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Part 3 Cinque Terre #291080
11/13/2022 10:43 AM
11/13/2022 10:43 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline OP
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EllenS  Offline OP
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Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
Sorry for delay to part three, not sure where the time went-

Our next, and last stop was 6 days in the Cinque Terre. We had been there once before, about 20 years ago for 2 nights and always wanted to return and really relax and soak it all in. We also knew it got exponentially more crowded and thought we were prepared for it. As most tourist places go, most travelers to the Cinque travel through stopping in the various towns, so in the morning and evenings, you had the towns to yourselves. But the daytime was a different story.

I think most people know of the Cinque, but for those who don’t, it’s five towns perched on hills at the tail end of the Italian Riveria in Liguria. There are no cars allowed and you can ride a ferry boat, take the train or hike between them. We did all three. Trains and ferries were crowded, but we always got on. Getting off the train platform required some patience. The hikes that were in the national park were more crowded on the trails that required you to buy a pass. There were many hiking tour groups up on these trails click clacking their poles along the rocks. The other hikes were populated but not crowded. We did every open hike except for one.

And even in town there is very little flat ground here. You are almost always going up or down, stairs, inclines, hills. I would like to see how they rate this trip for the many, many tour groups we saw. There were quite a few people we saw at the bottom of the hill and wondered how they were going to get back up.

That being said, tour groups during the day were impossible to ignore. Some small, some large. People following the pole and flag and others tagged with stickers of their group. Cruise ships regularly offer this stop as an excursion. When you see the group from the Celebrity Cruise fill the streets of Vernazza, you wonder how the town can support it. But the shops are busy, all the cafes are full of happy people.

We generally hiked during the busy part of the day, ate a late lunch somewhere off the beaten track, went back to our fabulous house for some refreshments and a view and then found our way back to town for dinner and “nightlife”.

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We stayed in Manarola and this house was fabulous. It is the house when you are at the harbor looking up, you say, I want to stay there. It was the house next to the spot where everyone climbed up for a picture. I could have sat on the terrace there forever. A quick walk downhill to the coop for fresh bread, meat, cheese and wine was snack and breakfast most days.

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One of the things so interesting about Italy is how regional they are with wine and food. Weather, terrain, what is local to the area, all play a part. We were now in seafood and pesto land!
These stuffed mussels were quite a treat and we had them almost every day and in different places. Take out the mussel, combine with a stuffing mix and some mortadella and put it back in the shell, close it up. Cook it from there and serve with a delicious red sauce, so yummy.

Pesto by the gallon being made.

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Manarola was a lovely little town on the water. Built in between two hills. It is one of the towns where you can swim in the harbor. It was busy with people jumping and yelling as they got into the water.

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All of these little towns had the street lined with fishing boats.

We spent most of our time here during the day hiking. Up to the grapes.

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Stairs anyone! These were nice stairs, most ups and downs were homemade rocky, uneven stairs. That being said they were not hikes that you needed full gear on. We wore gym shoes. Some had hiking boots. Some had sandals (not sure that worked to well in the end).

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But the trip to Volastra was worth it, cute town and yummy sandwich to fuel our continued trip to Corniglia

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Just to give you an idea of the climbs and the views. The first picture is Manarola, where we left and the second is Corniglia, where we were going.

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As I write this, I realize how little pictures I took of the other towns. We visited them all, either hiking into or out of or just going there for dinner at night. Here is the best of my small collection! I think part of my lack of photos was the full on sun over the water washed out so many views when photographed. (I am going to a photo bootcamp next weekend. I realized I need much better skills!) Since most of our hikes were done during mid-day, those views will have to live on in our minds!

Vernazza

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Riomaggiore (only town with a real beach for swimming

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Bar Il Gabbiano

One fo the few rest stops along the hikes. Views are out of the this world and their slushy lemon drinks were fabulous.

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We had a beautiful trip and I would tell anyone thinking of going to Italy, to just go. Every worry you might have, is really not that big in the end. Some things will not go perfectly, but the experience is worth it.

Now onto to figuring out where to next!

