ITALY HOLIDAY in March / April 2005 ….. CINQUE TERRE

Still  being rewritten after this website was totally  hacked …..

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Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to  different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.

If you would also like  to see the post in a larger or smaller size, I suggest you follow this procedure: If you right-handed, with your left hand, press  down continuously  on the Control Function Key  with your left hand and with your right hand, move  the   little  cursor wheel either forwards or backwards to make the text in the post larger or smaller.

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Cinque Terre ….

A Four week holiday in Italy ….. from the 17th March to the 18th of April 2005
Week 3 = Florence: We stayed in a little town called Empoli about half an hour by train from Florence then went out from there every day to a different location: Florence for 1 + 1/2 days, Pisa, Sienna, San Gimignano, Lucca, Vinci and Cinque Terre.

Cinquere Terre details: …. A landscape worth saving …. A mans park … .. the first image that comes to mind when thinks of Cinque Terre is that of rugged mountain terrain, with its deteriorating dry stone walls, built to hold up vineyards.

An impressive and unique landscape which has been included on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The landscape, which we admire, is the product of collective creativity that was able to overcome the difficulties posed. It is the local Cinque Terre people, that has spanned over a thousand years. Together these people have worked towards one vision – to live, to produce and to be part of a community. Over this time, a human chain of men and woman transformed this territory with age-old techniques and wisdom and with the naivete’ of poverty, a hard challenge for survival.

There are five ancient fishing villages perched on the edge of the cliffs: 1. Riomaggiore, 2. Manarola, 3. Corniglia 4. Vernazza, 5. Monterosso ….. all joined by a railway line and by old walking and donkey trails. We walked up from the train station at the first village of Riomaggiore and saw the ocean and the steep cliffs …… we walked on the easy walk to Manarola …… a rockslide had occurred between Manarola and the third village of Corniglia. We then caught the train up to the last (fifth) village of Monterosso then walked  for four hours to Vernazza ….. the fourth village on the sea.

Note the man made landscape of ancient terraces built from dry stone. The narrow terraces are filled with soil to grow olives and grapes. A farmhouse built from stone with a terracotta tile roof is perched on an excavated terrace ….. only connected by a walking track. Some of the walking tracks we were walking were old donkey tracks. Narrow handmade stone steps ascended or descended steep areas. Olive tree branches were used to provide a railing in some steep areas.
Village of Vernazza ….. the fourth village on the sea …. impressions:  ancient stone built buildings painted in traditional colours of ochre, terracotta and chocolate brown. The track descends to the village down narrow stone steps down past garden plots on terraces. The village had an original stone tower as look out for invading pirates from previous centuries. The village has a man made stone harbour wall to protect the fishing boats from stormy weather.
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1. Riomaggiore

We came from the town of Empoli were we were staying for a week. We  walked up from the train station at the first village of  Riomaggiore and saw the ocean and the steep cliffs.  We then walked on the easy walk to Manarola  with the intention of walking right through  to Vernazza ….. the fourth village on the sea. However,  a rockslide had occurred  between Manarola and the third village of Corniglia  had occurred.  So we then caught the train up to  the last  (fifth) village of  Monterosso then walked four hours back  to Vernazza…..  the fourth village on the sea.There are many photos in this  section  …. many paths, many bays and  many  terraced areas. Some of them  are  commented and some are not.

These are some of the wonderful things we saw in our hour of walking …..

Beginning at the (first) village of  Riomaggiore ….

 

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Walking along  a wide path  above  the  steep  cliffs that fall  into the Mediterranean sea ….
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Within  eyesight of the second village of  Manarola …..
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 The buildings  of Manarola …..
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 A  footbridge across a  small  coast  chasm ….
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 Harriet, my  wife at the base of steps which lead up to a house built  of  local  stone  …. the  construction gives a very homely man – made appeal  vs.  modern machine built  house ….

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5. Monterosso

Because of  the rockslide  between Manarola and the third village of Corniglia,  we then caught the train up to  the last  (fifth) village of  Monterosso then walked four hours back  to Vernazza…..  the fourth village on the sea. These are some of the wonderful things we we saw in our four hours of walking.

The beauty of this area of Cinque Terre was unbelievable. It was like through a giant piece  of art for  four hours  of natural  geography  and man-made art carefully superimposed  on the  natural  geography over a thousand years.

 

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A wide beachfront jetty  looks  over  stonefide sand beach to the blue water  of the Mediterranean Sea …. The cliffs cascading

into the  sea  make  it more spectacular  ….

