Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Vernazza in the Cinque Terre
"the Cinque Terre, a remote chunk of the Italian Riviera, is the traffic-free, lowbrow, under appreciated alternative to the French Riviera. There's not a museum in sight. Just sun, sea, sand (pebbles), and pure, unadulterated Italy". (Rick Steeves, Italy, 2008 travel guide) Five beautiful communities dot the rugged cliffs of this coastline in Liguria, Italy. We fell in love with Vernazza, one of these villages,the moment we stepped onto the winding cobbled street that leads down to the sea. It was Sat evening when we arrived and the locals were out socialising. We asked someone about renting a room and he hollered up the street for Enrica. She appeared and we followed her up a steep staircase to her 2 lovely private rooms, immaculate and just what we were after. It was that easy! We spent 3 nights in this lovely location. Just a few highlights: -The owner of the Blue Marlin who fills us in on the devastating mudslide that occurred on the 25th of Oct, 2011, wiping out businesses and homes throughout the town. Eight months later, the cleanup and restoration shows how diligently the people have worked in order to be semi prepared for this tourist season. This normally sleepy place is a hive of activity as they continue the cleanup progress. -The pastel coloured four and five story buildings, laundry hanging from windows, locals leaning out and calling to one another in Italian, a maze of narrow winding alleys and winding staircases, flower pots and plantings decorating the homes. -The incredibly beautiful scenery as we hiked in the heat and humidity up, up, up the trails and stairs and terraced farmland from one village to the next. -alfresco dining next to the Ligurian Sea and enjoying delicious pizza, pasta and gelato. -The cheers and festivities of last Sunday nights soccer win! It was such a wonderful experience!!