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Cinque Terre means “five towns”. And these five little villages are clinging for their colorful lives to a steep mountainside on the northern west coast of Italy a ways south of Torino. I loved it here! I lovedit!! As soon as we drove into the first southernmost town of Riomaggiore I just couldn’t get enough. It was all so completely different from any world I could even

Steep Steps!

imagine being real. Maybe somewhere in some lifetime I had seen pictures, but really being there brought it alive. The steep streets and uneven steps perfectly complimented the imperfection of the various tall buildings lining the skinny cobblestone streets. Each place we walked by was captivating in it’s individuality, either a marble threshold, or steep uneven stairs leading up to a small patio above, a rickety-looking wooden door from approximately when Jesus was born, stucco walls with paint peeling off in random assortments of shapes and sizes, bright celestial blue buildings next to structures in varying shades of yellows and

Lovin’ the Area!

beige’s. Just about all the buildings have shutters painted some shade of green which ties the whole look together so that the entire town appears- in all it’s disarray- to be tidy and uniform at the same time. Perfect in it’s imperfection. I loved it! Some towns and cities in Italy and along the way have been touted as “an artists paradise” or “Van Gogh got his artistic motivation here”, but for me, this place was it. Here in Riomaggiore I wanted to take a thousand photos! Of everything! Of the steps, of the cats, of the skinny walkways between buildings, of the windows, of the shutters, of the plants, of the beautiful sea out there, too! I also wanted to take out my colored pencils and imitate the views. Post Haste!

It hadn’t been the original plan to stay here, but so mesmerizing from the get go it was that by the time we passed the third or fourth place which advertised rooms and vacancies I walked into a small one and asked about availability and price. Since both were fair I asked innocently “Can we see the room?” After all, I didn’t want to commit until seeing the room because one thing I have learned these last few weeks is that sometimes things sound good and aren’t, while other times things sound not as good and they’re great. At any rate, the woman paused but agreed because “we are not that busy”. She took her keys and locked the door and we proceeded out back onto the one main road [path would be a more appropriate description] that led steeply towards the sea. Hmmm, I had just presumed it would be in one of the buildings right above her office, but okay, this is cool. After all the closer to the water we get the better our view might be. Well, we walked past tourist shops, cheese shops, fresh-seafood shops, restaurants, dogs, cats, locals, tourists, fresh-vegetables, wine shops, all in the most unique tiny holes-in-the-wall. And all the while walking down the very steep main street with the sea getting closer and closer.

The view from our private terrace!

Then we took a little turn between some buildings and now the pathway was about a meter wide and about 30 meters tall between the buildings, very unique indeed. I started giggling as I thought how funny it was that I had so naively presumed the rooms would be up by that office! Now we are climbing uneven steps, flights of them! We went through three doors and up five flights -of varying degrees- of steps which ultimately opened out onto a terrace right above the lovely sea and with a stunning view of just about the whole town! It was awe inspiring! It was incredible!

The view of Riomaggiore from our terrace

It was just what I could only have hoped for! It was beautiful! I was so happy that we came across this gem of a location. We must have been what seemed like about 15 “regular” stories above the water and an assortment of other terraces and apartments as well. “We’ll stay two nights!” and so it was.

Riomaggiore is stunning. A lovely little town which captivated me from the moment I saw it. It is also just one in a series of five similar little villages. All five of these are unique in their own way, yet held in similarity by their various brightly colored buildings, umbrellas, boats, and laundry hanging out any number of second, third, fifth, and seventh story windows. The people milling around vary from quite obvious tourists to the locals who have lived there all their lives: typical little Italian men and women wearing their nice clothes to walk to market for fresh fish or fresh vegetables. One morning we sat at a cafe and enjoyed watching the locals do their thing, smile and greet each other, talk about whatever, and head along their way. Another afternoon in Vernazza we

Lunch in Vernazza

enjoyed a leisurely lunch practically on the water. The view itself was so memorable: the buildings in their unique architecture, the waterfront, the cobblestone walkway.

I could have easily stayed here for a week. We only gave it two nights. It was a lovely place to relax and take it all in, recharge our batteries, so to say, before heading out again into the unknown.

Sunset on another beautiful day~ Cheers!

 

Next stop? The archeological ruins of Pompeii…

 

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3 thoughts on “Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre

  1. When I see you again you will have to help me pronounce the names there..lol Very impressive indeed. I didn’t realize thatItaly was so old and back country. Lots of wine though. Beautiful seaside photo’s. So from Italy to where?? You guys amaze me. Is your friend from Idaho still with you?? I thought maybe he had gotten homesick??? Subject: [New post] Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre

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    creativeportal11 posted: ”

    Cinque Terre means five towns. And these five little villages are clinging for their colorful lives to a steep mountainside on the northern west coast of Italy a ways south of Torino. I loved it here! I lovedit!! As soon as we drove into the fir”

  2. Ahhhh! Cinque Terre was one of my favorite places that we visited when Paul “had” to work in Italy for Micron. I am also so confused as to why it isn’t as well known as Florence, Venice, etc., etc. My favorite memory there was hiking in the vineyards between the towns. So freakin’ beautiful with the ocean right there and, and,…I could go on forever. One night we also ate the most amazing gnocci that I have ever had in my entire life. It was in the last town of the 5…I’m drawing a blank on it’s name, the one with the big man carved into the rock on the beach, perhaps you’ve seen it, no?
    So glad you got to have such an amazing experience there, too. I’m looking forward to other news from Italy. It has such a special place in my heart!

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