The last free weekend in our schedule was reserved for Cinque Terre. Although my friend and I should have been working on our final semester projects, we still went. It was well worth the sacrifice. We had heard so many amazing reports of how beautiful it was and how amazing the terrain was to hike. A very popular destination, later, our bed and breakfast owner said that in the high season (soon to follow our weekend) police will stop cars and make them turn around if they don’t have proof of a reservation of some type. After all it is Italy, and it is a tiny little place, so probably well deserved. The whole five city area along the Liguria along the most northern part of the western coast of Italy is was made a National Park in order to keep some stability for the residents and natural systems. Hiking the trails is only a low cost pass that goes towards the conservation of the area. We stayed in Monterosso, the most northern of the five towns. Going to Cinque Terre very high on the list for favorite places during my travels.
La Spezia train station, our second transfer of the morning.
First glimpse of the ocean off the train.
Monterosso beach on arrival
Lunch in Monterosso
My partner in crime for the weekend, Jim.
At the trail beginning.
Trail from within vineyard at the top of our first ascent.
Shed on the vineyard terraces.
Vernazza, second city south. A very popular photo for photographers selling work at art fairs in the US.
The first non-red poppies I had seen in Italy, and some lemons.
Rail line that connects all five cities and runs along the ocean.
Harbor of Manarola, fourth city from the north.
Dramatic swimming hole in Manarola harbor.
A map with north at the left showing all the cities.
Down the cliff from trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore. The easiest and most cared for part of the trail.
Geology meets the ocean.
Mural done by local artist as memorial for those who built the stone terrace walls that covered the mountainsides.
Monterosso church very near our BnB.
Roof patio of BnB
BnB patio view to mountains.
Monterosso beach on Saturday
Castle fortress and German bunker from WWII.
Our few hours in the sun.
Patio to ocean past church.
Manorola vineyard hike
See the tiny people on their balconies?
Sunday morning, storms rolling in.
Giant holding up the dance floor, or at least until it was bombed in WWII.