Friday, August 19, 2011

Monterosso & Vernazza

Today was my opportunity to travel a bit and visit the Cinque Terre ("five lands"), which were packed with tourists, naturally. It took a few hours to travel by train from Lucca to Monterosso, which was a fine place for a late lunch. The picture above shows my view from a lunch table at one of the cafes along the beach. I also walked all over the town, but all I really saw was lots of little souvenir shops, cheap eateries and hotels/rooms for rent.
Since it was so hot today (low 100s and very humid), I opted for a train ride back south to Vernazza instead of hiking the trail between the two towns. I've seen lots of photos of this little village by the sea, so I was a bit disappointed to find most of the "charming" homes on the cliffs in need of a good paint job. And Vernazza is really, really small!
You get off the train and hoof it downhill into this teeny-tiny harbor area with barely enough room for a few teenagers to lounge around on the mini-beach. Turn left and you'll find the famous diving cliffs, which I found in use. A couple of teenagers were jumping off the cliff and then climbing back up again, which perhaps seemed more scary to me than it actually was. Still, I admire these young cliff divers.
Tomorrow: the flea market in Lucca!

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