Candace Couse

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Italy: Cinque Terre

A few months ago I had the pleasure of being in The Cinque Terre. The Cinque is a very rugged portion of the Italian Riviera near La Spezia. Meaning "The Five Lands" it is composed of five cities. One of the five, Vernazza, was completely destroyed by torrential flooding shortly before I got there.  
Through the centuries people have carefully built ridged terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Here the villagers grow lemon trees, minuscule vineyards and olive groves. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside.
I did a solo hike along the cliffs that connected the villages over many hours and in addition to spectacular photo's I also got lost, found fascinating ruins, played cat and mouse with some wild boar and made a harrowing decent down an impossible cliff edge that some 90 year old local woman would have easily traversed before breakfast (no doubt!).

Scary steep!

Real estate does not come cheap in the Cinque, even after you die!

Mini vineyards carved into the cliff edge.

So many stairs!

Nuts and bolts Jesus

Olive groves with nets to catch the harvest.

This path went through this ancient house!

At this point I was sure I was going to actually die from vertigo, or at the very least get the bends on dry land.

Those are tall below me!

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