Italy
Provincia di La Spezia

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177 travelers at this place:

  • Day50

    Cinque Terre

    October 22, 2016 in Italy

    Ever since we saw the pictures of Cinque Terre that have recently become popular on the internet we knew we had to go there even if it meant taking 3 train transfers!

    Consisting of 5 villages on the Italian coast that make up "Cinque Terre" we decided to split our time by staying in Manarola and Corniglia. We enjoyed the beautiful views from the amazing Airbnb we rented in Manarola and got a little sun bathing and swimming in at Corniglia!

    We also hiked to Riomaggiore one day which took about 1.5 hours where we got a panoramic view of Cinque Terre. Exploring the villages was fun as each had its own character and feel.

    Cinque Terre definitely had some amazing sunsets as well which we won't forget!
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  • Day22

    Today we took the ferry to Portovenere to check out the town and the Church of Saint Peter. It is such a great way to see the coastline and we were very lucky that the ferry wasn't full and we got great seats on top to admire the view.
    It amazes me how some of the houses on the steep hillsides are even built and how on earth people get to them.
    The Church of Saint Peter is the first thing you see as you come into Portovenere on the ferry as it is built on the cliff above the sea, in the Gulf of the Poets, also known as the Gulf of La Spezia. Built in 1198 over what was left of an ancient pagan temple, Saint Peter’s was probably completed between 1256 and 1277, when its distinctive black-and-white striped body was erected. Then, from the 15th century on, fires and ransacking caused great damage to the structure, until it was fully renovated in the 1930s. The church's striped body, made from black rock and white marble makes it an eye-catching monument.
    The bronze doors decorated with different figures make for a striking entrance and the dark naves give the church a very solemn feel.
    The view from the outside terrace to the sea is amazing, especially on such a clear day as today. While the church isn't big, it was nice to visit.
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  • Day22

    Byron Grotto Portovenere

    September 20 in Italy

    Just next to the church and visible through the many arched windows in the wall, is the famous Byron Grotto, the inspiration of Lord Byron. It is recorded that the immortal poet, a daring swimmer, defied the waves of the sea from Portovenere to Lerici.

    These magic landscapes were of great inspiration for many poets, especially the English Romantics. Among them, Lord Byron who lived between the Gulf of Poets and loved especially Portovenere. It was for this reason the the incredibly beautiful grotto was dedicated to him and the Byron Grotto is one of the landmarks for spectacular international diving championships.

    Although now partially collapsed, the walk down the steep rock steps on the side of the cliff was worth it just to admire the surrounding scenery, the turquoise crystal clear water against the sheer cliff with its layers of stone. The views out to sea and back up the cliff towards the church and castle were equally impressive. We just wished we had brought our togs so we could have enjoyed a swim here.
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  • Day22

    Portovenere

    September 20 in Italy

    Portovenere is the first stop on the ferry going from La Spezia to the Cinque Terre villages and while it is not part of the Cinque Terre it is still a beautiful place to visit and spend a few hours.
    We arrived by ferry from Riomaggiore and were lucky enough to beat the crowds. We enjoyed a bit of sight seeing via the sea front and then strolled through the back streets admiring the many beautiful doors and decorations. Such a pretty town to stroll through.

    We used just enough energy to warrant a refreshing drink by the sea before returning to Riomaggiore. I loved the coloured buildings, the quirky touches (a curtain made out of pasta for the pasta shop), the fishing references, the men selling hats (and yes it worked because I bought one), the many cafes and restaurants that were beautifully laid out, and the general vibe of the place. An easy day to relax and enjoy the atmosphere.
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  • Day20

    After a very long day of travelling, three trains and lots of steep stairs and hills we finally made it to our next location for the next four nights. And boy were we impressed.
    We are staying in Riomaggiore, one of the five fishing villages that make up Cinque Terre. While it may not be the best of the five fishing villages with the main and only street being very steep, our apartment is amazing. It is a renovated wine cellar built in the 900s and it has been renovated in such a cool way. One wall near the bed still has the mountain wall showing through it and the other stone walls and wooden ceiling are all original. It has a real charm about it and has been so well equipped! Our best accomodation so far! Definitely worth the climb of the many steep, old and crumbly steps.Read more

