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Having been to Italy before, I knew I would likely enjoy my maiden visit to Cinque Terre; I had no idea however, just how much. Riomaggiore is one of five picturesque villages that sit perched high above the Lingurain sea and make up what is simply known as Cinque Terre. The town is the first one you approach arriving from the South. One could easily make a day trip here from Pisa, but I would suggest staying longer. As an avid kayaker and hiking enthusiast, I never felt a minute of boredom while visiting the region for three full days. We rented kayaks for five dollars a day and were able to kayak to the nearby town, pulling ashore when we wanted to take a dip in the clear blue water. When we weren't kayaking, we were hiking through vineyards that line the cliffs overseeing the coast. Depending on one's ability, it takes about 5 to 6 hours to hike all five towns in a day. After a tough hike or long kayak, or leisurely swim, we would often find ourselves back in Riomaggiore enjoying a nice glass of the local white wine along with freshly made pasta and anchioves. Sitting atop our balcony every evening, I could watch the old Italian couple across the street from us hanging their laundry out to dry, or listen to the little children playing soccer down below. Even in the middle of July, Riomaggiore felt like a small Italian town that still remained undiscovered.

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