The Cinque Terre meaning “Five Lands” is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera that comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore which are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With the Riomaggiore – Manarola – Corniglia track closed due to a landslide we caught the train to Corniglia to start our Cinque Terre walk. The sun was shining and we were keen to get going early to make time for many swims on the way. To reach Corniglia from the train station you have to climb the Lardarina, a long brick flight of steps composed of 33 flights with 382 steps. A great way to start the walk!
Corniglia is the third town along the coast, right in the middle of the other four towns, unlike the other Cinque Terre towns, Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it sits high up on the hill side surrounded on three sides by vineyards and the fourth side descends steeply to the Mediterranean.
We venture onto Vernazza, walking among the vineyards, along stony tracks, up and down stairs cases, passing cacti, people and stunning panoramas of the entire coast line.
Walking into Vernazza you get the most amazing view of the entire town from way up high. The headland juts out into the sea and is surrounded by crystal clear waters. So inviting. We stop at the beach with our beer and focaccia for a rest and recharge. The wind was quite fierce so we headed to the northern side where the boats dock for an epic swim! The water was warm and inviting with the headland protecting us from the wind. Again we were the only people swimming, we couldn’t believe it.
Onward to Monterosso al Mare. . . Part IV tomorrow!