Cinque Terre

by Andrew Stein

Vernazza at sunset

Any day that ends with a sunset highlighting a colorful cliff-side town overlooking the sea is hard to beat. However, one way to improve said scenario is if that same day’s ending results from the sun sneaking beneath a layer of dark gray clouds to make the occasion seem supernatural. This sunset photo of Vernazza is only as seen by the lens of the camera despite its many high-dynamic range characteristics. That’s how the day ends, and that will probably remain one of the greatest memories of my Cinque Terre experience; however, the day is full of other highlights from beginning to end.

Cinque Terre

There is wind from the minute we arrive in Levanto, the town just north of the famous Cinque Terre. We (I) drive to Levanto and we immediately train down to the southern most town, Riomaggiore. We each grab a snack and a cafe dopio in Riomaggiore before taking the famous Via dell’Amore into the next town, Manarola. The Via dell’Amore is a beautiful path from one town to the next that maps along the sea. Although crowded with people, the path is almost perfect as the wind keeps the temperature very comfortable.

A hike's view

Manarola, like most of the five towns, is small and takes only a short time to explore its roads and passages. I run around the vineyards that occupy the top-most part of the hill before we all continue on to town number three, Corniglia. A lunch later, we take our longest hike of the day from Corniglia to Vernazza. The views along the trail make the climbs more than worthwhile. We end the day in Vernazza with our daily gelato, a delicious seafood dinner, and as I already mentioned, an unreal sunset. The blues of the sea, the pastels of the buildings, and the stark cliffs shooting up from the water all make this site unique.