The Cinque Terre

Aftering spending our first night in Italy in Milan, both our arrival and departure point, we headed south to the region that is referred to as the Cinque Terre (prounounced: "cheen' qway tare rea").

The Cinque Terre is a mountaineous region located in northwest Italy east of Genova along the Ligurian Sea. It is a small piece of land that is comprised of the space in and around five small fishing villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The term "Cinque Terre" (translated, Five Lands) refers to these five villages.

We spent seven days in the Cinque Terre and made the most of each day. On the first day, we drove our rental car to Monterosso al Mare from Levanto where we were staying to begin our hike to Vernazza. As cars are not permitted inside any of the five villages, we left our car in a parking lot on the outskirts of town. We then walked along the beach until we found the entrance to the trail. It had been my impression that the trail would lead along the tops of the mountain ridges between the two villages. Had this been the case, the hike would have been much easier than it was. As it was, the trail traversed several steep, rocky ridges. I was really glad that I had taken my hiking poles along. Since Larry is in such fine shape, even with having to carry probably 20 pounds of camera equipment, he hiked along well stopping from time to time to take a panorama. I will leave my impressions of the villages themselves to their respective pages.

On our second day, we decided to take the train to Corniglia. Our plan was to look around there before hiking back to Vernazza. We had hoped to be able to hike all the trails between all of the villages. The trail was not quite as difficult as the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza and was a little shorter. However, with my moving at near "turtle speed" and Larry stopping often to take panoramas, it took us four hours or so to get there. Although the temperature probably never got any higher than 85 degrees, because we were in the sun for a good bit of the hike, it seemed hotter. Instead of hiking back to Monterosso, we decided to return on the ferry which took about 15 minutes.

If I am not mistaken, we spent most of our third day walking through Vernazza. When we weren't taking pictures, we were enjoying ourselves sitting and eating in one or two of the several outdoor cafes that Vernazza has to offer. I also spend some time looking through the little shops alongside the main walkway hoping to find the perfect gift for my mother and two sons.

For the remainder of our week in the Cinque Terre, we spent it exploring Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore as well as hiking the trail between Manarola and Corniglia. Unfortunately, due to the path having been damaged during unusually severe spring rains, we were unable to hike the most popular trail, the Via dell'Amore (Lovers' Lane) between Riomaggiore and Manarola.

Below you will find four pictures that were taken at different points along the Ligurian coast in the Cinque Terre. The first three were taken from trails between the villages. The last was taken beside the road than runs above the villages on a day that we drove down to La Spezia and Portovenere. There are many more pictures posted on the individual Cinque Terre pages.

To view the pictures that pertain to the individual villages of the Cinque Terre including Levanto where we stayed, navigate back to the front page to make your selection.

Click on the thumbnail pictures below to see full-sized versions of the pictures.