Rome and Tuscan Highlights (Part 3 of 5)
Cinque Terre is a string of five villages that are located northwest of Tuscany in a region called Liguria. These are coastal fishing villages dotted with pastel colored houses that are in bedded in the rugged cliffs. We drove through the town of La Spezia to drive up into the mountains where we had views of the city down below. As we continued to climb, all of us were amazed by the stone terrace vineyards. Our Tour Director informed us that these villages had many challenges with survival in the past because of the difficult terrain. The people had to come up with a way to use the land to produce a product for trade as fishing was not enough. The vineyards became important. These terraced vineyards go from sea level up 4,000 feet. We tried to imagine from generation to generation the work that continues on these steep terraces. Amazing. This region is also known for producing it’s own unique Pesto.
We visited two of the five charming villages. Each had quaint shops, restaurants and colorful fishing boats. It was fascinating to see how these houses were built along the challenging terrain. I found the local people to be hard working, humble and friendly. After many years of enjoying professional photographer’s beautiful photos of this region, I was here. I was here in person to see this scenery with my own eyes. It was a thrill to take my own photos of this very special place. We walked up a walkway that hugged the edge of a cliffside. Often, I stopped to look back to see the view that so many would say is awesome. And it was awesome! It was a misty and cloudy day. And it was still a beautiful experience with the smell of the Mediterranean Sea and the waves crashing against the rocky shore and the spectacular view of the colorful village.
From this small village of Manarola, we walked through a long tunnel to arrive at the train station. It was a short ride to the next village of Monterosso. This village is the largest of the five villages and it has a nice beach. We had plenty of time to lunch at Ristorante da Ely and enjoy the local shops. Our group met back at the train station for about a 25 minute train ride to La Spezia to meet our trusty motor coach driver. We learned where many tourists take the ferry over to the villages from La Spezia during the peak tourist season, “next time,” I thought with a smile.
Tomorrow, we visit Pisa and Vinci (as in Leonardo Da Vinci). Looking forward to another great day! Join me!
My trip is posted on CTC Travel’s face book page. Take a look! And maybe you will want to take the same itinerary or something similar with Trafalgar Tours. Give me a call and I can help you plan your trip.