Beth's Grossly Negligent Gap Year travel blog



View down to Vernazza on way to Corniglia


Workmen at Corniglia drinking wine on their break



Cute house in Manarola

Bonnie in Volastra. We stopped for a cappuccino and apple tart before...

Sign describing grapes grown in the region

View from trail from Volastra to Corniglia. At times the trail was...

Umbrellas lining the beach at Monterosso

Map of cinque terre

We took the train from the Santa Maria Novela station in Florence to Pisa and then changed trains to Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre translates to "5 lands" and they lie on the Ligurian coast which is on the Tyrrhenian Sea. From south to north they are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. We had a nice house in Monterosso outside the tourist area. Extremely peaceful with a nice terrace. The Cinque Terre was made into a national park long ago to ensure preservation. Perhaps it's biggest claim to fame are the trails one can hike from one land to the other. These are not easy walks. They are rigorous hikes, the easiest of which takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Beer at the finish is essential. I previously did the Monterosso to Vernazza hike and this time we did the Vernazza to Corniglia hike. Both are marked as being easy. I can't imagine what the difficult ones are like. We also took the bus from Riomaggiore up to Volastra, which is way up the mountain from Riomaggiore, and hiked down to Corniglia. Monterosso has several private beaches where you can pay for some lounge chairs and an umbrella. We cheaped out and went to one of the free beaches after returning from our first hike. The water was nice and refreshing. One of the local products here is the pesto. Amazing. The other way to get to each land is by local train at 4€ each way. You can buy an all day pass for 16€ which includes all trails, trains and WC use for the day. Otherwise the coastal trails cost 7.50€ for the day. Two of the trails however have been closed for a couple of years due to landslides and unsafe conditions. The above the coast trails are free such as Volastra to Corniglia.

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