Sunday, 11 June 2017

A quick visit to the Cinque Terre area of Italy

by Keith and Heather Nicol
Enjoying a meal on the patio at La Dimora Agreste
        On our recent trip to the Tuscany region of Italy we planned 2-3 days in a variety of locations. We knew ahead of time that this would not be enough time but we wanted to see a few different areas so we thought this would be the best introduction to these parts of Tuscany. Technically Cinque Terre is not in Tuscany but is very close and is so scenic we had to visit and try out one of the famous trails beside the sea side communities. We stayed at the very special “La Dimora Agreste” which is located up on the side of a hill in Pastine just above the community of Levanto.  Although the steep road runs to Pastine the path to the community is too small for a car so we had to park on the road and wheel our luggage up to our accommodation. There we met Nadia, her husband and son Enrico. They had just opened their accommodation a few months before and our group of 5 were their 11th group of visitors. They gave us a variety of herbs from their garden, a bowl of lemons from their trees and the next day came bearing bowls of cherries. What a welcome. We had the run of the house with 3 bedrooms, full kitchen and beautiful outdoor patio for eating.  Real bonus of staying at “La Dimora Agreste” is that they have a free parking place in Levanto which means that you can money on parking when you visit the coast and venture south to the Cinque Terre area.
View from the patio to another small hillside community
Hiking above Vernazza
       The next day we headed into Levanto and took the train to Monterosso (the northern most of the 5 Cinque Terre communities) and began a hike to Vernazza. The 4 km trail climbs steeply at first and then levels off before presenting amazing views of the picturesque Vernazza. There were loads of people doing the hike and with temperatures in the high 20C you need to bring water. Once in Vernazza we enjoyed the colourful buildings and picture perfect waterfront. Since it was so hot we opted to head back to Levanto and enjoy the beach and go for a swim. We spent our final night at “La Dimora Agreste” thinking that we could have spent another day or so here since we wanted to do more hiking and see more of the communities along this spectacular coastline.

Picture perfect Vernazza

No comments:

Post a Comment