Cinque Terra, Italy

Posted on April 4, 2014. Filed under: Italy, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , |

Cinque Terra Hiking TrailHow is that for a hiking trail?  This section is on the trail linking the 5 towns of the Cinque Terra in Italy.  Back and forth down we went for a very long time.  It didn’t matter – the views were incredible!  Turquoise water with the charming town below.  This is not strenuous hiking by any means.  If you are a die-hard hiker you might be disappointed here.  You are not out in the middle of nowhere nor are you walking any great distance.  But you are walking time-worn paths amid ancient olive groves and grape vines.  This is hiking for pure pleasure, any exercise you get is an afterthought.  And the pizza, pesto and farinata at day’s end ain’t bad either!  In October, 2011, this area was devastated by horrible downpours of rain that caused flooding and mudslides.  Thankfully, the trail has been rebuilt and reopened and many people are still working to restore the hillsides and to build better water drainage systems.  This area is too wonderful to lose!

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Hiking the Cinque Terre – Vernazza to Riomaggiore

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Italy, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Cinque 1

Here is my second installment of Hiking the Cinque Terre as promised.  We did the 8 miles south from Vernazza to Riomaggiore on this second day.  It was the second week of November and the weather was perfect!  In the above photo we are down at the water.  We took a little side trail steeply down to get to it.

Travel - Cinque 2        Travel - Cinque 4

Above on the left we are leaving Vernazza in the morning with a stunning view of the town.  It is hard to believe all those buildings teeter on those rocks!  The picture at right is the beach at Manarola where we enjoyed rock hunting.  These are some of the smoothest stones I’ve ever felt and I rock hunt every time I can so I have a lot of beaches to compare this to.  For a massage therapist these stones are heaven!  Many of them have veins of the white carrara marble from which Michelangelo’s David is carved.  The marble quarries are not far away.

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I’ve been asked about how wild is this trail and you can see from the picture at left that here it is an actual paved staircase winding down, down, down.  I would not call this much of a wilderness trail.  The towns are so close together and the last section is entirely paved and level.  This is more of a walking path to enjoy this beautiful coastline and these little towns.  The picture at right shows 3 local men chatting at the end of the day in Riomaggiore.  The townsfolk come out to enjoy the view and fresh air at the end of the day.  These are real Italian towns, but this hiking is quite civilized!

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Here is Bill at the end of our day with dinner.  That’s a pizza on the right with fresh arugula strewn on top and on the left is Farinata, a local specialty, a chickpea flour pancake-type thing.  I found out much later that you are supposed to put the farinata on top of the pizza and eat it together!!  Oh well, both hit a spot at the end of the day even if we ate them separately!

All in all we enjoyed our 2 days in the Cinque Terre very much.  We think we might go back some time to hike the higher trails.  We did go in November which meant the boats weren’t running, but other than that we were glad we came when it was so quiet.

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