Our last full day in the Cinque Terre started off cloudy and grey. We dressed accordingly anticipating rain as per the forecast. A quick train ride to Manarola emerging blinking from the railway station the clouds cleared, the sun came out and the temperatures soared. Note to self – treat weather forecasts with caution, dress with removable layers and always bring hats. Lesson learned here the hard way. Still, Manarola, yet another place that is quainter than quaint and a bit different to the others – it was bursting with boats. Covered boats of all kinds just stored all along the main street – I loved it.
The buildings here seemed to be just a bit taller and the streets just a bit steeper than the other hamlets. The whole place almost leans into the sea and the rainbow houses cling to the steep, black cliffs. It is bordered on three sides by a terraced hillside – simply stunning.
We strolled down past all those boats to the harbour, it took a while as Son insisted on peeking inside each one. A path led around the cliff so we took it as far as we could go (not so far). The waves were crashing onto the black rocks below and more great views back to the town – we were in no rush to move. Even our energetic ten year old was happy to hang around here watching the waves. The trail to the next village looked flat and easy, we didn’t get to confirm this – it was closed, yes another landslide.
Back in the village, a bit like the Grand Old Duke of York we marched to the top of the hill and then marched back down again. This place is full of great looking little restaurants, we picked a tiny place with tables below street level and feasted on bruschetta with pesto and tomatoes. How can everything in Italy be so amazingly delicious – even the simplest of dishes are flavour packed. Son was in seventh heaven – next door was a place selling crepes with Nutella – his idea of a feast.
We decided to walk the Via del Amore – the most famous, paved and easy Cinque Terre hike – but no luck there – the gates to the path were well and truly closed.
So, past the love locks and back to the train – a railway station with a view – and then on to Riomaggiore – our last (and my favourite) Cinque Terre village.