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Day 22 – 25

We stay at Monterosso al Mare, one of the five towns hugging the coastline that makes up Cinque Terre. It is beautiful but overwhelming, stunning but overused. Overloved, over enjoyed, over consumed, worn, fatigued, tired. The price of tourism is often the authenticity of the experience and so it was.

The warming Italian experience that we were hoping for is disappointingly not here. Instead of familiar accents fill the air, the hospitality is as short and sharp as a cracked whipped, the people tired fed up with this annual invasion of which we belong. I won’t dwell on it, in retrospect we came at the wrong time. We arrive for noise, frustration, swarms of people and…well, the substandard version of our accommodation rather than the ‘serving suggestion’ we were shown. It became negative quickly, the first really bad experience of our travel that has us homesick. So, we tick a few items off our list of must do’s, pack our bags, retrieve our car from parking and head to Tuscany leaving this overpriced cacophony of beautiful but shallow inauthenticity in our wake.