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The rocky islet gives a sense of desolation and remoteness of this area  as  with the whole coastline of the Cinque Terre  region ….

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A tall  public clock tower gives a sense of command  in  this remote region …

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A local market under a tent expresses the personal friendly side compared  the remote  distant surrounding ridges ….

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Ancient stone built buildings painted in traditional colours of ochre, pink,  terracotta and chocolate brown ……

 

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A boat ready for  action on the quiet sea ….

 

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The square  ancient stone built buildings painted in traditional colours of ochre, terracotta and chocolate brown are in stark

contrast to the rounded shapes of the cliffs, the level whitish beach and the blue water of the bay  ……

 

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Leaving the  village of  Monterosso  behind and walking for four houses to  Vernazza ….

 

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A  small ship  moored in the small bay at Monterosso …..

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The  village of  Monterosso  from a different  angle …..

 

 

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Looking along the coast  …. spectacular with dark stone cliffs falling the blue sea ….

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Getting  further along the coast from Monterosso  …. The agricultural  terracing becomes apparent ….

 

Note the man made landscape of ancient terraces built from dry stone. The narrow terraces are filled with soil to grow olives and grapes. A farmhouse built from stone with a terracotta tile roof is perched on an excavated terrace ….. only connected by a walking track. Some of the walking tracks we were walking were old donkey tracks. Narrow handmade stone steps ascended or descended steep areas. Olive tree branches were used to provide a railing in some steep areas.

 

 

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The Terraced Hills of Cinque Terre

 

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Olive tree branches were used to provide a railing in some steep areas  ……

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Grape vines are held  by  horizontal wires supported  by posts…..

 

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Narrow stone steps  lead down to the  path going  to  Vernazza …..

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Looking Back Where We Have Come from in Cinque Terre

Looking Back Where We Have Come from in Cinque Terre …..

 

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Wildflowers beside one of the tracks in Cinque Terre

 

Wildflowers in blossom along the track  …..

 

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The path twists around to the right,  goes down  past a house and goes over  a  stream bed then goes around the far ridge ….

 

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The donkey  path continues …. we walked for four hours from Monterosso  to Vernazza  admiring the ever changing scenery ….

 

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A f arming family working amongst their orange crops  growing on the narrow terrace.  A section of the retaining wall  has collapsed

over time so the  farmer has constructed a section of mesh to prevent stones rolling down on path users  ……

 

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More wildflowers in blossom along the track ……

 

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Another  footbridge across a  small  stream  chasm ….

 

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A house set in the terraced  farmland  ….  donkey tracks  connected  their market  ….

 

The Terraced Hills of Cinque Terre with House

The Terraced Hills of Cinque Terre with a House ……

 

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The  terraced hills of Cinque Terre are set on beautiful bays with the Mediterranean sea  filling them ….

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The donkey  path from Monterosso  to Vernazza continues  ……

 

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Ken and Harriet walking along the old donkey tracks  ….

 

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Harriet looking over the coastal windswept slopes to the Mediterranean sea  …..

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Flowering Peach Blossom along the  track ……

 

 

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Rough steps form a section  in the path  ….

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An end portion of a retaining wall ….

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A small terrace area for growing crops on…..

 

 

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4. Vernazza:

Village of Vernazza ….. the fourth village on the sea …. ancient stone built buildings painted in traditional colours of ochre, terracotta and chocolate brown. The track descends to the village down narrow stone steps down past garden plots on terraces. The village had an original stone tower as look out for invading pirates from previous centuries. The village has a man made stone harbour wall to protect the fishing boats from stormy weather.

 

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Nearing the end of our four hours of walking from   Monterosso ….. we are nearing to Vernazza….. the
fourth village on the sea  ….

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A farmhouse on a property as we are nearing to  Vernazza….. the fourth village on the sea  ….

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Village of Vernazza ….. the  fourth village on the sea …. ancient  stone built buildings painted in  traditional colours of ochre,  terracotta and chocolate brown.The track descends to the village
down narrow stone steps down past  garden plots on terraces … see photo above. The village had an original stone tower as look out for invading pirates  from previous centuries. The village
has a man made stone harbour wall  to protect the fishing boats from stormy weather.

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The Fourth Town of Vernazza in Cinque Terre

We finally arrive at the the fourth town of Vernazza in Cinque Terre …..

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If you have time, In addition to my photos above, see these wonderful images of Cinque Terre at this website.

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