Today we decided to explore one village in Cinque Terre we had not yet visited. Boy am I glad we did. Monterrosso ended up being our favorite!
A quick train ride (as in six minutes) and we were on the streets of this quaint but larger village. It was early so we decided to stroll and explore. For whatever reason this village seems to be in better physical condition then the others. It was bustling without being overrun. Of course it is full of little restaurants and lots of shops but somehow it doesn’t seem like a tourist trap.
Physically it is quite beautiful. This village was built to defend against pirates so there are remnants of that along with the requisite but wonderful little churches that each village has. We seriously wandered around for almost two hours and finally decided to move on. We grabbed the train to the next of the five (heading South) Vernazza simply planning to have lunch. Ah how plans can change!
After a quick reconnaissance we decided we had really liked the location of last nights “rainout” so we went back and ordered some lunch from the same unlucky table. As we ate and gazed at the incredible surroundings I noticed people walking up in the hillsides. Innocently enough I agreed to try and find a way to get up there and look back at Vernazza from above. Seemed like a good idea. I guess at the end it WAS a good idea but I sure got more then I bargained for!
As we ascended I quickly realized we had breached the trailhead going back back to the aforementioned Monterosso. Secretly I’d read this was
the most difficult and had decided against doing that particular leg of these trails. “We can just walk up and look at the views and then come back down” my billy goat of a hiking partner said. I knew she wanted to do the whole thing and there was no way I could come this far and deny her this pleasure but damn! Up we went. And up, and up and up.
She kept offering to turn around (yeah, right) but the views got prettier and prettier (of course they did, we were walking straight up the hills on sandstone steps to the skies!) Okay, I am exaggerating somewhat but this is some serious vertical hiking. Oh, and some seriously beautiful vistas.
Eventually we crested and began the descent. It was as beautiful as the ascent but this time I got to quietly laugh at the poor slobs who we’re walking uphill towards us. Little did they know what lay ahead…both good and bad.
Long and the short of it? You are always glad you went ahead and did it. We trekked the two hardest but most magnificent hikes in one of the most beautiful places in Italy. At my age I am tired and sore but pleased that we went ahead and walked the walk.
Now for some pasta, some wine, a good nights sleep and then off to Lucca by train. I’ll add pictures later. Be sure to come back and see them.
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