After Jenkins and I departed from Milan, we took a late night train to one of the most anticipated stops in our trip: Cinque Terre. We had wanted to go to the lovely Cinque Terre region when we first travelled to Italy but due to timing constraints, we just weren’t able to fit it in our itinerary. This time around, I wanted to make sure we were able to fit it in our trip and both Jenkins and I are able to say that this was definitely one of the highlights of our vacation. Everyone that was there must have felt the same way as us because the whole time we were there, everyone (both tourists and locals) were super nice and friendly and all the towns we went to had a happy, carefree mood to them.
Jenkins and I chose to stay in the lively but quaint town of Vernazza while in Cinque Terre. During our first lunch there, we wandered into a busy pizzeria that seemed to be teeming with people. I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I can’t recall the name of this place but it was on the main road (Via Roma) and was next to the Forno bakery. If it helps, here is a snapshot of the bag they used to put our breakfast in.
Despite the fact that I can’t remember the name of this place, it was one of the best places in town for focaccia bread, which was originally from the Cinque Terre region. Although the restaurant served pizza as well, we really wanted to try the focaccia first so we ordered a few items to share.
First, we had a focaccia panino with cooked ham and cheese. The focaccia was definitely the star of the show. It was light and super crispy on the outside. I had never had focaccia like this before and was really surprised at how different this tasted compared to the regular focaccia I had eaten back in Vancouver. It had a slightly chewy consistency that really went well with the crispy shell.
We also shared another focaccia sandwich that had tuna and tomatoes for its filling. I actually enjoyed this more than the ham version, but it may be due to the fact that I really enjoy tuna sandwiches. Even though I could tell that there was a fair bit of mayonnaise, for some reason, I did not find it overpowering even though I normally don’t like too much mayo in my sandwiches. The tomatoes were very sweet and the whole creamy filling contrasted nicely with the crispy and chewy texture of the focaccia itself.
Finally, Jenkins and I had a regular focaccia with pesto sauce on top. I don’t recall the exact price but it was around 1.50€, which I thought was quite reasonable considering we had quite a large piece. I did find the focaccia in Cinque Terre to be oilier than what I was used to but I suspect this was also why it was much crispier as well. The pesto was generously slathered on top and may have been a tad too salty but for some reason, I felt this really worked.
During our stay in Vernazza, Jenkins and I went back to this pizzeria several times, usually for the focaccia but sometimes also for the pizza. The prices were very reasonable and a single slice of focaccia was all we really needed to eat for breakfast. There really is no better place to have focaccia than in Cinque Terre, where it was invented afterall.
Via Roma (right next to the trail to Monterosso al Mare), Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italia