The plan for the day was the amazing coastline hike of Cinque Terre. Here’s what the internets has to say about the area:
Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and vineyards cling to steep terraces, harbors are filled with fishing boats and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto. The Sentiero Azzurro cliffside hiking trail links the villages and offers sweeping sea vistas.
Sweeping sea vistas indeed it was! We grabbed some breakfast from Levanto, and sat on the seafront eating with a cup of coffee, and enjoyed the view as some locals took a nice, early morning swim in the Ligurian Sea.
To get to the starting point of the walk, and the furthest village away from Levanto we had to catch the Cinqu Terre train. The train departs at Levanto, and stops at each village along the way. The last stop, and our first village was; Riomaggiore.
Really pretty village, nicely built into the river valley that runs right into the sea. We had fun taking photos of the amazing views, but unfortunately, the skies were completely overcast. We made a quick dash over to the pretty church and square they had, and grabbed a quick cup of coffee before venturing down to the sea front.
Once at the sea front, we could see all the way back to Levanto, and loads of rocky bays weaving in-and-out into the coastline. We started our walk, heading towards the next village of Manarola. Manarola was quite pretty, as it was located just behind a large rock face as we approached it.
Mangrola seemed to be very busy, with a couple of small boats coming into the harbour as we were overlooking form above, and even people jumping from the cliffs into the sea below. Tourist numbers were now also starting to creep up so we decided to continue our journey towards Corniglia.
Corniglia seemed a lot smaller than the other villages so far, and was a bit less dramatic, as it didn’t seem flow down right into the sea, Gina did however make a new friend, in the form of a beautiful, bushy black cat. Gina played with her for a bit, whilst I chilled out.
we continued on, through some vegetation, trees and tall grass, over the rocks towards Vernazza. Vernazza to me was the prettiest of the villages, as it had it’s own little headland cropping out into the sea, and an old looking watch tower at the top, over looking the bay. The village had some really nice narrow, tall streets, with houses built completely ontop of each other.
We decided to have a bit of a rest here, and waited around for the sunset to take some nice photos. However, here in Vernazza, I managed not only to destroy my camera, but also Gina’s lens that I’d been borrowing for the trip. I was trying to overtake some tourists on the narrow steep stairs, and my sandals slipped, causing my camera to swing out and smash against a metal pole. Devastating. From here onwards, I had to fashion together a hack, with duct tape and gentle balance of the lens in order to take the pictures. (My camera never recovered, and I never was able to fix Gina’s awesome lens. Sorry love.)
With that, we decided to catch the train back from Vernazza to our camp at Levanto, as the sun was setting and we were getting tired – so much sea air!