Cinque Terre: The Hike to Monterosso

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Corniglia to Vernazza

I was honestly dreading the thought of hiking, but it turned out to be one of the best things that I have done so far. Well, I need to make a confession before I go any further. I only didn't want to hike because I refused to wear hiking boots. Completely irrational, but I am just not used to wearing one. In the end, I settled with my running shoes. I probably would have done it with my flipflops, but with difficulty and not only that, my poor flipflops would have been murdered even before we reached our final destination. So they  were right, I should always choose comfort over fashion. Sometimes.

We left Corniglia as early as 630am to avoid hiking in the middle of the day. The hike itself was not that bad, I can say moderate despite some uneven and unpaved terrains.It took us more or less an hour and a half to get to Vernazza. We could have done it a little bit quicker, but we stopped a few times along the way to take photos and enjoy the amazing views. 
Take note of the red mark, it will direct your path.
The hiking trail from Corniglia to Vernazza
Corniglia and Manarola (farthest) from the top

We arrived in Vernazza roughly around 8am and grabbed some breakfast before we started the second part of our hike.

Vernazza to Monterosso

This was the most strenuous part of the hike. The hiking trails remain uneven and unpaved, but steeper. There was also a part wherein we had to walk up and down what it felt like hundreds of steps. The views however, are more captivating than that of Corniglia to Vernazza.
The view of Vernazza from the other side
The trail
The View

It took us two hours to get to our final destination- that is Monterosso.

Now that I have done my first proper hike, I know that I will be doing it again in the future. And these are the lessons I have learned from the hike: wear comfortable shoes (I prefer trainers than hiking boots), apply sunscreen (I used Shiseido sunscreen on my face (very good) and Nivea for my arms and legs), bring at least a litre of water and snacks and hike early.

After all that, we took the train back to Corniglia for a well-deserved gelato break.
Alberto's Gelateria
Via Fieschi 98, 19018 Corniglia Italy.

tintin x

Cinque Terre: Corniglia and Riomaggiore (and a bit of Bologna)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Okay, these are the times when I wish I was a good writer, just like those that I really admire- LengMarky and Lois. I always feel guilty whenever I write about my travels because I feel like I am not giving  any justice to the beautiful places that I have been. But anyway.....

So, let's talk about Cinque Terre. I have never heard of this place until about a month or so ago when we cancelled our trip to Pamplona for the running of the bulls. So the alternative plan was to go somewhere else and do something less dangerous, but perhaps as adventurous as running of the bulls. We already had Cinque Terre in mind as a fellow traveler mentioned the place to us when we were in Santorini. And oh speaking of Santorini, nothing beats this place on my paradise list, but I must say that Cinque Terre is up there. 


We landed in Pisa on Sunday morning and took the train to Bologna. Yes, we stayed a night in Bologna just to warm up for Cinque Terre and we were not disappointed. I kind of like Bologna because I thought it was quiet. But then again, it was Sunday that's why there was probably not a lot of people and vehicles on the streets. Since our trip to Bologna was not properly planned, we didn't go anywhere but the centre of town. This is definitely one of the cities that we would visit again. We would have loved to walk through San Luca.
The famous arcades of Bologna.
498 steps to the top of Asinelli tower for this panoramic view of Bologna.

Cinque Terre is located in the Italian Riviera, in the region of Liguria and consists of five villages namely Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.

Cinque Terre Day 1 (09 July 2012): Corniglia and Riomaggiore

From Bologna we took the train supposedly to Riomaggiore (which was more or less two hours and roughly 20 euros one way), but we ended up in Monterosso. From there we took the local train back to Corniglia, where we stayed on our first night. From the train station, you can either take the bus or climb the estimated 382 steps "Lardarina" to the centre of the village. We did both and we also walked through the main road at different occasions. For me, Corniglia is the most peaceful of the five villages. There were not a lot of tourists. I wondered about that actually, then I realized that probably because the marina is not well known, as it's hidden at the foot of the cliff- meaning that you have to go down probably another hundreds of steps to get there. 
The steps to the marina 
The "Cardiac" steps. Perhaps if you're not healthy enough to climb up these steps, you'll end up with a cardiac arrest.


