Friday, 27 October 2017

Cinque Terre II, and Livorno

Hiking between the isolated villages is a main attraction in Cinque Terre.  With the steep terrain and a couple of trails closed because of landslides, some of the hikes are quite strenuous (= more than half a Grouse Grind, for Vancouverites).  But they give great views of the coast and the villages before you descend down to them.
The villages were once all about fishing.  I think there is still some of that, but now the boats mostly transfer train-weary tourists from one village to another, and serve as props for sketchers.
We were lucky enough to be there when there was a storm somewhere over the Mediterranean.  We had calm and sunny skies, but there were big waves breaking over the piers and the rocks at the base of the cliffs.  We went to Riomaggiore, the southern-most village, and had a glass of wine in a cafe right on the edge of the coastal cliffs with the crashing surf right below us.  We stayed to watch the sun set, then caught a train back to our village for dinner.
After our three days in Cinque Terre, we caught a train south to Livorno.  The city is trying to market itself as "The New Venice".  Indeed, it has canals - drawn here in the last 5 minutes of daylight - but the charm? - not quite there.  Still, we stayed in a funky witch-themed bed-and-breakfast full of modern art and ate at a fun cat-themed restaurant speaking hilariously terrible Italian to the owner who spoke hilariously poor English, so what more could we want in a quick overnight stay before our morning ferry to Corsica?

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