The last time we were in Italy, we were able to discover the beauty and isolation of the Cinque Terre Walk. In April 2012, We spent four days exploring the coast line from Levanto through Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
I saw this leaf nestled amongst the shattered, sharp rocks on our way from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza and it struck me as quite beautiful. No one would believe that this walk was almost destroyed by the flooding in late 2011, until you happen upon Vernazza where the streets are covered in sawdust and the eerie empty buildings loom at you in the narrow streets.
The walk itself is a mixture of steep climbing, plateaued relief and then knee weakening descent. However it is all worth it when you are treated to views such as these:
Whilst we were there the path between Vernaza and Manarola was closed. So we used our Cinque Terre card (http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-card) to catch the train that connects the towns along the walkway.
Weather in April can be unpredictable in Italy – most of the days we were there, it was cloudy and one day we were treated to a fantastic thunder and lightening storm. Despite this, I can only shiver at the thought of doing the walk in peak summer. We were both very grateful for the cool weather climbing up the hills.
And of course once you have finished the walk, within a twenty minute train ride you can be treated to delicious Italian pizza made fresh: