May 6, 2008
It is molto caldo! We are enjoying another hot, sunny day here in Cinqueterre. This morning, after attempting to write a journal entry on yet another computer from the dark ages….we caught the train to Monterosso…the largest of the five towns in the Cinqueterre. There are beautiful beaches here and more tourists than you can shake a gelato cone at!
Wandering around the town, soaking up the sun, exploring the narrow back alleys and small shops in every little hole in the wall (literally!), and having a picnic with the local specialty of focaccia pizza and birre (beer) have taken up most of our day today….so far….until we discovered this little (new!) internet stop….and decided to take a break from our exploring…Luigi is in heaven as he can finally download some pictures.
I will backtrack to yesterday….after packing our backpacks with our emergency rations of cheeses, crackers and beer, and stopping for our usual breakfast made of a cappuccino and mouth watering chocolate filled croisants, we set off with Anne and Erik on the ferry to Vernazza…one of the prettiest of the five towns. We did the usual touristy exploring, stopping to taste the Vernazza gelato…mmmmmmm. We then set out on the hiking trail that leads to Corniglia…a 1 1/2 hour steep hike, walking on gigantic steps, ….1 1/2 hours at least for those that stay on the trail ! We got curious when we came across a smaller path and decided to explore. Finally we did not have to share the path with tacky tourists and were able to dig into our “emergency rations”. Little did we know that the trail that we had taken did NOT take us to Corniglia but to a cliff overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea. Not wanting to backtrack, we continued on and found ourselves at the edge of the terraced vineyards outsided the town of Corniglia. Lucky for us, the vineyard police were not around! We did work our way down from terrace to terrace…and into Corniglia where we stopped at the very first gelatoria we found!
After exploring Corniglia, we took the train to explore Riomaggore. We found that each of the five towns have their own characteristics….some more “touristy” than others. Riomaggore was surprisingly quiet and had fewer tourists. From there we took the Via dell’ Amore trail (the street of love), along the steep coastline, and walked back to Manarola for supper on the terrace of our apartment and to enjoy yet another glorious sunset.
Now we will take a boat back to Manarola for our last night there before heading to Rome tomorrow.
Our website memories of Italy (www.memoriesofitaly.com) will have more pictures and info for anyone who wants to visit this amazing area.
Stay tuned for Rome!