Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre Travel Blog

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Sunset in Riomaggiore

Once we got off the train in Cinque Terre, I immediately fell in love with the place.  The water and cliff sides were so beautiful.  We were staying in the town of Riomaggiore at the Mar Mar hostel.  We went down to the Marina for an amazing view of the sunset.  There were so many colors, we sat there until the sun was gone, it was absolutely beautiful.

Today we decided to tackle the coastal path that connects all five villages, estimated time of 5 hours.  We purchased our trail pass at the visitor center in Riomaggiore and began the trail.  The first trail that connected Riomaggiore to Manarola was nice and easy.

Sunset in Riomaggiore
  It was a pretty flat path that included the Via Dell Amore (Lover's Path).  The water and cliffs were gorgeous with several different types of plants growing along the cliffs, even some cactus.  The water was a beautful turqoise color and the sun was starting to glitter on it.  Along the Lover's path was a love seat that had several locks surrounding it.  My assumption is that you lock in your love there, it was pretty interesting.  We made it to Manarola and headed down the main street down to the harbor. We continued on the path toward the next village, Corniglia.  The path was starting to incline a bit and get slighter harder.  Along the way, we stopped at a lovely pebble beach to get a closer look at the water.  Instead of climbing up the 365 stairs to reach the center of the village, we hopped onto the bus that took us straight there.
Sunset in Riomaggiore
  Corniglia had a lot more vegatation than the first two villages, you could see all the grape vines and olive trees growing along the hills.  The next path toward Vernazza was a lot steeper and harder.  Along the trail we saw some signs that lead to the "secret beach" called Guvano.  The path was extremely narrow and pretty dangerous now that I think about it.  There was barely enough footing on the path, with ropes set up to help you climb down.  Luckily, I made my way down safely this super narrow pathway to the beach.  I found a nice spot to relax and enjoy my lunch and the view.  I explored a little bit and really wanted to go in for a swim but the sun was being covered by some clouds and it was getting a little chilly.
Sunset in Riomaggiore
  Ironically, when I was hiking back up to the path the sun was shining brightly.  I was very tempted to turn around and go back down, but there was still so much more trail to cover.  We continued along the path toward Vernazza and the trail got even steeper.  The coast and the ocean was so pretty, we stopped several times just to look at it all and catch our breaths.  We finally reached Vernazza and took a well deserved gelatto break.  I could feel my legs throbbing, but it was totally worth it.  Vernazza is the only village with a natural harbor and a watch tower.  We quickly made our way through the last path to Monterosso before it got dark.  This path was probably the hardest, but it also gave the best view of Vernazza.
Cat drinking from a water facet
  At one point it started to sprinkle a bit, luckily it was only for a few minutes.  At one point the clouds were covering the sun, with a few holes in the clouds creating spotlights on the ocean. It was beautifully awesome, I've never seen anything like it.  The path soon started to decline, which made it a lot easier.  Along the path, a local farmer set up a small lemonade stand out of no where.  He squeezed us some fresh lemonade from the lemons from his garden, it was a nice refreshing drink.  We finally made it to the last village of Monterosso, which is the most developed with 2 beautiful sand beaches.  Once we reached the beach, it started to rain.  I'm glad we were able to finish the entire coastal trail before it started to rain, but it would have been nice to take a swim.
Coastal path from Riomaggiore to Manarola
  It started to rain harder so we caught the rain back to Riomaggiore and the hostel.  Cinque Terre is really amazing and beautiful, hiking the coastal path was really the best way to explore the area. 

Sadly, it was raining the next day.  I decided to take a quick stroll down to the harbor in Riomaggiore while it was still sprinkling.  I managed to find a small pebble beach and enjoyed the views, the crashing waves were pretty intense.  Since we hiked the entire coastal path yesterday, we decided to utlize the train today.  We headed back to Vernazza to use the internet and check out the village.  I decided to check out the tower, I got up there at the most perfect time.  It had just stopped raining for a brief period and there was no one else up there.

Entrance to Lover's Path
  The view was great up on top of the tower, I could see the entire village and also the other villages to the left and right.  I would have stayed up on the tower longer, but I had to meet my friend for lunch.  We had lunch at a lovely little restuarant right next to the harbor.  We met a mother and daughter who had just hiked the coastal path in the rain, they were drenched.  Had a lovely lunch and conversation with our new friends, it started to pour when we were finishing up.  After about 2 months of traveling, I finally had to invest in an umbrella.  We hopped back onto the train and headed to Monterosso.  We walked along the beautful sand beach with our umbrellas, so sad.  Walked around the village and shopped around a bit trying to find some souveniurs before heading back to the hostel.

I really didn't want to leave Cinque Terre yet, but we were on our way to Nice.  Today was pretty much a travel day, caught several trains from Riomaggiore to Nice.  We had to make 2 transfers, the first in Genova, and then in Ventimiligio.  The train was running late so we missed our connection, causing us to be stuck in Ventimiligio for 2 hours.  We finally arrived in Nice around 5PM, then we had to take the local tram to the hostel bus pick up point.  The hostel was really nice, but not close to the city center at all.  It was raining and cold, so there wasn't much to do besides stay indoors.

 

anne819 says:
Cinque Terre wasn't a part of my plan for fall, but now I'm thinking it should be.
Posted on: Feb 25, 2009
bernard69 says:
thx for sharing and bringing back good memories:)
Posted on: Feb 24, 2009
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Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Sunset in Riomaggiore
Cat drinking from a water facet
Cat drinking from a water facet
Coastal path from Riomaggiore to M…
Coastal path from Riomaggiore to …
Entrance to Lovers Path
Entrance to Lover's Path
Lovers seat
Lover's seat
Locks on the love seat
Locks on the love seat
Manarolas main street
Manarola's main street
Manarola
Manarola
Rope bridge
Rope bridge
Little mermaid?
Little mermaid?
Corniglia
Corniglia
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
Vernanzza
Vernanzza
Sun spotlights
Sun spotlights
Lemonade stand
Lemonade stand
Narrow path toward Monterosso
Narrow path toward Monterosso
Monterosso
Monterosso
Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore
Vernazza tower staircase
Vernazza tower staircase
View from the tower
View from the tower
Tower
Tower
Stroll on the beach with our umbre…
Stroll on the beach with our umbr…
Monterosso in the rain
Monterosso in the rain
Cinque Terre
photo by: Eric