Monday, May 7, 2007

Cinque Terra

A few years ago, when Will graduated from college, he took a trip to Europe with his friends. He enjoyed most of the places that he went, but the one that he spoke of as the most beautiful was Cinque Terra. After Will visited there, I begin to hear more about it from other people who had been touring in Italy.

This weekend, I went to visit Cinque Terra with a group of people. Cinque Terra is about a 3 hour train ride west of Florence along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of 5 (cinque)small fishing villages, that literally hang on the edge of the cost. We arrived in Riomaggiore, then hiked to Manarola, Corniglia, took the train to Vernazza and hiked to Monterosso. The terrain is rocky and beautiful and very steep.

The only way you can get to the villages once you get off the train is to hike. Yes, I said hike, and yes, I did it. I wasn’t happy about it then, but since everyone was raving about the area, I had to do it. Even though I had to hike, I would do it again, and plan to, to see the beautiful vistas. The sea is the bluest blue, and the contrast of the rocky mountains and the beautiful foliage and flowers is unbelievable. There are a number of trails to chose from and they are labeled with the difficulty and how long it takes.

The weather in Florence when we left was not good. It had been raining for several days, but the forecast at the coast was for clearing. We had a "mostly" beautiful day, aside from one thunder shower, on the steepest, most slippery slope. One of the trails was closed because of the condition due to the rain the week prior.

I will let the photos speak for themselves. I have another trip planned in the Fall, and want to make it an overnight in order to see more of the trails. Bring your "hiking boots" Cathy!

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