- 11 Jun 2015 11:40 AM
Special offer: book your Cinque Terre holiday for one week with expat friendly, and English speaking, Tamara Palinkas via the following link, you will receve a wine tasting gift for 2 people in Riomaggiore on a beautiful terrace over the sea.
Over the centuries, people have creatively and carefully built terraces on the steep slopes right up to the cliffs overlooking the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and you can drive to the villages, and leave your car in the safe parking. Cars cannot access the historical centers of the villages but in case of Corniglia or Monterosso, you basically drive right in the village.
The Cinque Terre area is a popular tourist destination, yet is not well known by everyone, click to know more general info, see below for tried and tested recommendations.
Location, Location, Accommodation
We stayed at a nice room with an amazing view for a few days, it is located in panoramic position in the heart of Manarola. This room, with many others can be booked through www.cinqueterre-travel.com.
From there it was very easy to walk to the train station and get to the other villages.
In Manarola there are nice little shops where you can get everything you need for a picnic on the rocks, by the sea while watching seagulls playing and excited tourists getting on and off the boats.
One morning we started walking to Riomaggore - thought it is not that far and we might find a shortcut from the main road to the village...and we did. It was nice to be greeted like a family member by every single old person we passed by. It was amazing to follow the little watercourse down to the centre. The flowers, the trees, the fresh air, were all amazing. So was the sight of every single inch of land used either for growing vegetables or for fruit trees.
Next day it was time to go in the other direction so we again went to the road and walked for a while when suddenly a friendly Spanish couple offered us a ride. Our goal was to only go to Volastra and walk back to Manarola, but since they offered to take us all the way to Vernazza, we agreed.
We read on the way there that Vernazza was struck by torrential rains, massive flooding, and mudslides in 2011 so we did not really know what to expect.
It was very nice looking around in Vernazza, seeing all the must see places, like the Church of Santa Margherita and a little relaxation on the Piazza Marconi beach which was absolutely amazing.
After that we headed back towards Manarola on the trail.
It was uplifting to see so many people walking along and at steps or little steep parts to be encouraged by others and do the same with the ones looked a bit tired. We all kept saying, keep up; it is not that far....
The view from this walking path was absolutely breathtaking and this gave you energy and enthusiasm to keep walking to the next amazing one…
Finally we arrived to Volastra , the next village located at 350 meters above sea level, on the back of a steep hill surrounded by terraces of vineyards and olive trees supported by impressive dry stone walls.
It was interesting to find out there are only 200 residents. We could not miss the the most notable building in Volastra is Nostra Signora della Salute ("Our Lady of Health"), constructed in Romanesque style
We sat in a little local eatery... it was not a café, not even a restaurant; it was a local lady serving her own home made delicacies. We could not stop trying all her delicacies.
After a nice cup of real Italian coffee we were ready for the rest of the journey – only a 30 minutes walk back to Manarola.
It was around 6 p.m. in the afternoon, the weather so pleasant, the view so amazing that we felt we were in heaven and definitely want to get back there again.
Wine & Gourmet Tours
The oenogastronomical tours combine most spectacular Italian landscapes, where numerous activities will be offered, and the local wines and cuisine or better cookery - because in numerous cases the clients will be involved in the preperation of the local dishes.
Several things to excite your senses: tastings of the best and most interesting Italian wines, with visits of the wine cellars and walking tours through the vineyards in unforgettable landscapes.
Tasting lunches and dinners to experience the local specialities in the best restaurants carefully chosen by Arbaspàa under consideration of the suggestions of Slow Food and other organizations which have contributed in the last years to reawake the consciousness for the traditions and the quality of food and wine and the benefits of a good meal together with interesting people.
There are many amazing active tours like sailing, kayak tour, rock climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, fishing with a local fisherman, boat rental, etc.
So besides for lovers of food and wine, it is also a fantastic place for those who want an active holiday.
Plus there is so much to do and see, that you could actually spend a whole week here, not just a weekend as we did.
And of course the tours can be booked on www.cinqueterre-travel.com :-)