There is nothing on earth like discovering a gorgeous landscape and documenting what you saw through photography. Cinque Terre provides lush green landscapes, small Italian houses artistically placed on each hill, nestled next to turquoise waters in the sun’s warmth. Finding each town and shot, along on the hike, equates much to discovering a hidden treasure and like unwrapping an amazing gift; these are experiences of a lifetime.
I stayed in Monterosso; the most commercial of all five of the towns. The village appears split by a hill that stretches out, but the walk to either side of it is easy to make through a short trail. Both sides sparkle with golden sand, but you’ll hit some small rocks closer to the rims of the beach. When the sun reaches the water, the Sea turns into a turquoise gem reminiscent while being crystal clear enough to see all the rocks beneath the surface.
(This shows the right side of Monterosso – the side I stayed on).
(Looking in the left cove of Monterosso – the side that the train stops at).
Vernazza’s placement along the Sea feels as if the town had a city designer putting each structure into a perfect location. Looking down into this scenic second town has become a photographer’s dream shot.
(To the bottom left: viewing up from the village).
Since I visited, these two towns had been beaten down by flooding, landslides, and even an earthquake in late 2011-early 2012. Sadly, these towns no longer look the same; but they continue to work hard to restore these historic and beautiful lands of Cinque Terre.
Corniglia rests away from the water, high enough to be protected from the storms. Here I ate my first specialty of the area: pesto on spaghetti. Along with fresh local tomatoes that I could dip into a virgin olive oil. Dining outdoors over a blue checkered tablecloth while a light breeze passed by proved to be a rest well deserved after such a crazy difficult hike to get there.
The path to Manarola (pictured below) stayed flat, which made the hike much easier; however, by the afternoon, the rays of the sun became very hot. So, when reaching Manarola, we were ready for a gelato break. I must say the creamy and light texture of the icy desert tastes like nothing from here in the States.
The very small village of Riomaggiore concluded the spectacular sights of the journey through the 17 km (which equals a little over 10.5 miles) of the trails to reach the end. The whole trip on foot took eight hours, including stops for food. If I could do the strenuous hike again, I would jump at it in a heartbeat.