As I finish up my thesis this month, this blog will be temporarily transformed into Garlands in Florence with a guest blogger: my university-aged self. You will find posts about the summer I studied in Italy, living in a 16th century villa and falling in love with art history.)
Today was a trip to Cinque Terre.
Sandwich fixings were laid out in the Villa dinging room for us to make our lunches. Freshly picked lettuce and tomatoes, local olive oil, glorious bread from a huge bag that looks like it should have potatoes in it, and marvelous meats.
We had a two-hour bus ride to the western coast and then a boat ride for about an hour to go to the farthest of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre (five lands).
The rocky coasts with towns growing on them in patches like moss, with colorful houses. The sea air felt so refreshing.
We were let off at Monterosso, and some of us commenced the hour and a half hike to the next town. The walk from Monterosso to Vernazza is supposedly the most difficult and the most beautiful.
The first half is all steeply uphill, and the rocky path made it seem like I was climbing up a long flight of stairs. But finish it I did, and the views were spectacular. There was a breeze and the water was a clear blue.
At the second village, we were sleepy, so we sat on the beach and relaxed for a bit.
We then got really good pizza and took the train to the fourth village, Manarola. We did some walking around the coast from the top of a cliff, then went to a tiny bar for glasses of the famous Cinque Terre white wine.
The ‘hike’ from Manarola to the fifth and last town Riomaggiore was paved and flat. There’s a section called the path of love, and it’s a tunnel covered with graffiti that consists of couples’ names.
Cinque Terre really is an amazing, unreal place. My face got a little burned, but that was the only unpleasant experience of this relaxing day.