Category Archives: Cinque Terre
At the top of my bucket list was to travel to Manarola – Cinque Terre, Italy to see this view. How blessed I am to be able to enjoy this beautiful village.
I wrote several post about visiting this beautiful area of Italy which you can check out HERE.
Of all the villages in Cinque Terre, I think Vernazza was my favorite to photograph. It has colorful, antique homes that cling to steep cliffs and a lovely small harbor that shelters under the shadows of an ancient castle and a beautiful seaside church. Vernazza had massive flooding and mudslides that left the town buried in over 13 feet of mud and debris in 2011. Fortunately the town has recovered and most of the shops and restaurants are back in business.
Vernazza’s medieval castle, Belforte, towers above the harbor and was built in the mid-1500’s, primarily to protect the village from pirates. The Village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced Olive groves which are said to produce among the finest Olive oil in the country.
You will notice in all of my Cinque Terre photos that the color of the sky and sea changed depending on the angle/direction I took the shot from and it changed as we traveled village to village.
Monterosso al Mare was the last village we visited. It had a different feel than the other village. The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and there are very few cars in the town. The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is the only extensive sand beach in the Cinque Terre.
Monterosso is a small town that in the summer months is overrun by tourists but there were very few tourist when we were there last week. We didn’t even have to stand in line to get the lemon gelato that everyone recommended and I am pleased to report it was wonderful.
Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the five Cinque Terre. The town of Riomaggiore presents typical features reflecting its history and traditions. The town stretches along a vertical axe where steep staircases are the only means to move around the town and the typical houses have one or two-floor towers.
The first historical traces date back to 1239, when the inhabitants of the feudal district of Carpena entered in the Compagnia Genovese.
Only in 1343 Riomaggiore became independent as municipality and administration, and during Napoleon’s age it absorbed also the town of Manarola, whose historical roots are even older than Riomaggiore itself.
Sitting here writing a post about Cinque Terre stills boggles my mind. Was I really there? It seems like a dream.
My daughter and I just got back from Europe. We took a Mediterranean cruise traveling to Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, and Africa. We also took a side trip to Ireland. It was a 16 day whirlwind of chaos and indescribable beauty.
I have always traveled to tropical locations so this was a change for me. My daughter has a history/teaching degree and it has been her dream to travel to Europe and see first-hand all of the places she had studied. She & I both earned our degrees last spring ( I finally finished my degree that I started many years ago) so this was our celebration vacation.
From the moment I arrived in Rome, I felt like I had been transported to a movie set. I kept looking at my daughter saying “we are in Italy!” and proceeded to do this in each country. I kept pinching myself to make sure I was awake. This feeling increased when we went to Cinque Terre and Pisa on the first day of our cruise. I has seen pictures of Cinque Terre and knew I wanted to go there some day. I had seen so many pictures of these beautiful villages and I wanted to capture this beauty for myself, so with camera in hand, I stepped out of the vehicle and started down the hill of the first village.
We were on a schedule so I didn’t have much time to explore each village. I snapped photos knowing there was no way to capture the feeling of being there. I remember looking at all of these colorful houses and thinking I could stay here for years and never get all of the photos I wanted.
I have vacationed in several tropical locations that I have fallen completely in love with. Hawaii, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Mexico are beautiful, relaxing, and good for the soul. I found Italy to be fascinating but a bit overwhelming. It’s busy and bustling and nothing goes at a slow, relaxing pace. The traffic is a nightmare and as one Italian lady told me “traffic lights are just suggestions.” Passing vehicles going around sharp curves, honking to let oncoming traffic know you are on their side of the road, and pulling in your side mirrors so you can pass a vehicle with a rock wall on one side and a house on the other is “normal” in Italy. Part of me was terrified but for the most part I was fascinated by a culture that was so different from my own.
You can’t help but immerse yourself in its history and culture. I can’t even find the words to describe the feeling of standing in the middle of ancient ruins or staring up at massive, intricately detailed ceilings of cathedrals. Fortunately I can take photos. Even though they can’t convey the feeling of being there, they help me to hold on to that moment in time.
Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera and means “The Five Lands.” It is comprised of five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore
These photos are of the village of Manarola, one of the villages that make up Cinque Terre. It is the oldest of the towns in Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338.
Visiting Cinque Terre was at the top of my bucket list. Standing there taking this photograph after drooling over photos I had seen on Pinterest was surreal. I told my daughter that if we packed up and went home only after only 2 days into our 16 day trip, I would be happy because I was able to experience this place.