Visited June 6-7.
From Santa Marguerita Ligure, we arrived at Monterroso, northernmost town of the Cinque Terre.
I have waited to see this land since our first trip to Italy in 2010, when our schedule was already too full and we didn’t make it. Monterroso is a little cliffside town of the 5 terre that seems to be split in two by a massive coastal rock. No worries, there is a tunnel! Probably built by Romans. We went to shore right away and hiked to the next town Vernazza, such a cool name, and considered by the book I bought to describe it as one of Italy’s loveliest towns. I had to buy a t-shirt and change my name to Vernazza. At least until we reach Venezia (if).
The part that we hiked is the only part that is open for hiking since a massive flood and mudslide wiped out much of the trail, I’m not sure when. It was pretty enough, but so crowded with tourists that we had to wait in queues at times to ascend a staircase, and much of the trail was a staircase
The hike was very steep, many stairs, many many people, traffic jams, and a far second place to the Path of the Gods hike above the Amalfi Coast. Similar, but less maintained, more inland, the houses having a more box of pastels look than the Amalfi houses. The corner where Vernazza pops into view was quite impressive. It seems like the town, especially the piaza at the waterfront likes bring solid color umbrellas. Looking down on it, I had an “Unbrellas of Cherbourg” moment. Quite pretty.
We climbed the Castle Daria, had beers in the piazza.
We showered and went to dinner at Miky, an expensive and good restaurant. All was good but for the 8 euro cover charge and the 50 minute wait to pay the bill. Back at anchor it was fairly calm, even a bit hot, and we slept like tired, full, happy tourists.
The next day we visited Manarola.
They store their fishing boats in town, parked parallel, like cars.
Every town needs a swimming hole, right? Manarola doesn’t go wanting.
Another lovely town, but in general, we found the whole area to be more crowded and less interesting than we imagined. I suppose we are getting very spoiled, but we were glad to keep moving down to Portovenere and wait for a guest to arrive.