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anna_moon Riomaggiore - A travel report by Polly
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Riomaggiore,  Italy - flag Italy
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Cinque Terre - Heaven and Hell

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‘Cinque Terre’ is a name that refers to five small towns, clinging to the edge of Italy’s northwestern coast. The five towns are connected by a trail, which was recently cleaned up when Italy declared the area a national park. The quaint little villages are now over run with tourists, but it is worth the trip for the spectacular views from the Via dell’Amore that runs high along the coast.

Favourite spots:
Riomaggiore travelogue picture
After being stuck overnight and sleeping in a piazza in Parma, a 15 mile hike did not sound like something we wanted to do. But it was the reason we had come to Cinque Terre, and so we set off. The first part of the trail, between Riomaggiore and Manarola, was extremely pleasant – a nicely paved path, little cafes along the way, elderly folks walking along on a guided tour. We couldn’t wait to get to the more difficult part. Famous last words. The hike from Manarola was difficult, but not bad, until we got to the steep stairs. After that, the view became less stunning, the sky hazy, and the path much more strenuous. We had to stop at the fourth town, Vernazza. There we ate at a pleasant little restaurant by the water, and looked out longingly at the people frolicking in the water. Overall, it was an amazing experience, but it was also the best workout I can remember.

What's really great:
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After being soaked with sweat from our climb, we took the train back to Riomaggiore, and walked down the steep steps to the rocky beach. It was crowded, but the water was welcome after the Via dell’Amore. It was also an interesting change to a girl used to the sandy beaches of the east coast. Getting in the water without getting thrown against the rocks was a bit of a challenge, and once you were out there, it was hard to keep your footing. I took very few pictures, but the light on the water and the cliffs was beautiful.

Accommodations:
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A classmate rented an apartment in the village of Riomaggiore, an easy train ride from the station in La Spezia. We were far up the steep main road, but the view of the rooftops, water, and mountains from the rooftop was breathtaking. Riomaggiore seemed to be the place where most of the rentals are located, and was very touristy, but was also close to the beach, and right at the end of the hiking trail.

Restaurants:
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Everything seemed overpriced, so we ended up getting crepes and gelato for dinner in Riomaggiore. However, the meal we ate in Vernazza, at one of the many restaurants down by the water, was very good – I had pasta with pesto, perhaps the best I tried in Italy.

Published on Sunday September 14th, 2003


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Tue, Sep 28 2004 - 11:13 AM rating by saleha

Nice report...keep sharing...

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