After arriving in Florence and checking into my B&B, I went for a walk and stopped in a cafe. This cafe seemed to be part of some business or company - perhaps a delivery service or messenger center. If you walked past it, you never would have thought it a cafe. I only found it because I saw someone coming out. But it was filled with people which is always a good sign, and didn't seem pretentious.
If you were casting a movie and needed two people to play young thugs, your search would be over as soon as you saw the two guys working in the cafe. This isn't to say that they were thugs but that they had that certain aura of "don't screw with me" about them. Speaking in fractured Italian I ordered a snack and a beer. Some of the regulars left, and the older of the two men started quizzing me. Where was I from, why was I in Florence, was I a student, etc. I told them I wasn't a student, but I was traveling around Italy. They asked where I had been and where I was going. "Rome..." "Oh, yeah, Rome" they nodded at the inevitability of it. "Naples." "Yeah, Naples" they shrugged. "Cinque Terre." "Ahhh," they cooed in unison "Cinque Terre." They said it so wistfully, almost melting at the words, as if they were describing Shangri-la.
The region has that sort of effect on people. The pictures don't do it justice, but I hope you like them anyway. The first two pics are from Monterosso, the most northern of the five towns. The other three pics were taken on the trails that link the towns.