And so, we did.
We had tried to go once before when we first arrived in Italy. We drove from Milan all the way there, then realized a) that everything was closed from 1-4 PM (not unusual in Italy), and we had arrived right around 1:00 (SIGH!), and b) that we didn't really have a clue how to get to the Cinque Terre (we knew that they discouraged driving into the actual villages, so we didn't know exactly how we were supposed to get to them).
What we found out that day, though, was this: We had driven to La Spezia, which was the correct first step. The towns of the Cinque Terre, spread out to the West of La Spezia, are arranged along the coast of the Ligurian Sea. They are sometimes called "The Italian Riveria."
Cinque Terre translates to "Five Lands" and is made up of 5 small towns all located along the Sea and connected by walking paths (which I definitely want to try when I go back there someday!!). If you don't want to walk, however, the procedure is to go to the La Spezia train station, buy a round trip ticket to Monterosso (the town of the Cinque Terre that is furthest from La Spezia), which costs less than 2 euros, and then you're set. You can ride all day back and forth amongst the towns.
Writing about Cinque Terre is going to take a few days, too, like Siena. There was so much beauty, and I want to share as many pictures as possible from this day.
Here is a shot of the landscape as we drove West from our Villa in Tavernelle to La Spezia. Picture driving from the knee of the boot of Italy up to the top of the boot. The mountains you see in the background of this picture, incidentally, are the Appenines:
Once we got to La Spezia, we parked the car, and walked into the downtown in search of the train station. I took this picture so we would remember where we walked from the car (a trail of bread crumbs shot):
Here is La Spezia. I LOVE the brightly colored buildings. The towns of the Cinque Terre are known for that.
We stopped at a cafe for espresso and directions to the train station:
Here is a picture looking out to the tracks from inside the train as we waited to leave the La Spezia station:
OUR FIRST GLIMPSE OF THE SEA!!! A lot of the ride is made up of going through tunnels. I tried to make a movie of the ride, and I would get about a second of landscape and then we'd be back in a tunnel. Tunnels do not exciting movies make!!
We rode, as I said earlier, all the way to the Western most town, Monterosso. It is the beach town and it is gorgeous!! Here is a shot of the train as we got off:
And a picture of the train station in Monterosso:
A peek at the Sea from behind a crowd of people:
And, finally, here we are, walking along the boardwalk. This is a view back toward the East:
And, a view toward the West:
This is a map of the town of Monterosso:
Anyone for some Grappa? I didn't have any, but I did buy the Chick a nice bottle of Limoncello in this store that we cracked open on Thanksgiving. Delicioso!
We often take pictures of our feet in Lake Erie. Here are my feet in the Ligurian Sea!!! Don't they look pleased?
Here is a view looking back as I stood in the Sea:
And, of course, a contemplative pigeon:
Next stop on the train tour of the Cinque Terre is Riomaggiore.
Do you think they will have Rabbits there?