Todays adventure to the Cinque Terre coast/National Park started with a train journey from Pisa to La Spezia where we changed to a train thst runs along the coast. The mzin feature of the Cinque Terre coast are the five villages which are from south to north as follows; Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza & Monterosso. To use the train you will need to buy a special ticket which gives you unlimited travel on trains and local buses, access to the park and access to walking trails.

We started our visit at Riomaggiore, the village is actually south of the raol way station so you need to walk back along the coastal path. We took the decision to walk to xxxx which is a church located 1100 ft above the village on the southern hill side which involves a very steep climb up rough paths. This is the only point where you can see all five villages along the coast as shown below.

For the descent we took the less arduous inland route back down which decends down the valley tbat tbe village is built in

Photo: Helen Meaker

Next visit was to Manarola, this has to be done by teain as the coastal psth is closed. Manarola is probably the village that most people associate with the Cinque Terre. At the time of our visit the seas were rough causing spectacular waves breaking over the rocks

Next up was Corniglia, which again requires a train journey, due to the closure of the coastal path. This village is located on top of tbe hill to the north of the station, which means loafs of steps to climb. The following view from the steps shows the station and the coast down to Manarola in the distance

This village is probably the least photographed as the coastal path has to be walked for a distance to get views of the town
The next village is Vernazza, this has a small castle that over looks the town as shown below

Photo: Helen MeakerĀ 

Photo: Helen Meaker

Finally here are some tips from what we saw and expereinced to help you if you visit this area.

  • Train is the best way to access the area, there is no car parking
  • Aim to get there as early possible
  • Allow at leastt half an hour to change trains and purchase your ticket at La Spezia
  • Trains may not run to timetable due to delays in the service
  • If you stay at a hotel in one of the villages be prepared to carry your case up steep and cobbled paths

To finish the day off when back in Pisa went and did some night photography of the Leaning Tower as it would be the final opportunity.

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