Dwight Peck's personal Web site

It's time to walk along the Cinque Terre

You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.


For too long we've been dozing off in front of American sitcom reruns and planning to get to this someday, but since everybody we know (except for Fred) says that this is the loveliest walk in the world, we're going to do it at least once before we get pensioned off to the next planet.

Cinque Terre 2: Corniglia to Monterossa

Okay, here we are. Town III of the Cinque Terre.

Kristin at the church in Corniglia, as we set off on Tranche II of our hike along the Cinque Terre . . .

. . . if we can just find our way out of town.

There's a quick look back down into Corniglia as we're almost galloping to get on our way at last up into the olive groves.

This is all, by the way, a UNESCO World Heritage Site cultural property, and these old paved tracks through the steep olive groves have got to be a large part of that honour.

Brief Description
The Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value. The layout and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium.

Justification for Inscription
The Committee decided to inscribe this site on the basis of criteria (ii), (iv) and (v), considering that the eastern Ligurian Riviera between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural site of outstanding value, representing the harmonious interaction between people and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional scenic quality that illustrates a traditional way of life that has existed for a thousand years and continues to play an important socio-economic role in the life of the community.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/826

Nicely put! You World Heritage Convention, you!

Here's a view of Corniglia as we plod our way upwards, bound hopefully inevitably towards Vernazza. That is to say, Town IV.

Corniglia with the zoom lens on.

The ancient path towards Vernazza, with modern chickenwire laid on.

The hiking trail that just screams out "ancientness"!! And Kristin, who just screams out "youthful exuberance"!! Keep up with her if you can.

Kristin looking back (like Lot's wife), but the afternoon shadows are lengthening

An agglomeration of disused buildings somewhere along the path from Corniglia to Vernazza (hard to tell where this is on the map, maybe Margareta?).

The same buildings, with laundry hanging out, so evidently somebody knows they're here.

The narrator smugly somewhere along the trail to Vernazza. Kristin's in this picture, too; can you tell where?

Having got steeply so far up, we now have to go steeply down. With steps, thanks to these conveniences thoughtfully laid on by the local tourist board almost a thousand years ago.

The venerable path to Vernazza.

Vernazza and cactus

Vernazza, Italy, founded in about 1000 A.D., and looking a little not unlike Shawnee, Oklahoma, in this light. If you squint really hard.

And, in this photo, even more like Shawnee, Oklahoma, if you try to blot out the Ligurian Sea, the steep rocks, and the buildings.

Town IV of the V Terre, Vernazza, with (like all Italian towns, it seems) all the electricity and plumbing hung from wires somewhere over your head.

Kristin, at this point, is wondering whether enough is enough for the day, and whether the rest of the party should be sent on ahead with precise instructions for how to ask for the right train in Italian.

We're playing "Don't Look Now" again, wandering down through tiny alleys into bustling downtown Vernazzo.

The port of Vernazzo, having a good lookabout for the public facilities

The village square

Here's the Santa Margherita di Antiochia, dating from 1318 (the paint job seems to be recent), a truly imposing pile

Fishing boats awaiting the return of the summer, not to mention the return of fish

Enough craning of necks for Saint Margarita, let's go in and check out whether it's really as old as they claim in the tourist brochures. As discriminating tourists, we don't fall for all of these Tourist Board tricks.

Yes, it's very old.

Kristin tours the Normanish interior, absorbing a thousand years of prayers of the faithful, and, thus fortified, decides to race the declining sun onwards to Town V of the Cinque Terre walk: Monterosso al Mare.

In fact, the rest of the party had been having doubts about Kristin dropping off our increasingly crepuscular hike, since she's the only one who speaks Italian, in case stocking up on additional panini with capres were to become necessary . . .

. . . but in the event Kristin stiffened up the already stiff sinews and led us, actually dragged us, up out of Vernazza . . .

. . . on the vertiginous path northwards towards Town V, Monterosso al Mare.

As the sun drops slowly into the tank again

Our hasty march onwards to Monterosso, 3 February 2007

Luckily, after a very warm February day, Kristin's "hiking sandals" let the feet breathe.

A quick glance back towards Vernazza as we race the sun to Monterosso.

On hiking paths so old that UNESCO has reached out to honor them

We were racing the daylight, and we lost, just about at this 12,000-year-old footbridge.

But we made it into Monterosso just in time to buy 12 bottles of mineral water and catch the night train for Sestri Levante. A fine day's walk.

Sestri Levante, 2-5 February 2007

Cinque Terre 1: Riomaggiore to Corniglia

Cinque Terre 2: Corniglia to Monterossa

Portofino walk


Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 18 February 2007, revised 26 September 2013.


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