Vance found a new way down to the main street of Manarola, it is much easier. Only about 70 or so steps and the rest was a long ramp. It made the trip down and up much less intimidating.
The plan was to head to Riomaggiore and look around, then catch the train to Corniglia and look around, have lunch and then head back to Manarola.
We started out by walking along the Via del’amore, which is a flat walk way that takes about 20 minutes between the two towns. Via del’amore, means the Love Walk, and along this path people put padlocks on the chain link fence, the regular fence, the rock retaining wall fence, you name it. Each lock usually has initials on them, dedicating their love between the two people and “locking” it in on the path. Very romantic. (and kind of sappy too)
The walk itself is very pretty, with steep cliffs down to the water, with the waves crashing into the rocks. This path is walked by hundreds of people every day. About half way along, in the tunnel there is a bench/chair where people stop to have their photo taken together. (and yes, there are many locks in this area) The view is spectacular.
Once we were in Riomaggiore, (which we could not remember the name of, but were calling it rigatoni, rigmaroley, everything but the correct name) we went up to where there is a castle near the top of the village. From here there is a terrific view of the Via del’amore and a look up the coast towards the other villages. We scoped out the castle and checked out the small church beside it. (we could not go in the castle today)
We then started to walk down towards the train station to catch the train to Cornigla. Cornigla is the only one of the 5 villages that is not located right on the water, but some 412 steps above it! Thank goodness they have a small bus system to shuttle you to the top of the hill! This is the smallest of the 5 villages and probably the least trafficked by tourists. We did find a little place to order some pizza and beer for lunch and it had a spectacular view of the vineyards and ocean from where we were sitting.
Once we were back in Manarola, Cathy forced me into going on a walk to the other side of the village, up about 1/2 way in among the vineyards and crops. I’m glad she did, the views were spectacular, it gave a look to Manarola that I had not seen before. And once again the Italian light was fantastic.
We also go a nice look at the cemetery from up on high. On our way back to the apartment we saw the hostel that Meghan and her friends stayed at (at least I think it is the one) when they were here. We also poked our head in to the church which was very simple compared to some of the ones we have seen up to know. Pretty in it’s own way though.
Another day gone bye, but a memorable one.