We went to Riomaggiore the same day that we arrived in Corniglia. I don't think we really explored Riomaggiore that much. But it looks like a lot of college kids flock in the area. The town connects directly into the sea so there are no steps to climb. There is also a diving point which probably is one of the attractions  in the village.

After wandering around the village, we walked to Manarola through Via Dell'Amore (Pathway of Love). This is the most pleasurable walk of all because it's a paved path and it will only take you about 20 minutes, perhaps 30 if you take a lot of photos on the way as you wouldn't want to miss the magnificent view and the other interesting things you'll find along the way.
Via Dell'Amore

There are a couple of things that you should remember to bring if you are planning to take this walk- 1) a permanent pen to write your and your lover's name and whatever else you want to write on the walls and on the rocks 2)a padlock to seal your love for each other if you are really that romantic. Mind you, we saw all sorts of things hung on the wire mesh- flowers, plastics,souvenirs and yes condoms, used or not, I don't know.

There is an entrance fee of 5 euros to walk through the Via Dell'Amore. Alternatively you can take the train to the next village for 1.30 euros. You'll get there quicker in about 2 minutes, but you'll surely miss the fun and the stunning views. Also, take notice of the bystanders by the entrance of Via Dell'Amore.

Where we stayed in Corniglia:
La Posada
Via alla Stazione 11, Corniglia Italy

I think the address is the Restaurant, but their apartments are in the centre of the village. Our apartment room was facing the main road and the oratory of S. Caterina. Most of the hotels and apartments in Cinque Terre do not have wi-fi.

Where we ate:
Bar Nunzio
Via Gieschi 154, Corniglia

Cheap but excellent food and it's right in the heart of the village (and has free wi-fi). We also had dinner at La Posada Ristorante and Camere. Nice view and reasonable food with good service from Christian, whom we met on our first day in Corniglia and who assisted us to our hotel.

I was hoping that I could write about my whole Cinque Terre experience in one blog but I guess it's impossible as it's going to be too long otherwise. 

tintin x

Help SAVE Jacob's Life

Sunday, 22 July 2012

I was going to blog about my recent birthday trip to Italy, but I realized that there is something more important to blog about tonight. 

This is baby Jacob and he suffers from Biliary Atresia, a congenital disease of the liver which requires liver transplant.

I don't personally know Jacob nor his parents. But I was a mother too (and still am to my nephew and my niece), so I know how hard it must be for Jacob's mother to face this very difficult situation.

All I am asking is for you dear friends to please help "Save Jacob's Life". His family will appreciate any help that you can give them.

A message from Jacob's parents

Jacob Earl Feria Figueroa is son of Jeffrey Figueroa & Ernalyn Feria. A resident of Brgy. East Feria, San Felipe, Zambales, Phil.

He has BILIARY ATRESIA, a congenital liver disease wherein his bile duct between the liver and small intestine is absent. At this point, the only treatment is to undergo LIVER TRANSPLANT to be done in ChangGung Hospital in Taiwan because at present there is no proper medical facilities available in the Philippines. A KASAI Procedure must have been done during his 2 months old but because of the late detection, success rate rate of this operation if done now is very poor. And without it the average life span of a baby suffering from this kind o disease usually last for 9-11 months old only.

To push through with the LIVER TRANSPLANT, my family needs to raise P3M.

In this regard, we would like to ask any financial assistance from you to augment the amount needed. You may contact me at tel. (047) 913-4485 or mobile 0929-889-4159. Or you may send it through my bank accounts: BPI Acct#: 002643009229 or BDO Acct#: 005830356105 under the Acct Name: ERNALYN C. FERIA.

As a mother, I like to save the life of my son and through your help I know this would be possible.

Thank you very much. My family is truly indebted to you.

Thanking you in advance.

tintin x

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