Monday, June 16, 2008

Le Cinque Terre, Friday 2nd May

This was my day. Many went to Florence, but I have been there before and thought it would be very crowded, and especially after our day in Rome, I did not want to be in a crowded city, so I chose to see Cinque Terre. The boys decided to stay on the ship and then to take the shuttle bus in to Livorno, for a day in town and visiting the market.

Well instead of a crowded day in the city, it was a crowded day on the Riviera. It seems that the locals take off Friday and make it a four day weekend, so it was very busy. And many older folk did not realize how many steps there would be on this trip. I can tell you my feet were hurting. A culmination of many days of walking.

The scenery though was spectacular, you can see for yourself.

Golfo della Spezia, and is also known as the Golf of the Poets. But I'm not sure why, because there is a hugh Italian naval base here, that's been here for a couple of hundred years, or something like that. This town would have a beautiful beach, if it had not been swallowed up by the navy.

The "Cinque Terre". The five hamlets are located on the west coast of the Riviera, the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, either clinging to the cliff face or are concealed in miniature inlets perfectly blending in.
This area has been turned into a National Trust Area and proclaimed heritage of mankind by UNESCO. Vineyards have been hewn out of the cliffs, generations of work. It's amazing to see.
This is the train station at Manarola.
These are some of the cliff paths we walked. It is said that the young men of the villages, while courting made these paths, to cut off hours of walking from one village to another.

The train station at Riomaggiore.
We took a boat ride along the coast, dropping us off at one town, and then getting the boat again to our last stop, to meet the bus. Taking the boat was great, because it gave one a wonderful view of the coastline.

This white marble is quarried out of these mountains. It was used to build Rome in the time of the Romans. I think it's called Cabrera marble.

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