Monday, June 25, 2012

Riomaggiore, Italy

Our last stop in the Cinque Terre was the village of Riomaggiore. After our leisurely walk along the Via dell Amore we arrived in Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore reminded us so much of Manarola. It is such a small village and probably even quieter than Manarola. Oddly there was a police presence in Riomaggiore that I never noticed anywhere else in the Cinque Terre.

The wikipedia article is here. A good web site on Riomaggiore is here.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Via dell Amore, Italy

The trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore is known as the Via dell Amore (The Way of Love). It is a gentle flat walk (excluding the climb at the train station in Manarola).

Walking at a steady pace you could probably make the trip in less than 20 minutes but trust me you'll stop again and again enjoying the views and the buskers.

The Smithsonian has a nice article by Rick Steves here.

The trail was built as part of the construction of a train tunnel in the 1920s. Before the trail was opened it was a long and difficult journey between Manarola and Riomaggiore. So much that the two villages even had different dialects.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Porto Venere, Italy

One day we made the climb back up the hill to the parking lot and drove down to Porto Venere. To get there you skirt around La Spezia. La Spezia is a busy industrial town but Porto Venere is a classic Italian beach town.

Porto Venere is not one of the Cinque Terre villages but it is just a 30 minute drive away. Driving is the most expeditious way to get there. The Cinque Terre local train doesn't go there so you have to connect in La Spezia and the last Cinque Terre ferry leaves late afternoon so don't miss it.

The Church of St. Peter is incredible. It was consecrated in 1198. It overlooks huge breakers in the harbor.

Just offshore from Porto Venere is the island of Palmaria. Locanda Lorena is a restaurant on Palmaria. It was on our very short list but we didn't get out there. They will send their boat over to the mainland to pick you up.

There's much more "town" to Porto Venere than any of the Cinque Terre villages. If we return to the Cinque Terre region in the future we're likely to stay in Porto Venere.

The wikipedia article is here. Porto Venere's official web site is here.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Monterosso, Italy

We ended our ferry ride in Monterosso. Monterosso is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town. We walked through the tunnel and strolled along the coast. We ate lunch at Bar Eden Gelateria overlooking the beach.

The wikipedia article is here. A good web site on Monterosso is here.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Vernazza, Italy

Further north on the ferry from Manarola to Monterosso we passed Vernazza. Vernazza is called out in Rick Steves' book on the Cinque Terre as his favorite village. Obviously lots of people read Rick Steves. When the ferry got to the harbor of Vernazza the dock was absolutely packed as were the streets beyond it. We stayed on the ferry.

The wikipedia article is here. A good web site on Vernazza is here.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Corniglia, Italy

As we rode the ferry from Manarola to Monterosso we passed Corniglia. Corniglia is the only one of the 5 villages that does not have a harbor. It is far up on a cliff. The walkways to Corniglia are steep and dangerous so we didn't venture there.

The wikipedia article is here. A good web site on Corniglia is here.

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Monday, June 04, 2012

Cinque Terre Ferry, Italy

To travel between the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre you have 3 choices, the train, walking, or the ferry. You can get a Cinque Terre Card but we didn't think we were going to use it that much.

One afternoon we decided to go to Monterosso so we bought tickets on the ferry. You get a good perspective on the coastline from the ferry. The Ligurian Sea is rough near the coast so a couple of days while we were in Manarola the ferry didn't run. Most of the villages have what they call a harbor but there aren't very good docks.

The ferry schedule is posted all around town.

Here is the ferry we took approaching Manarola.

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