Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

[ 0 ] August 28, 2011 |

Cinque Terre- “The Five Lands” is a portion of the Italian Riveria located in the province of La Spezia. It is made up of five mountainside villages: Monterossa al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola, and Riomaggiore. The five villages are only accessible primarily by train or foot. The train tracks connecting the villages are mainly in tunnels cut out of the mountainside. All five towns are connected by an extensive hiking trail.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

trains in tunnels

The land is extremely steep and extensively terraced. Nonetheless the local people use what they have. Grapes and olives are the primary crops with some fruit trees and tomatoes mixed in. The land is terraced enough to grow a row of grapes per row. They use a mini-trolley system (the trolley car is essentially a large crate on a track going from the bottom to the top of the mountain vertically at the end of each row) to harvest and maintain the crops.  All of the labor is done by hand.

hillside crops

lemon tree

We stayed in the village of Riomaggiore, the most southern village of Cinque Terre. It is known for it’s historic character and vineyards. There is a small wharf next to the shoreline along the Mediterranean’s Gulf of Genoa. We stayed right at the wharf and were able to watch the men coming in from a day of fishing on their small boats. The fishermen helped one another drag their boats up the hill for storage at night. They attached a long rope to the boat and together pulled each boat up the hill on top of boards placed on the ground every few feet.  The streets were lined with boats.

end of a fishing day- taking boats out of the water

boats in the street

The walked the portion of the trail between Riomaggiore and Manorola which is named “Lover’s Lane” or “Via dell’Amore.” There is a section of the path where people in love attach a padlock with their names written on it to a metal fence and throw away the key in the sea. There is also a wall where thousands of people have written their names such as- “Alison Loves Pat” or something along those lines.

lovers lane mementos fence

Walking on Lover's Lane

We stayed in a shared hostel that was just a room with six beds crammed in- but it was in one of the iconic colorful buildings right by the water.  At the hostel we met a couple from New Zealand who were heading the same direction as us the next day and offered to give us a ride in their rental car- so we took them up on it and ended up spending the next day together. We’re looking forward to meeting up with them again when we’re in Australia.

colorful homes





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Category: Alison's Blog, Blog, Featured Posts, Italy

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