After leaving Elba, we headed due north to the Ligurian coast and the town
of La Grazie near La Spezia. From this excellent anchorage we planned to
visit the Cinque Terre, or Five Lands. These are five villages on the very
steep coast, all of which are now part of a national park and a UNESCO heritage
Passing the old town of Portovenere at the entrance to the Gulf of La
We took a 30 minute bus ride from our anchorage at La Grazie to the railway
station at La Spezia where
we bought a combined rail and park ticket. It was a 9 minute train
ride to the first village, Romaggiore, and
7 minutes of the ride was in a tunnel! Outside the
station is a mural dedicated to the people of the
Before the railway, the villages were very isolated. A lot of hard
work went into building and maintaining
the terraces where they grew grapes and vegetables. The terraces are
now detiorating and the government
will give land to anyone who will maintain them. Back breaking work
on the very steep slopes.
Main street, Romaggiore
The little harbour
Looking down at the train station. The platforms extend into the
The path to the next village about 3 km to the west so we started our
Refreshment stop with the next village in sight
The cliff path is called the Via del'Amore...consequently couples have left
THOUSANDS of padlocks
along the way as a memento.
Main street, Manorola, second village from the east. The harbour is
so small, they keep their boats
in the main street.
There's a crane here to lift the boats out of the harbour. Previously
they had to winch them up the road.
Sunbathers everywhere like walruses on the rocks.
We voted Manorola the prettiest of all
Looking west to the next village as we continued the walk, Corniglia,
up on the ridge, with the train station down near the water.
There are 365 steps
zig zagging up to the village. Fortunately, there is also a bus from
Narrow little streets....
... and the town square where we had lunch. The local wine was excellent as
was the fresh anchovies
Looking back east to Manorola....as we continued our walk.
and west to the fifth village on the coast in the far distance. From here
you can't see the fourth village.
We took the bus back down to the train station and hopped on the train for
the five minute ride to the
fourth village, Vernazza.....four minutes of the ride was in a
At the end of a wonderful but very hot day, we took the train back to
La Spezia and the bus home to our anchorage.