Cinque Terre Part 3: Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore

18 June, 2015

Having left beautiful Vernazza behind, I jumped on the train to race (well, being Italy of course, it was more of a “trudge”, as Italian trains are never exactly fast) towards the beautiful town of Corniglia, yet another gorgeous place which I would love to revisit.

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After a long walk up the hill from the train station (see above photograph), I finally made it to the town, and gosh it was worth the stairs and the sweat!

Corniglia is absolutely stunning!  I mean, look at this!

It was here that I was fortunate enough to try basil ice-cream from Alberto Gelateria!  Yep!  As crazy as it sounds, I actually loved the flavour, which is made with basil grown in the gelateria‘s garden!  My combination of basil and espresso was definitely a winner, which left me feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Revitalised by the gelato, I was able to explore the quaint town, which like the rest of the Cinque Terre is full of bright streets, breathtaking views and lovely eateries.

Though I had set a fast pace for the day, so I soon moved on to Manarola.  This town was a bit smaller and the seaside was packed with young tourists enjoying the sunshine and sapphire waters.  People milled about, some walking along the coast, others eating gelato, and others still stopped to sunbake like mermaids on the rocks.  It was a lovely, relaxed atmosphere.

While there, I took the opportunity to go for a walk along the cliff-face and I was highly entertained by these cute signs attached to the face of the rocks:

After my ramble, I walked once more back to the station and hopped on a train (and then was temporarily trapped on said train, due to delays), finally arriving at the last of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore.  Most probably the smallest of the five, Riomaggiore still has a lot to offer.

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The principle street leads to the boat ramp, and here people gather, walk and swim.  It has a strong sense of a small fishing town, despite the pull of tourism.  Further up the road, closer to the town centre, there are many eateries and – of course – gelaterie, while still maintaining the atmosphere of a small and relatively untouched Italian town:

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A calm walk along the waterside and up the main road was the perfect way to wrap up a long day of hiking before a long, tiring train ride home.

Note for the sympathetic: my muscles seized up on the train (being seated for three hours was quite a shock to my body after a long day of intense exercise) and my legs were incredibly sore the following morning!

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