Friday, October 27, 2017

Hiking Monterosso to Vernazza, Continuing on to Corniglia (Cinque Terre)

One of the best and most popular hikes from Monterosso is along the National Park trail to Vernazza, about an hour to an hour and a half, then continuing on to Corniglia, roughly the same distance and time.  This trail tends to get busy in both directions and we like to start early in the morning, before the crowd.

We're in for a real treat.  The wooden walkway at the start of the trail is damaged and the beginning of the trail has been rerouted over the original path that starts up the hill from behind city hall.  This path is steep and rocky, but rewards us with great views of Monterosso as we head up.

Start up the old trail

Trail goes up

 Monterosso grows smaller

The trail winds south along the top of the ridge, with great views of the sea.

 Along the trail

After a while, Vernazza starts to appear in the distance.

 Approaching Vernazza

We descend into the city and then back up the other side, continuing on to Corniglia.  Soon, Vernazza is also disappearing into the distance, with Monterosso still visible (but much smaller).

 Into Vernazza, then back up

 Leaving Vernazza, Monterosso in the distance

Continuing up and through olive groves

Half-way to Corniglia, some entrepreneur has built a small bar/restaurant on/over the trail and there is a steady business of hikers stopping to fortify themselves.  We don't stop, but many do.

 Trail continues by/through refreshments

Soon, we start to see Corniglia approaching in the distance.

 Approaching Corniglia

Corniglia is on the top of a hill, with 365 steps down to the train station, and is the only Cinque Terre town without a ferry stop.  It does, however, have a wine tractor parked near the edge of town and I hop on to drive (stationary).  These tractors travel up and down the hills over a single rail, carrying farmers and grapes to and from the vineyards.  It's amazing to watch them move along as we walk through the vineyards, truly well-suited for their task and incredibly helpful to make these great wines.

 David driving the stationary wine tractor

 Train station below, 365 steps down

We take the train back to Monterosso and reward ourselves with lunch:  a carafe of local wine, bruschetta (with anchovies, tomato, mozzarella, and capers) and a bruschetta platter (ham/mozzarella, pesto, anchovy, tomato/garlic, tomato/rocket).


And, fortified, we're off for another swim.

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