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Cinque Terre
By Marilyn Mudge - (contact)

Vernazza to Corniglia: A quiet morning

Tuesday September 16, 2008, 3 km (2 miles) - Total so far: 8 km (5 miles)

We woke early and decided to get out on the trail. After eating a banana in the room, we walked to the top of the town and had a pastry and coffee at Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre, a cafe recommended in Rick Steves guide book. The owner pointed out Rick's favorite pastry, a panzerotto. We didn't have Rick's book in our hands; were we THAT obvious as Americans? It certainly shows the influence of Rick Steves' books!

After purchasing our Cinque Terre cards at the railway station, we headed off to Corniglia. Since Vernazza is town #4, we would hike to Corniglia (#3), Manarola (#2)and Riomaggiore (#5) then take the train to Monterossa (town #5) and complete the whole route by hiking from there back to Vernazza. We are sure we confused some hikers who met us around Corniglia or Manarola when they saw us again between Monterossa and Vernazza.

It was about 8:45 am as we began to hike and for the next hour we saw fewer than 10 people. We didn't meet people hiking towards us until we were close to Corniglia. The trail climbed from Vernazza and then gently rolled up and down all the way to Corniglia. We walked through forested areas, olive groves, and past cacti. The trail would pop out of the vegetation for great views. The sea was a marvelous blue and the hiking was wonderful, not too strenuous after that first climb but with enough ups and downs, and ins and outs to make it interesting. We had decided to wear our hiking boots and were already pleased with that decision as the surface of the trail was uneven. Many hikers we met were in sneakers, Keens, street shoes, and even flip flops. We wondered how their feet would feel at the end of the day!

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The first climb out of Vernazza on the way to Corniglia.

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Corniglia, high above the sea

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Another view from the trail. Note the train track entering a tunnel.

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An olive grove. We think the colored 'ropes' are nets to be spread out for harvest. Does anyone know?

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Interesting vegetation with a view!

As we approached Corniglia, we passed some vineyards with lovely grapes on the vines. At the edge of the village was a kiosk where our Cinque Terre cards were checked. There was a kiosk where the trail entered and exited each village. Apparently, we had started our hike before the kiosk was staffed at Vernazza as the Cornigila kiosk was the first place we had to show our Cinque Terre cards. Later we found that they waved us through if we were exiting the trail and checked our cards as we left a village and entered the trail.

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Grapes on the vine

Once in the village we went down a wide set of stairs to the main square. A tradesman was moving equipment up the stairs on a motorized cart with rubber tracks. A Snickers bar and water were our refreshment as we enjoyed the view and did some people watching. Corniglia is the only Cinque Terre town without a harbor and seems to be quieter than the other villages.

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The motorized cart working its way up the stairs.

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The main square of Corniglia from the edge of the village


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"Cinque Terre" Copyright © 2008-2014 By Marilyn Mudge - (contact). All rights reserved.
Page was created on November 10, 2008 17:38 PDT, last updated on December 5, 2008 17:10 PDT
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