Ah, beautiful Cinque Terre (chink-wa terra), what have they done to you?
A travel consultant told me that I’d be happier in Levanto than Cinque Terre; she was so right; when I visited, it was so crowded that it was difficult to just walk up and down the narrow streets. But, it’s still stunningly beautiful. It consists of 5 small towns; cinque means five and terre means land – so it means Five Lands. Levanto is just a little bit north of Monterosso.
I took a small boat from Levanto south to Riomaggiore, the southernmost town in the Cinque Terra and then took the train from town to town as I visited each of them. The boat ride was dazzling.
The dock where our boat landed in Riomaggiore.
The tunnel to get from the town to the train station, each town has the same tunnel.
I know it doesn’t look crowded, but it was. I didn’t stay long because Levanto is so beautiful and uncrowded, I saw no reason to stay in the narrow lanes and crowds of the Cinque Terre towns.
These snacks are served with skewers, people walk along munching bites from the ends of the skewers, they do that with French Fries (patatine frites) as well. I’m not very courageous with seafood so I gave it a pass.
All Catholic churches are not big and glorious, some are humble and sweet.
Lemons are everywhere, every shop sells lemon soap, lemon drink, lemon pictures, lemon lotion.
There is a trail that connects all five of the towns, people come from all over the world to hike the Cinque Terre, unfortunately, landslides have closed the trail from Riomaggiore to Corniglia, so now people can hike only from Corniglia to Monterosso. There were people with huge backpacks, heavy hiking boots and walking sticks ready to make the long, steep up and down hike. Here’s the beginning of the trail at Vernazza. I didn’t even go into Corniglia because the crowds were too dense.
I hiked a couple of miles, but it was steep and I knew I wouldn’t make the whole way so I went back. People on the trail told me it was stunning.
Aah, now I must say goodbye to Levanto & Cinque Terre, jewels of the Tyrrhenian Coast. Onto the Adriatic Coast & Venice.