Happy Chinese New Year to all who celebrate this New Year…
and here is part 2 of our story on Cinque Terre. This post is abit longer than most of my post but sometimes there is just more to say.
No need of an alarm clock. At 7 am, we heard the bells of the church. We went down (100 steps) to Piazza Marconi for our Italian breakfast facing the harbor.
It was market day in Vernazza and there was of lot of action. This market is very important not only to buy fresh fruits and vegetables but other necessities of life mostly for people living in that village. There was a truck selling salami and cheese. People can shop for fresh herbs also. We also did a little bit of shopping as we had a little fridge in our room and then, up 100 steps to get ready for the day. You guessed ? Another hike.
We had decided we would do the walk from Vernazza to Monterosso. Only 3.3 km one way. This is the blue trail. We are closer to the sea. We had to buy our Trekking card for the day at a little booth on the trail. The cost was 7,50 euros. It helps to keep up the trails in good condition. That particular trail goes up and soon you get a superb view on the village down below. It was around 11 AM . You can see a boat bringing tourists to the village. They come and go all day long.
The trail has been- until the last century- the only connection between the two towns. It belongs to a trail of network that answered and still answers the needs of harvest (woods, olives, vines, vegetables and fruits). This path is wild and most rewarding. The hike leads to the perception of the Mediterranean landscape that is characterized from the juxtaposition of cultivated lands (sunny slopes-terraces of vines and olives) and maquis.
It was quite busy with people coming our way and sometimes the trail was very narrow ( maybe 40 cm) and we had to wait. We had to be careful. There was a railing at some places but not everywhere. The view was nice. It didn’t take long before we could have a glimpse of Monterosso. Many of the hikers were French. Cinque Terre is not so far from France so it makes sense that they also want to travel there. We exchanged some “Bonjour” and kept walking. The last part of the trail was quite steep going down.
We arrived in the Old Town of Monterosso and took time to explore the village. We passed Piazza Garibaldi. Giuseppe Garibaldi was a dashing firebrand revolutionary who, in 1870, helped unite the people of Italy into a modern nation. We saw beaches with umbrellas all lined up. Some beaches are free (where there are no umbrellas) and some are not. Those beaches are the best of Cinque Terre.
Here how we can describe Monterosso al mare. Beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs, crystal-clear turquoise waters. It is the largest of the Cinque Terre villages. Medieval tower (Aurora) on the hills of the Cappucini separates the ancient part of the village from the more modern part. The village is encircled by hills and by forest of scrubby bushes and small trees.
We were in no hurry. We walked on the narrow streets, visited the churches and went up to have a good view of the city. After a snack we went back on the trail. An old man was making fresh orange juice and for 2 euros, we were happy to buy one. I asked the man to take his picture. He gave us a nice smile. In the morning, when we passed his stand, he was quite busy but when we came back we were his only customer. I know he is there most of the time as someone else had see him ( not the same month).
Back in Vernazza, we went to our little beach. I went quickly into the sea to put my feet and not much ! For me it was enough to stay a minute (or less) as I always find the water too cold.
I looked for special rocks on the beach. We met a couple from France. After our little chat, we decided we would hike together the following day. What a nice day ! More to come on Cinque Terre on my next post. Thanks for reading. Grazie !!!