Saturday, April 08, 2006
cinque terre, Italy
Vernazza, a really pretty fishing village in the Italian Riviera, and part of the cinque terre, a collection of 5 fishing villages, all linked by a hiking trail. It has been designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site. It's becoming popular among Americans after being publicized by 2 travel writers, Rick Steves and Rudy Maxa. On the day we were in Vernazza, there were a lot of Americans. We walked the whole 7 mles linking all 5 villages. Cinque terre actually is 5 lands in Italian. The first 2 trails linking Monterosso and Vernazza and Corniglia were extremely gruelling. The fact that it rained didn't help because it made the trails muddy and slippery. It was the most beautiful hike. I strongly recommend visiting and walking the whole hike. The hike from Corniglia to Manarola is easier. The hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore is the easiet and is dubbed "the lover's lane". The views are superb, the seafood is fresh caught and the wines are world class. It's a wonderful place under heaven. The people were really nice, they love visitors and what visitors does for their economy. It's also a national park and a fee has to paid to walk the trails and use the train service. Only the cinque trains can stop at 4 of the 5 villages.