Cinque Terre – Riomaggiore

DSC_0245We drove to Cinque Terre.  I wouldn’t advise taking a car there.  The five villages of Cinque Terre are set on very steep ground and the winding roads (that often allow only one car past at a time) are not for everyone.  Luckily I am married to a European so he is used to driving in small spaces.  Riomaggiore was the village we stayed in and parking was tricky.  The main road runs down the middle of the buildings in the photo above.  You can’t drive all the way down there (you have to walk most of it).  All the parking is crammed up the top and is co-ordinated by a somewhat flustered man in a little control box…..  I say no more.  Take a train.

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DSC_0250These photos really don’t capture just how steep the main road is.  I was huffing and puffing dragging a suitcase up there.

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It is incredibly beautiful.  The colourful buildings.  The blue blue sea.  The breathtaking cliffs.  The food.

DSC_0038The gelato.  How much gelato can one family eat on a trip to Italy?  Lots…..

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These villages were badly damaged in flash floods in 2011.  Riomaggiore is recovering well and there is a strong tourist trade even though it wasn’t high season when we were there.

DSC_0079Like many places in Europe, people put padlocks on bridges or gates or anything they can find to declare their eternal love.  This is taken at the entrance to the hiking trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola…

DSC_0080…which unfortunately was closed at the time we were there.  You can see the trail running along the cliff.  I have long dreamed of hiking these trails but it wasn’t to be on this visit.  Instead we caught a train to the furtherest village and then took a boat back, stopping at most of the villages on the way.  I highly recommend the boat – such a nice view and different perspective from there.

More to come…

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