Friday, June 20, 2014

~ cinque terre ~

Eighteen years ago we fell in love with Italy.
We'd worked for a year in the UK and were flush with pounds and seeking some sunshine and fun.  We had 6 weeks in spring time - travelling by train, exploring with no set plans - and yet we didn't make it south of Rome.

We learnt to drink espresso standing up, to defy the crazy traffic, to use our rudimentary Italian with a smile.  We ate better than we'd ever done before - the gelati, the pizza, the risotto, the pasta  -  and we vowed never to try limoncello ever again.

So when we were planning this trip Italy was a must - and the Cinque Terre was near the top of the list.

Last time we walked between the 5 towns in a single day.  Admittedly the coastal track was still in place (it was washed away in several places by the devastating floods of 2011) but I remember it being a big day with several hard climbs (and several stops for refreshment).

This time we based ourselves in Monterosso for 4 days.  We did 3 sections of the walk over 2 days and had 2 quiet days on the beach and exporing the little towns.

     Riomaggiore --> Manarolo (in the past an easy, flat 850m stroll - now a very steep climb along a path built for goats through tiny farms and vineyards).  About an hour
     Corniglia --> Vernazza  An hour and a half
     Monterosso -->Vernazza An hour and a half

The last section is the only one officially open at the moment - we were charged to enter the National Park here (less than 20 Euro for the family) and there were heaps more people on a very clearly marked track. All 3 sections were spectacular but did require gelati bribes at the next town to help the little legs up the steep bits (and they're very steep - these are not walks for the faint-hearted or the off-balance).

We fell in love all over again.
It won't be so long before we're back next time.


  1. Gorgeous place, isn't it! My Australian friend and her Italy husband are living in La Spezia. I'm longing to go visit them as I have only been to Cinque Terre in the winter. I don't suppose you saw a Piaggio Ape called 'Small Fry' selling fish and chips along your way? That is my friend (and my logo design!) Hope you get back soon. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous.

  2. Almost a year ago we visited the Cinque Terre and we too fell in love with a most special and beautiful part of the world! Your images remind me of the wonderful time spent in the UK and Europe for 6 weeks last year and also make me a little sad that we are not on holidays now!

  3. Just so stunning! You're giving me itchy feet for travel again! :)


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