Before we knew it, our last day reserved for hiking in the Cinque Terre National Park came along.
At the beginning of our trip we were a bit sceptical about the amount of time we had planned. I guess most tourists make a one day trip to the area. I have to say we weren't bored for a single moment during our four day stay and could easily spend another couple of days there.
The plan for this day was to visit the last two towns of Cinque Terre. We liked our experience the day before, so this time we had a similar plan - hiking up and down less crowded paths.
We started with a train to Vernazza where we concluded our last hike. First we visited a church in the center of the town and slowly headed uphill towards the sanctuary of Madonna di Reggio, following the path number 8. After 15 minutes or so we reached a place with a really fine view of Vernazza.
Also a strange "vehicle" caught my attention. It was some kind of a cart mounted to a single rail. The whole thing seemed more like a roller-coaster to me but had some kind of a transport trailer attached to it. The rail went around the corner of a really steep slope, so I guess riding it has to be quite an interesting experience.
After enjoying the view for a while, we went on our way. The path was relatively steep and M. was occasionally complaining (she likes hiking, but only until the path doesn't get too steep).
In an hour or so we reached the sanctuary, where we were able to freshen up by an old fountain. There were quite a few people around - it seemed that this place was quite a popular destination.
We didn't stick around for a long time. Soon we moved on towards our destination of the day. First we took a road uphill, but soon found a path which lead us to Santuario della Madonna di Soviore.
From there it was just a 45 minute descent to the town of Monterosso down the path number 9.
When we were nearing Monterosso it didn't seem very similar to the other four towns.
We headed straight to the sandy beach and into the sea. Only knee deep, but it was enough (Tyrrhenian Sea is still cold in the beginning of May). It was quite amusing to watch some trying-to-look-tough guys jumping in and then screaming and crying like babies. To me this seemed just so typical for a group of Italian guys.
When we got bored of sitting by the sea, we decided to look for the train station and check the timetable.
At first we couldn't find the station but signs eventually led us to a underground passageway leading to the other side of the hill. It was quite a surprise to find the other half of the city of Monterosso. And it was the nicer half. This inevitably postponed our departure.
In spite of that I still think Monterosso is the most commercial of the 5 towns. It is easily accessible with a vehicle and I would also say it has more hotels then the other four. Besides that it has a long stretch of sandy beach, which I guess is a people magnet by itself.
An hour and a half and an ice-cream later we finally caught a train to Levanto.
If you liked this post and are interested in more information about our trip, you are welcome to click on the Cinque Terre label in the right frame.