Our day on Monday was filled up with a visit to the coastal area of Italy known as Cinque Terra. This is a dramatic area of cliffs and-little coves and the site of five famous villages
The villages are connected by a series of terraced walking tracks from which you can get superb views of the coast and the cliffs. Each of the villages has its on distinct style, butb they all have a similar collection of coloured houses that somehow cling to the steep cliffs with narrow winding lanes and streets -that connect them. The total distance between the first and fth towns in the area is 26 kilometres and takes a little over 5 hours to walk the entire distance. It’s difficult to fully describe them in words, so I’ll include a few photos as illustrations of this spectacular area.
We manage to fit in a visit to four of te five towns through a creative use of train and walking. We began in the town of Levanto, after driving from Nice. Here, we picked up our first train ride for the whole of five minutes through tunnels and got off- at the first of the town of Monterosso.
After an hour there, it was back on the train to the second village of Vernazza. We had lunch here in a restaurant high above the village in an area of the old castle. We had a delicious seafood lunch that was very successful in completely reducing our appetite for dinner at night. I managed to walk a litle away along the track that connected Vernazza with Monterosso to take a couple of photos.
Then it was back on the train to travel on to the village of Manarola, THisz took about ten minutes on the train whilst it would have taken a few hours had we walked along the hillside track. We didn’t stop at Corniglia as -it is high up on the hill and can only be reached by a pathway of over 360 steps.
Some of the group stayed on the train all the way until the last village of Riomaggiore, but a few of us walked along the well made and paved track for the last kilometre.The views were fantastic and the only problem for us was that the walk was far too short. All of us would have loved to have had a longer distance in which to experience the views and the scenery.
This was an area about which I had heard a great deal and it certainly lived up to all; its expectations. We finished- the day with a final train ride to the port city of La Spezia where we stayed for the night.