Ellen

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Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291089
11/13/2022 01:13 PM
11/13/2022 01:13 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,404
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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TomB  Offline
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EllenS

Thank you for taking me back to one of my favorite places. I worked in La Spezia for a month back in 2010 and went over to CT frequently for dinner, sightseeing, or just to walk around.
It was not that crowded then, but I have heard others complain of the crowds.


I think I may have captured your house in a picture I took 12 years ago. Check it out


Attached Files CT_M-001.JPG
Last edited by TomB; 11/13/2022 01:33 PM.

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291099
11/13/2022 03:12 PM
11/13/2022 03:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline OP
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EllenS  Offline OP
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Lake Norman, NC
Tom
Yes you got the house!

It was lovely!

I am missing the yummy food now that I looked through the pictures again.

Ellen

Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291241
11/16/2022 05:23 AM
11/16/2022 05:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,374
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
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Thank you, we will be there next summer for a week staying in Corniglia ( I thought that since it is the middle town and we can hike in both directions)


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291249
11/16/2022 07:30 AM
11/16/2022 07:30 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline OP
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EllenS  Offline OP
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Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
Corniglia is a beautiful town too. It is slightly different from the others as it is perched higher up and has no direct harbor access. Therefore the ferry does not go there. Only way in is by train. And the train station is at sea level and the town is up, up, up. But everything in the Cinque is either up or down!

If you are hiking make sure to stop at La Torre. It is in Vernazza, but technically on the trail from Corniglia to Vernazza. We happened upon it needing lunch after a hike and went back a second time.

Franco, the owner, is a specimen of eating and drinking real food his whole life!

If you come from Vernazza to get there, keep in mind it is probably 200 steps up from the town, so leave the high heels at home for this place. But views, food and service were excellent!

Have a great trip!

Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291255
11/16/2022 09:39 AM
11/16/2022 09:39 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,404
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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I had so forgotten those steps doh Thanks for the memory EllenS! I went back and looked at my blog from 2011 when I was working near there.

Excerpt from April 11, 2011 blog

To my surprise... At last a sign in English! Yes, I am going to walk the steps, not take the 1.50 Euro bus. 10 yards to left of the sign I found the steps for my advertised 15 minute walk, and I began to climb.

After about 50 steps I realized that this is not the path mentioned on the sign. The light came on when I met a local man shaking his head. I turned 180 degrees and back down where I had begun to begin my search of the RIGHT steps.

So I followed the path and found the 365 steps and up I went. A little bit slower than the boy in front of me, but remember I had already had done 50 steps! That is my story and I am sticking to it!

Once you reached the last flight of steps you are greeted by a statue of Our Lady of “Hot Damn I Made It”, the patron saint of fools who walk. She welcomes you to the village of Corniglia! There was an old man sitting on a bench spending his day getting enjoyment from watching tourists sweat after their ascent. Check that off the 1000 places to see and do!


Corniglia is a beautiful town and I hope to return there one day. When you do walk the steps reward yourself with some Sciacchetra!

Enjoy

Attached Files corn2.jpgSteps1.JPGcorn3.jpg

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291461
11/22/2022 06:58 AM
11/22/2022 06:58 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,374
Bucks County, Pa.
toast Offline
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toast  Offline
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Bucks County, Pa.
That is interesting, I did know there was a train stop as we are staying up the terrace a bit from that. I did not know the ferry would not stop, do you think that is a big disadvantage?


Toast.......to Life; White Bay...heaven on earth.
Diane
Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291564
11/23/2022 01:42 PM
11/23/2022 01:42 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline OP
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EllenS  Offline OP
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Posts: 586
Lake Norman, NC
Not really. You can still take the ferry to town hop for a day. But you will start and stop in other towns. The ferry runs much less frequently than the trains, so we found ourselves on the trains mainly and one day on the ferry to see it all from the water.

You will get friendly with the bus schedule that takes you up to town I think. As Tom mentioned, the stairs up to town from the train station are no joke.

On the upside, it might keep some of the larger your groups out. They all seemed to be on the ferry.

Ellen

Re: Part 3 Cinque Terre [Re: EllenS] #291968
12/03/2022 03:28 PM
12/03/2022 03:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,796
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Connecticut
I really enjoyed this report and pictures.
I miss being, in Italy,, but I'm so happy we went to CT twice, before the crowds.
Our car ride to Vernazza, was something i will always remember!!


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