CINQUE TERRA & SARZANA, ITALY

Cinque Terra

July 27/09

Cinque Terra means FIVE VILLAGES. These villages, at one time very remote, are now easily accessed by a railway line that connects the towns. Hence there is much tourist development but nevertheless the trip was interesting.

The train stopped at Monterosso Village first. It was the only town with a large beach and promenade so it was the most crowded.

The backdrop to the beach was an attractive facade covering the hillside with pastel buildings and a church steeple.


Back on the train. It rumbled along the dramatic coastline to the next village clinging to the rocks. A trail also connects the villages by a network of paths, traversing the steep terraced hillsides held up by dry stone walls with hanging vineyards.

Some shingle beaches were protected in pockets between the high cliff walls



The via dell'Amore (Lover's Way) is a road carved into the cliffs. Hundreds of locks have been left by couple's to seal their love!

Genoese Churches with rosettes, real stone flowers.

Note the terraced hillsides, the plantations and gardens

Old fishing villages, backed by terraced vineyards and a view of the sea. One village had its main street lined with fishing boats that looked like parked cars.



Villages clinging to the rock face, with their houses piled up in a multi-coloured mosaic overlooking the sea.


Crumbling cement, dripping laundry, green shutters, cats lazing
in the sun....unforgettable
images of Italy.

July 28/09


We took a bus to the old town of Sarzana, inland from La Spezia, which is noted for its many artistic and historic remains.


As we always seemed to time our arrival during the long afternoon siesta period when everything is closed, the narrow streets of the old town were vacant. It was a medieval town with the typical wrought iron boundary around the balconies.

The town boasted many churches with loads of mosaics. The cathedral preserved priceless paintings of the world's oldest Crucifixion painted on wood. We found the walls of an old Fortress with the gunholes peppering the walls and former motes, now grassy lawns.