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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 9
Europe 2007
London, Tuscany, Paris


Day 12
Cinque Terre

We both slept extremely well. The cool night air coming off the Mediterranean seemed like a sleeping pill and we awoke to a sunny, cool, brisk morning by the sea.

The pristine waters at Monterosso

Delicious breakfast of coffee, toast, sweets, cheeses, yogurt, fresh fruit, eggs and juice at the hotel. This is by far the nicest hotel we have stayed at on this trip.


We caught the 11:30 boat to Riomaggiore, another of the Cinque Terre, down the coast. The coastline is serene on this bright, sunny, cool day, and we snapped photos of small towns hugging the hills all along the way. We disembarked at Riomaggiore and wandered through the quaint colorful village. Then spent the next hour strolling along Via della Amore, the stone walkway that follows the shoreline a hundred or so feet above the water between Riomaggiore and Manarola. Sat at a café in Manarola for rest and sandwiches.


Riomaggiore hugging the cliffs
We land at Riomaggiore

Carol wandered around Manarola while I rested in the shade and enjoyed watching people and listening to all the different languages.


Thirsty dog
Getting ready to take the "Lover's Walk"
The gorgeous scenery along the "Lover's Walk"
Carol buying our boat tickets back to Monterosso
One of the Cinque Terre

Mid-afternoon we caught the boat from Manarola back to Monterosso. Disembarking at Monterosso, we passed hundreds of tourists from cruise ships. Made it back to the hotel and rested. We call M&M and made plans to meet at six for another fun evening.


The five towns of the Cinque Terra are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. "Cinque Terra" means "five lands." The small towns cling to rugged rocky slopes, terraces dug into the contours of the mountains, and the translucent blue sea laps against the steep sea cliffs.. This is a Unesco World Heritage site. Vernazza is the only one of the five towns to have a harbor, which is known to have been in use since ancient times. That port made Vernazza the richest village in the area. Monterosso has a long sandy beach popular with tourists. Corniglia was named by the Romans. Riomaggiore has spectacular diving in crystal-clear waters. Beautiful Portofino is nearby. You can walk, bicycle, ride horseback or boat between the five towns that make up the Cinque Terra. Some of the hikes are steep and not for the faint of heart. The entire area of the Italian Riviera is known as the Gulf of Poets.


Met up with M&M, strolled through Monterosso's "old town," and selected a restaurant called Vineria di Mare, where we tasted delicious antipasto di mare, black spaghetti and soupe di pesci, plus two mouth-watering desserts. Another interesting evening with our dear friends.


Tiny truck (or huge Marc)
Evening fisherman at Monterosso
Good friends enjoying a wonderful evening

We said buona notte at 9:30 in order to get some sleep in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Lake Como.

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