Monday, June 17, 2013

Cinque Terre

Monday morning found us anchored at La Spezia, Italy, the jumping off point for Pisa, Florence, and Lucca, but also an easy connection to the five nearby villages known as Cinque Terre. Today's picture is a composite of my quest to "collect" all five lands in one day.

We took the regional train to the furthest, Monterosso (photo center) which is mostly known for its beaches. Next stop was Vernazza (top left) where we had a delicious sandwich on toasted focaccia bread. The third stop was Corniglia which is often skipped because the train zooms through rather than stopping several times a day, and the boat tours cannot get in to drop off tourists. From the train station you go up a series of switchback steps to get to the town top right photo). With a tight train schedule to keep from sitting around waiting, you can go up and back down in about half an hour if you are in reasonable health. Manorola was the next stop (bottom left) followed by Riomaggiore (bottom right) which were similar in looks and what was available, we had really good gelato in Manarola (lemon).

The train station is about a 20 minute stroll from where the ship tenders drop off, so add the step climbing and general walking, and even a leisurely day in Cinque Terre can override any need for a gym.

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