Departure from La Spezia, paradise destination. Take the train, stuck his nose out the window and wait. Will the tourists (85% foreigners, including Americans, Australians, Northern Europe and, more recently, Asian and Chinese) warning you with a “wow” the first scrap of beauty. As soon as the gallery gives a flash of light, the sea is as if you embrace that moment and do not leave you any more.
And who, for years, is used to this landscape, knows what it means to see it for the first time. And above all, do you know who that same way, he did a few days after the flood, in the autumn of 2011, when the five villages UNESCO had been disfigured by mud and bright colors of the houses seemed the only hope to hold on to keep from crying. Today, however, despite the inclemency of nature, and some discomfort in certain paths connecting Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, life has returned to normal.
“We roll up our sleeves and go forward,” repeated the inhabitants of Monterosso after the flood. And, today, the industry continues to be a mantra. Despite yet another difficult test: a landslide, of the convent of the Capuchins in Monterosso, which threatened to isolate the country from Fegina, the new part of the village. Today, the country is once again united and you can think of to start from here to find the other four sisters. By train, the journey is short, and the cost. If, however, you prefer a different perspective, you can opt for the journey by sea (with the ship you stop in different villages of the Cinque Terre or you can continue to Portovenere, day ticket 25 €) or the one by land, on standing choosing from 118 kilometers of trails considered among the most beautiful in the world.
Immersed in agriculture heroic of dry stone walls (7 thousand kilometers, the length of the Great Wall of China) among the terraced gardens (so-called CIAN) overlooking the sea, see the screws almost suspended makes all hikers spectators of a miracle. Do not miss.
Hiking, trekking and Montale
Before you put on your walking shoes and walk the Cinque Terre is good to visit the same park (www.parconazionale5terre.it) to check the status of the paths that, due to the rains, they have suffered, in some cases, interruption. Ergo, before promising romantic walks along the historic Way of Love (currently still closed) inquire properly.
Among the recommended alternative routes and no less impressive (you can also be accompanied by environmental guides) is the picturesque Via the Sanctuary, where you can admire the Sanctuary of Soviore (above Monterosso) and that of Our Lady of Reggio, then back down to Vernazza . For lovers of poetry of Eugenio Montale you can start from yellowish Pagoda in Monterosso, so it is called the vacation home of the parents of the poet, recognized by two features palm trees, and take the path towards the Punta Masco, celebrated by the Nobel Prize in ‘ poem of the same name: (…) I see the path that routes a day like a dog restless; lambe the stream, climbs through the boulders and sparse litter sometimes crossed it. And everything is the same. In the wet gravel s’arrovella
an echo of the bursts (…)
For those who love good food, the Cinque Terre are the perfect destination. Inalienable the famous buns. In Monterosso, on the waterfront of Fegina, it is worth making a snack from ‘Il Fornaio’ where there are all kinds, but it is noticeable even pizza. Staying in the ‘homeland’ of Montale, there is another specialty to try (not to be found anywhere): the cake Monterossina. The best in the country (in the morning you may even be lucky enough to taste it fresh from the oven) is the Pastry Laura, in the old country. Other typical products, to try, are the famous salted anchovies of Monterosso (the third Saturday of June is the feast of fried anchovies) and the famous lemons celebrated by the same Montale. The event is scheduled for this Saturday when the streets of the village will be animated banquets of all kinds with the fruit character typical of the country with its derivatives: from the limoncello lemon cake.
Gulf of Poets, the magic of Portovenere
To reach the Ligurian city it takes little more than two hours’ drive from Bologna and Milan, while just an hour and forty-five from Florence. In La Spezia worth exploring the cutting edge of the Gulf of Poets in Portovenere which, together with the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, was included in the World Heritage Site. For a visit even more impressive, do not miss the feast of Our Lady Bianca, every 17 August, makes only the churches of St. Peter and St. Lawrence with the ancient town completely illuminated.