Saturday, June 23, 2012

Catching up - Riomaggiore, Part 2

June 10, 2012

It was pretty windy so the boats were not sailing.  We were a bit disappointed as we had wanted to sail back from Monterosso.  Lorenza came back to register us for the apartment and she told us that there would be a flower procession in Monterosso at 6:00 pm and another one in Riomaggiore at 9:30 pm.  We thought it would be fun to watch the one in Monterosso if we were there.  We bought combination train and trail tickets and started walking towards Manarola.  Riomaggiore and Manarola are 2 of the 5 villages which form part of the Cinque Terre National Park which was established in 1999 to preserve the area.  The other villages are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza and Corniglia.  
Good morning from Riomaggiore

Little garden at the apartment.  The vegetation is lush and green and the flowers are big.

View of path to Manarola. It was nicely paved and made for a pleasant half hour walk to the village from Riomaggiore.  Of course, with all our photo opportunity stops, the walk took a lot longer.

View of the sea from the path

View of ancient wall from the path

covered section of path

View of Manarola train station with Manarola in the background

Houses perched on the cliff in Manarola

In Manarola
Harbour at Manarola
Florine with Manarola behind her.
After we had our fill of Manarola, we took the train to Corniglia, a mountain town, and the only one of the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre not located by the sea.  We took the shuttle bus up to the town from the station. We found a nice restaurant and had our lunch in Corniglia. 

View of Manarola from the mountain

View from the mountain
Pasta with pesto



Church in Corniglia.  Not sure what the statue was about - translator was off duty

Irene, with the sea behind her

Corniglia from the train station

After lunch, we walked around a little and then checked the time for the next train to Monterosso.  It was pretty close so we dashed down the stairs (300+ steps!) to the station with time to spare - the train was late.  We decided to make a short stop in Vernazza, which has not fully recovered from the devastation caused by the mudslide in October 2011.  Some stores have reopened and you could see that a lot of effort had been put into cleaning the mud from the streets and buildings.


Harbour in Vernazza


Looking at Vernazza from the harbour

From Vernazza, we took the train to Monterosso. We walked around for quite a while and then stopped for a snack. We decided not to stay for the flower procession as the trains did not run as often on the Sunday and we did not want to be late for our dinner.  


Street in Monterosso

Castello E Torre Aurora in Monterosso

The main village of Monterosso

St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis, overlooking the bay

Convento + Chiesa Cappuccini, built in 1619.  It was situated higher than the St. Francis statue - lots more climbing of stairs to get here.
Monk dashing up the stairs by the convent.  He must have been late for something because he practically ran most of the way.

Mausoleum on top of the hill.  Looks like the dead in Monterosso get the best view.

Part of our snack in Monterosso. Our reward for all that climbing and walking.

Somehow, somewhere along the trip, eating and drinking seemed to have become a big part of our day.  We would sightsee for a while and then end up at a restaurant, bar or gelataria, having refreshments.

We took the train from Monterosso and got off at Manarola so we coculd walk back to Riomaggiore.  As luck would have it, there was a bar along the path so we stopped for a little snack and refreshments before continuing on our way. 
Petros, trying to look serious while sitting at the pathside bar between Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Part of our snack and refreshments at the bar
It started raining while we were almost back in Riomaggiore.  After stopping to get some prosciutto and cheese, we made our way up the stairs to the apartment.  We watched the Ireland-Croatia football game for a while before heading back out in the rain for dinner at La Lanterna.  

This time, we started with the grand appetizer which consisted of 4 little dishes of seafood,  followed by grilled sea bream (again, because it was so good last night), spaghetti in olive oil, baked anchovies and tomatoes, lobster and a salad.  Tonight, because of our earlier snack on the walk back from Manarola, we could only manage 3 desserts – tiramisu, semifreddo with hazelnuts and boiled cherries and whipped cream.  

Chef Massimo of La Lanterna.  He teaches at s Swiss culinary institute during the off season.

The Grand Appetizer - a little of everything

The lobster

Grilled sea bream

Cherries and whipped cream
The rain let up a bit after dinner and we didn’t get too wet heading up the steps to the apartment.  

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