Take Five

The week before Susan’s parents left we took a trip together to Italy – to the Cinque Terre.  These are five small towns along the northern coast not far from Genoa that are either perched down along the sea at the bottom of a cliff, or hanging on the side of a cliff above the sea.

 We were fortunate enough to be able to borrow an 8-passenger car (Toyota Land Cruiser – which our kids christened ‘the big rig’) so we all drove together for about 6 hours through the Alpes (quite literally -the amount of time and km’s we covered while in tunnels was beyond interesting, I started to feel like we were only coming up for air between them at some points)
We were also glad we had the Big Rig as the roads were not exactly passable by much, and it was reassuring to know that I could switch into 4WD and drive over a Fiat Panda if the need should arise.

Once we got there – it was a great vacation.  We had a lot of fun together, the weather was great, it was just a magnificent part of creation to be able to see.

The villages of:  Monterosso al MareVernazzaCornigliaManarola, and Riomaggiore which collectively make up the “Five Lands” are a UNESCO World Heritage site, and pretty impressive indeed. 

We had fantastic place to stay with spectacular views (which we earned with the 30 min hike on to get from the car to the house) 

We found stuff for everyone to do: hiking, gelato eating, swimming, more gelato, strolling through the villages, eating, finding gelato shops…. 

We drove to one of the villages, we hiked between them, we rode the train, we took a boat from one to the other -and every time the view was a bit different.

Because these villages had been essentially completely cut off until the trains came through – and still they remained fairly isolated unti probably late last century.  They retain quite a bit of their charm and history – which is what made the devastating flood/mud-slide that wreaked havoc on Vernazza last October even more devastating.

(more to come…)


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