Cinque Terre is a living postcard. A series of 5 originally fishing villages perched on the cliffs over the sea in Liguria, each one more picturesque than the other. With our immaculate timing, we exited the car at the station, bought a ticket and stepped into a train all in the space of about 5 minutes. If there is one negative thing I can say, it’s that I don’t remember there being this many tourists last time. The train was packed full of everything but Italians.
We disembarked in Vernazza, the second village from the north. There really isn’t much to say about it that isn’t better explained in photos.
As our breakfast was rather meagre, we had a pizza for lunch on the main tourist strip. It was OK, but definitely required a digestive in the form of a proper workout.
So we hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia, rather a strenuous exercise really, but well in tune with our previous expedition in the Dolomiti. A hell of a way up and then all the way back down.
Corniglia is the only village I hadn’t visited yet, and I was surprised at how charming it was! The steps leading to the train station were particularly delightful, provided you were going down, and not up, as many of the unsuspecting tourists just off the train were about to find out.
And we unsuspecting tourists were about the find out that the hiking path to the next village was closed, and we also found out that getting past a swarm of geriatric tourists just off the train would result in the doors closing literally in front of our faces, leaving us stuck in Corniglia for another 2 hours (due also to a certain misreading of the schedule on my part). Well, when by the sea, go in the sea, right? So that’s what we did.
Eventually the train came around and we decided to skip Manorola and proceed to Riomaggiore, despite the fact that a thick mist had come out from the hills. What a great decision!
We crawled through all the wormholes and back streets of the village, places that most people simply never get to.
And then mist drifted away and everything became a myriad of colour in the setting sun.
We spent 8 hours in the Five Lands, but bed was waiting elsewhere, in the land of Toscana… an easy drive on the highway, with dinner purchased at the petrol station (which in some cases looks like Wine Food Market in Prague) and eaten on the bed in our room in Serravalle Pistoiese in the midst of the green hills of Toscana.