Saturday, August 24, 2013

August 2: Cinque Terre

When we were planning our stopover in Cinque Terre were very disappointed to find out that some of the shorter hiking trails in the  National Park were closed due to the heavy mudslides that had taken place in 2011.  However, There is regular boat service would take us to four of the five villages. We  decided that would be the best way for us to enjoy our short visit.  We had breakfast in our room and then strolled down the main street towards the dock where the boat would pick us up.  There were fruit and vegetable stands set up along the street,  the butcher was next door to our house and there was also a truck selling fresh fish. It was interesting to watch the locals shopping and visiting with each other.  We bought our tickets and then walked further along the path to where the boat would dock.  There were lots of people young and old in beach wear continuing on the path and so I finally followed along to see where they were going.  Many of them were perched on huge rocks, laying on a small beach or swimming in a small bay.
Fresh fish for sale

Produce on display

Sunbathing on the rocks

Swimming in the bay at Riomaggiore

The boat finally arrived and we hopped aboard and found a seat with a great view.  Within 10 - 15 minutes we were docking at Vernazza.  Vernazza is the fourth town heading north, has no car traffic, and remains one of the truest "fishing villages" on the Italian Riviera. The town relies on tourism as its main source of revenue but fishing, wine and olive oil production still take place.  It was hard to believe that such a picturesque village was buried in 4 metres of mud and debris during the flooding and mudslides. 
The streets of Vernazza

Shopping in Vernazza

Narrow streets of Vernazza

From Vernazza we took the boat to Monterosso, the village that is well known for its sand beaches.  Monterosso is the farthest north of all the villages.  The town is divided into two parts, the old town and the new town.  There is a pedestrian tunnel connecting the two areas of Monterosso.  It was a very hot day so we decided to spend a couple hours at the beach while visiting Monterosso.  There were chairs and umbrellas for rent but we found enough room on the crowded beach to spread out our towels and have some lunch.  The swim was very refreshing!!

The beach at Monterossa

The boat didn't stop at Corniglia because there is no access to the village from the water.  It is only accessible by train or walking paths.  We thought the boat would stop at Manarola but it kept going to   Riomaggiore.  It was time for a shower and some gelato.


In the evening we walked down to the water to watch the sunset and then enjoyed dinner at a tiny restaurant recommended by our landlady. Our time in Cinque Terre was short but very relaxing!
The sunset

1 comment:

Pat said...

You sure made use of EVERY minute there! I love the different colored buildings and the narrow streets! Those homes built up on the cliffs must have beautiful scenery!