Posted by: ilanasmith | July 13, 2007

Five Lands

From Pisa, we jumped a train to the Cinque Terra, five towns perched rather precariously on the Ligurian coast.  We stayed in Riomaggiore, inconveniently close to its station and the wonderfully regular and loud trains.
The towns are linked by the aforementioned train and a coastal walking track, so the towns were filled with very vital and energetic looking visitors.  In the on-going ‘represent’ competition, Cin would have beaten me, but I thumped Yammy.  In fact, through all of Italy, I thumped Yammy – he only came close in the Vatican City.  Very Catholic, those Croatinians.
On our second day, Yammy and I set off to try the track. We did the really easy bit between Riomaggiore and Manorola, and the moderately easy bit between Manorola and the Corniglia train station.  At the station, we looked up at the 400-odd steps to the town, and elected to take the train all the way to Monterosso for lunch.
The Cinque Terra area is the home of pesto, and also makes some rather pleasant wines, so we indulged in both.  We never did get to see the fourth town Vernazza, despite a number of attempts to reach it, one of which ended up with us stranded in La Spezia for an hour around midnight, hanging out at a bar with about 10 other people who also weren’t very good with a train timetable.

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