Levanto and the Cinque Terre, Italy
May 30 May 30 , 2010 (continued from Turin)
The train from Turin took us down to Genoa on the Mediterranean Sea, then east along the Coast. One of the fun things about riding the train is getting to look at people's back yards as you go. Almost 3 hours after leaving Turin we arrived at our home base of Levanto. Our hotel sent one of the garcons to pick us up at the train station, and we were at the Terre di Marre in a few minutes and enjoying the view of surrounding villages, vineyards and olive groves. Our hotel was built just a few years ago, but was designed to look like one of the many villas dotting the surrounding hillsides. We got extra exercise walking the country road back and forth between our hotel and the coast.
Here are some larger pictures: Hotel Terre di Marre - View from hotel - Village outside our window

May 31
May 31, 2010
Monday morning we headed down the hill to the Levanto train station, passing this old footbridge along the way. We took the train to Monterosso, the northernmost Cinque Terre village, just a 4 minute train ride under the mountain, but a 2 hour walk by foot. The train station is at the beach, and from there you can see the old lookout tower, which Neil later viewed from above. Above the lookout tower is a monastary. After walking the length of the Monterosso along the beach we ended up in the old village, where we found some lunch. The town was full of tourists, some admiring the quaint village with its old clock tower, and others sunning among the boats.
Here are some larger pictures: North Monterossa Shoreline - South Shoreline and Monastery - Street Scene
June 1
June 1, 2010
Tuesday we took the train a little further southeast to the next town, called Vernazza. Many think Vernazza is the most spectacular and charming. Tourists were abundant on the main street. The harbor and beach were wonderful. There was an ancient tower from where you could look down on the town and the hills beyond. Many of the terraced vineyards were cultivate with the help of monorail carts which were geared to the track. In one corner of the harbor was a swimming hole, which we would enjoy on a later day. We hiked along the trail toward Monterossa for an even better view of Vernazza. Back in Levanto, we relaxed at a sidewalk cafe, and observed these 6 men enjoying life as only Italians can do.
Here are some larger pictures: Vernazza - Harbor Piazza - Looking down from tower
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