You won’t hear of the Italian Riviera as much as the French one. Perhaps it’s a good thing so that those who venture out there can enjoy the land untouched by tourists. But of course that’s just a traveler’s dream because the streets of Cinque Terre are lined with foreigners. Each gushing at this hidden gem of the world as if trying to understand how this secret has remained one for so long.
But if you want a solitary experience then take the road less travelled, or in this case the path. The path that connects each of the towns through the hills will show you part of the real Cinque Terre that’s left untouched.
My own journey involved climbing down big steps from my airbnb towards a cafe with the best cappuccino and almond croissant I have ever had! Starting your day with a bit of caffeine and sugar isn’t what fitness experts would advise you before a hike but how can you pass on the friendliest service along with the best food and a quaint view? You just can’t. And you’d be a fool to. So I spent a good hour just basking in the sun and watching the houses add colour to my view of the blueness that had unfolded in front of me.
When I left Er Posu cafe, I didn’t know that the trek was going to be as nice as the cafe. But I made my way to the starting point of the hike anyways. Taking in the cute roadside restaurants that were carved into the stones of the hills and the vineyards spreading from the bottom of the hill to the top.
However, the serenity of my walk was rudely disturbed by a tiny lizard I saw crawling between the fallen leaves. Even as I write this scene, the goosebumps and chills refuse to leave me. Tears fill my eyes. How could such ugliness reside in the most beautiful place I had seen in this world? The fear and phobia left me paralyzed for quite some time before I decided that the beauty must trump the ugly.
So I made my way through the rocks, over the leaves, and under the branches. Sometimes shuffling with my back to the hill making sure I don’t fall into the water right underneath me. The array of trees were never ending. Unexpected encounters were always a constant. Ups and downs, twists and turns; that was the hike from Corniglia to Vernazza.
I cannot give you directions on how to make this journey because the path you choose to move forward on will be determined by the decisions of your steps. You may encounter that random house which looked like an electricity unit or you may not. You may encounter the grandeur of cacti or you may not. You may see the lemons standing out against the green grapes or you may not. What you experience will be yours. My directions are neither known nor can lead you on the path I took.
Perhaps there is one thing that both you and I will have in common. And that’s the village of Vernazza from the top:
Some pictures from the things mentioned in the post:
This post is written for WordPress’ Writing 101 topic: a map as your muse.