Saturday, April 16, 2016

2016 Grand World Voyage, Day 102, Livorno, Italy (Part 1 of 2)

A beautiful day under the Tuscan sun to tour the spectacular Cinque Terre with Ann, Cathy, Gisela and Chas.  This was my first trip to Cinque Terre and it was fabulous!!!!!  The scenery on our drive from Livorno was delightful through the charming Tuscan medieval towns and the colorful mountains that are home to Carrara marble.  La Spezia, a hard working port town, is the gateway to the climb to Cinque Terre.  Cinque Terre is set amid the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet.  A UNESCO World Heritage site, the 5 fishing villages date back to the early medieval period.  Since the ferries were not running due to rough seas, we had to forgo our visit to the oldest city, Monterosso but I was able to get photos from a distance...  nothing like a great zoom lens!.  We started our Cinque Terre visit in Riomaggiore, the easternmost village and the largest of the five villages.  We started our train travel in Riomaggiore to Manarola.  The five minute train trip on the Terre-Express brought us to the abundant grape growing region surrounding  Manarola.  We toured the town and we walked out to the rocky viewpoint for some great photo opportunities.  The next train ride took us to Vernazza, a quaint fishing village. The cobbled streets are lined with little cafes and shops. I climbed to the top of the Castello Doria for some amazing views.  The harbor was flanked by the remains of a fort and castle and is where we had a delicious Italian lunch with great views.  After lunch and some shopping we drove to Corniglia the quiet middle village and the only settlement without sea access.  Corniglia is the only place where you can see all five settlements in the same panorama view.  Cinque Terre's cleverly cultivated cliff terraces held in place by hundreds of kilometers of dry stone walls adds a human beauty to a stunning natural landscape.  I would highly recommend a visit to the Cinque Terre for its ruggedly natural beauty.  What an amazing  adventure we had today.....  This blog is in two parts, this is part one.



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