Trip 3: ITALY HOLIDAY in CINQUE TERRE= Post 6

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Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a three 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 man’s 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 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 walking of the 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 a 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 to 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 hours 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 into 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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Grapevines 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 farming 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 from 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 a lookout 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 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 ….. as was said before:  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 a lookout 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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If you have time, In addition to my photos above, see these wonderful images of Cinque Terre at this website.

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To see the next post….. This post is hyperlinked even though it doesn’t  appear to be:

Trip 3: A history of flooding in the sinking city of Venice – in pictures = Post 7

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