Cinque Terre because I believe it will be an extremely valuable time to get to really “dig in” to the others on the trip. We will be “over the hump” in a sense, we will be past the half way point. We will have travelled with our group for over two weeks at this point, so I think we will have a pretty decent sense of who everyone really is and what they are about. Cinque Terre will be a great time to solidify these ideas and ask those deeper questions. I want to really understand what the values and beliefs of each individual are, why exactly they hold those values and beliefs, and why they do what they do. Everyone that is going on the trip is so amazing and has a wonderful story behind them. These stories have helped shaped them to become who they are, and I want to challenge myself to uncover these stories so I can have a deepened understanding and a deeper connection with those whom I will be travelling with this summer!
How could I not be excited to learn and grow in Europe with these phenomenal people?
Until next time,