onsdag 11. mai 2016

Cinque Terre - five cities in one day

Cinque Terre consists of five enchanting small fishing villages located in the Liguria region, approximately a three hours drive from Florence. The entier Cinque Terre has the status as a national park, and stands on the coveted UNESCOs World Heritage.

After approximately three hours in our rental car, driving through the most beautiful landscapes, which changed from rolling hills to elongated land along the ocean, to the most rugged terrain you can only imagine.

Cinque Terre means five countries, but it is rather five cities. They are located in this order when you come from Florence;  Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza og Monterosso al Mare.

It`s easy to understand why Cinque Terre is known for it`s indescribable beauty. It looked as if it was built small terraces in the hilly countryside, where they cultivated grapes and olives interchangeably, and with the best view over the Mediterranean.

We knew the cities were car free and that we had to park outside. What we did not know was how steep and long it was from the car park and down to the town and harbor. We went down and down and down the hill while we admired the colorful buildings who dominated both side of the street.

We walked past small shops, fruit dealers, cafes and restaurants on the way towards the harbor.

We sat down at a small cafe at the highest point down at the harbor. We eat Panini while we enjoyed the stunning and dramatic view.

On the way back to the car it started to rain, and it poured down. I can promise you, that the way back was not as great or as easy as the way down.

I will strongly recommend those with weak lungs or a weak heart, or if you have a handicap to take the train that runs between the cities.

It took approximately 15 minutes form Riomaggiore to Manarola by car in the hilly terrain. Just enough time to get my breath back.

When we had parked the car and started walking down to the next harbor, it was steeper and father, and I already dreaded the walk back. Luckily the sun had found it`s way back on the sky.

Although I dreaded the walk back I enjoyed the beautiful scenery on the way down. It was quite similar to the previous town.

We did`t stay long, we just looked around a bit and got something cold to drink before we started on the lang and hard way back up to the car. Suddenly it lay a beautiful small church in front of me.

I completely forgot how tired I was when I entered this quaint little church named San Lorenzo. T his church is built in Gothic style and was built in 1338.

The church has got it`s name from the city`s patron Saint Lawrence. Inside you are greeted with Baroque interior. I walked around and admired the church`s decoration until I got my breath back and could walk the last meters back to the car.

Corniglia is the third of the Cinque Terres five idyllic cities. The town dates back to Roman times and is located on a promontory with the finest views of the Mediterranean.

The road between Manorola and Corniglia was if possible even more hilly. I sat with a pounding heart while we drove up and up and up the narrow roads. You will not believe how fast some of the other cars drove.

After a while it started to go down again, and suddenly we drove down and down and down. I priced myself happy that it was not I who drove the car.

Surprisingly we could drive all the way down this time. As we steeped out of the car we were all anxious to see the city that were not on the waterfront but on a high cliff. 

The town consisted of one narrow street and we found only one cafe and one bar. There were many small souvenir shops to look in. All the houses had large flower boxes outside, and almost everyone had basil outside the door.

The narrow street is leading up to the terrace Santa Maria with the best view you can imagine.

Vernazza is in my opinion the most enchanting town in Cinque Terre founded in 1000 AD. The vineyard adorn the stone terraces, and it has a breathtaking view of the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea.
A lovely little  harbor is located under the shadow of an old castle, and at the seaside there i a small beautiful church.

Of all the cities we had visit, this one was certainly the most charming. The sun was shining end the temperatures was as expected in Italy in July. We walked around and enjoyed the atmosphere, the smells, the sounds and the crowd who enjoyed themselves.

During a day with a lot of experiences, and not to mention the amount of physical activity we were now very hungry. We sat down at a nice restaurant by the water. It was lovely to finally sit down and just enjoy life. The food tasted divine when we were served our pizzas and pastas.

It was not only the food that made this restaurant worth a visit. We sat so close to the sea and the waves were so powerful that the droplets of each wave hits us and cooled us down in

A church with a view
After a much needed meal we walked purposefully to the church we had passed earlier. The Church of  Santa Margherita d`Antiochia is build in the year 1318 AD, and it is located at the tip of a cliff. From inside you have a marvelous view of the ocean and the mountains.

We came into a booth that was about to be terminated. It was pretty special to me since I`m above average interested in religions and churches.

Anyone who visits Vernazza should take the time to see this church, if not for anything else, so for the view. .

Cinque Terre is definitely worth a visit. We managed 4 out of 5 cities, but I`m happy. One day we will return and then we will see the last city.


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