The Cinque Terre

La Spezia Travel Blog

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View from Riomaggiore station - check out the beer garden in the hotel!

I am lost for words, and as you know that doesn't happen often. Today we decided to walk the Cinque Terre, what is the Cinque Terre I hear you ask? It is 12 kilometers of sheer rocky coastline in northern Italy, terraced hills and vineyards sloping steeply down to the sea. Five little villages are built into the rocks between the beach and the hills and these are referred to as the Cinque Terre.

The day wasn't cool nor was I expecting such a hard walk (blissfully ignorant) but we decided to catch the train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore (the closest station). We left the train and were greeted by an amazing view (Central Station this is not) and from that moment I was very much looking forward to the rest of the walk! We walked past a few bars with amazing beer gardens (puts the Coogee Bay to shame!).

Swimming at Riomaggiore
The first part of the walk was very easy, gradual inclines and falls and we made it through quite quickly to Manarola (the second island) quite quickly (30mins). The second island was established in approximately 1338 - amazing!

Leaving Manarola we continued on to Corniglia and the temperature was starting to get hot. Well prepared in just my jandals, flip flops, or thongs (I heard them all on the walk) and the hottest shorts I think I own I was longing for a shop to buy some water - that's right 12km walk in thongs and no water - spot the scout! Corniglia was very pretty and was surrounded by vineyards famous for their Sciacchetrà (dessert wine); unfortunately I was not to sample any of the wine as we still had alot of walking to do.

View looking back on Riomaggiore
Luckily I was able to but a couple of bottles of water though.

From Corniglia we went on to Vernazza, now the trip started to get harder, the paths got narrower and the temperature all the while was increasing! To get to Vernazza it was very mountainous and took well over 1.5 hours to complete and was immediately time for lunch. Several focaccia with nothing but fresh ingredients and some awesome gelati to clean the palate we decided to take on the final leg of the journey to Monterosso al Mare.

Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost of the Cinque Terre and is reached by walking along the most difficult part of the "Sentiero Azzurro" footpath. This was tough, the climb was steep, the steps were rugged and uneven and little shade to protect from the heat. Kath stormed ahead on this part of the walk and I was left languishing behind trying to catch my breath, hide in shade and do whatever else to make it through; but it was well worth it, the views were simply stunning - I have been nowhere else in the world that had such natural beauty as this place. Making it to Monterosso al Mare in just over 1.5 hours we went straight to the pub and I ordered the biggest beer I could, quickly followed by another and then an enjoyable break by the water watching the afternoon pass.

 

netty25 says:
Oh my God - how could I have forgotten? Thank you soooo much for the beautiful flowers you sent us. We got them yesterday and they are a massive pot of amazing pink lilys and gerberas. You should not have done that. Thanks again we really love them.
Posted on: Aug 08, 2007
netty25 says:
What awesome photos! You write like I am there with you! You guys look like you are having a ball. Check your email in the next few days and as we will be sending some new photos of Ella, she looks totally different already. Have fun.
Posted on: Aug 08, 2007
the_nicholsons says:
What fantastic photos! Thanks for sharing them guys. Hope you continue to have a great time! :)
Posted on: Aug 07, 2007
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View from Riomaggiore station - ch…
View from Riomaggiore station - c…
Swimming at Riomaggiore
Swimming at Riomaggiore
View looking back on Riomaggiore
View looking back on Riomaggiore
Even the Great Barrier Reef isnt …
Even the Great Barrier Reef isn't…
The walk comes complete with your …
The walk comes complete with your…
Church in Manarola dated 1338
Church in Manarola dated 1338
Vineyards cut into the side of the…
Vineyards cut into the side of th…
The Cinque Terre, playground for t…
The Cinque Terre, playground for …
You mean we need to get up there?!
You mean we need to get up there?!
Looking down on the track walked
Looking down on the track walked
View of Vernazza as approached fro…
View of Vernazza as approached fr…
Some of the best gelato I have eve…
Some of the best gelato I have ev…
Boat hires in Vernazza, this is ou…
Boat hires in Vernazza, this is o…
View of Vernazza as we headed towa…
View of Vernazza as we headed tow…
Stunning scenery
Stunning scenery
Kath trying to keep from falling
Kath trying to keep from falling
Stunning scenery on the way into M…
Stunning scenery on the way into …
Monterosso al Mare beaches
Monterosso al Mare beaches
One of the best beers I have ever …
One of the best beers I have ever…
This guy reminded me of Rob Baluyo…
This guy reminded me of Rob Baluy…
Monterosso al Mare beach
Monterosso al Mare beach
La Spezia
photo by: vances