Annie Bananie en Europe

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Tag Archives: vernazza

La vita è bella in Italia – Part 2, Cinque Terre

This is going to be a long post because well, it is about Cinque Terre. In fact, it is about the hike of my dreams, in Cinque Terre.

It all started when I first saw the photo of Riomaggiore on The Cool Hunter a while back. I remember thinking, “WOW, what is this place? It is so gorgeous!” Then I made a mental note that I HAD to visit this place, eventually. Flash forward to July this year, when I stumbled upon this wonderful blog entry on hiking in Cinque Terre. That, for me, was the motivation to get this done before I leave Europe at the beginning of next year.

So I started planning. I needed a time where I would be able to go, which wasn’t quite easy because I was occupied with my thesis and defense for the entire summer. Then it occurred to me…Toussaint weekend in November! I would have already finished with my private defense in Belgium, so I could potentially fly from Brussels to somewhere in Italy and make the trip to Cinque Terre for my dream hike! And November shouldn’t be TOO cold yet, right?

And so, the plan was devised and carried out with two colleagues from my Bordeaux lab, who decided to tag along. Pretty much, I went to Cinque Terre with unreasonably high expectations. Chances of rain and clouds were taken into consideration before the hike. Well, clouds were fine, no rain please! It would have ruined the day, not to mention that we’d probably screwed if we got stuck on a mountain in the rain…

Brief introduction of Cinque Terre – it is a set of five villages in the Liguria region of Italy known for its amazing landscapes and seaside views. The five villages of Cinque Terre, from north to south, are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Slightly east of Riomaggiore is La Spezia, our home base. It is normally possible to hike between each village along a coastal path, typically taking around 5 hours in total, as I was told. On Saturday morning we headed from La Spezia by train to Monterosso (pictured above), where our hike began. Unfortunately, only the coastal trails between Monterosso and Vernazza were open to visitors and the rest of the route was closed due to recent landslides. Boo 😦 Well, we figured we’d walk at least the Monterosso-Vernazza leg, and improvise the rest, perhaps do the vineyard trail between Corniglia and Manarola. And alas, we began following the signs leading us to Trail #2…

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