  • Day2

    Der Sonne hinterher

    March 27 in Italy

    Am Dienstag fuhren wir über alte Bergstrassen nach Levanto. Zum Glück kennt sich Olaf mit engen, kurvigen Bergstrasssen aus. Jedoch kommt er mit den zahlreichen Schlaglöchern noch nicht so zurecht. 🚐💨
    Von Levanto fuhren wir mit dem Zug zum Nationalpark der Cinque Terre. In Manarola bestaunten wir die vielen farbigen Häuser, die direkt am Meer gebaut worden sind. 🚂
    Die Pizza zum Mittagessen durfte natürlich nicht fehlen. 🍕
    Am Abend ging es weiter Richtung Livorno. Den Camping „Pineta“ erreichten wir, nachdem wir uns ziemlich verfahren haben. Unserem Navi kommen die italienischen Strassen so ziemlich Spanisch vor. 🗺 🇪🇸
    Endlich am Camping angekommen, kochten wir das Abendessen und bemerkten, dass wir praktisch unser ganzes Kochequipment nicht dabei haben... Wenns jemand gesehen hat, bitte melden. 🍳😅
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  • Day4

    Riomaggiore, Italien

    May 16 in Italy

    Unterwegs in den wunderschönen Cinque Terre. Die jahrhundertealten Küstendörfer sind bekannt für ihre bunten Häuser und die terassenförmig an den Steilhängen angelegten Weinberge. An der schroffen italienischen Riviera liegen die fünf Dörfer Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola und Riomaggiore.Read more

  • Day16

    Unwetter in Cinque Terre

    October 27 in Italy

    Auf unsere Weiterfahrt stehen wir eine Nacht irgendwo in Genua. Das Wetter schlägt um und es gibt Gewitter, Sturm und Regen. Im Bulli wird es gemütlich....Das Wetter bleibt und wir gehen auf dem Campingplatz in eine Hütte. Es giesst wie aus Kübeln. Wir machen einen Tagesausflug nach Riomaggiore. Auch hier sind die meisten Wege wegen Erdrutschgefahr gesperrt. Aber es lässt sich erahnen wir schön es hier ist. Kurz kommt uns die Sonne besuchen. Wir warten jetzt hier die Unwetter ab und machen es uns gemütlich, aber auch in die Hütte läuft schon etwas Wasser.Read more

  • Day39

    LEVANTO, ITALY

    May 8 in Italy

    Bongiorno from the Cinque Terre, a place of 5 seaside towns snuggled in the cliffs of some rather beautiful little mountains ovlerlooking the Mediterranean. Very quintessentially Italian- complete with 'siesta' time. So I think we will fit right in!

    Levanto is technically included as part of the CT, although on the very far end. It's more budget/family friendly due to easy access to the beach and an earthy vibe. I guess the main 5 towns are a bit fancy-pants. We shall check that out tomorrow! In the meantime, we are absolutely happy with this gorgeous place, even if it is the 'poor man's CT.'. It's so cute!

    Arrived after 5 hours on a boring train from Rome. The boys had energy to burn and were entertaining themselves with 'hilarious' games like pretending the train could sing Game of Thrones theme song (by lifting the flaps of the seats), as well as playing 'keep-away-from-the-cripple' with Jesse's walking crutch on the station platform. I was not amused.

    Luckily we fed them, played catch, and took a freezing swim at the beach & they were calmed back to their 'normal' selves (Buz included, of course).

    This morning rented bikes and cycled 6km or so through Bonnasola to Framura. Cycled through super-cool tunnels that were chiselled through the mountains in the early 1900's to connect these rather remote towns. That was THE BEST! Small exits from the tunnels led to tiny pockets of empty beach, where the boys had fun jumping off the rocks into the sea. Tried to warm themselves up after by covering themselves in stones heated by the sun.

    Unfortunately en route home Jesse stacked it on his bike! The tunnel tracks are damp and dark. Poor child. He was finally able to take off his moon boot and crutch for short periods- now he has possibly fractured his right wrist! So glad that Buz can tend to him. He's wrapped it up in a tight splint- and if it doesn't feel better in a day or so we will take the train to La Spezia for an X-ray.

    In the meantime we are enjoying the gelato (especially Zach!)

    SATURDAY:
    Had a wonderful week in the Cinque Terre; it had everything except for decent wifi! (Hence, the length between posts). So... Jesse's wrist swelled up and he was in enough pain we thought we ought to take it seriously. A lovely pharmacist pointed out there is a small hospital in Levanto, so we got to experience firsthand the wonderful Italian health care system! Jesse was seen straight away by a kind nurse who apologised for not speaking better English (?!) even though her English was a million times better than our key-word Italian phrases and mimed reenactment of Jesse falling off his bike. The doc saw him straight after and recommended he get x-rayed the next day at the mobile x-ray service visiting Levanto. Then they wrapped him in a zinc-cream bandage and we cycled home. Luckily, no broken wrist on x-ray!!!! Took it easy the next day though- just a stroll through the local markets, play on the beach collecting sea glass, and Jesse cooked a fine spaghetti meal for us (one-handed).

    Finally on Thursday and Friday we got out to explore more CT towns: Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Manarola. Stunningly gorgeous, they all look pretty similar- like Levanto on steroids. Different shades of red, orange, and yellow old-style architecture built into the cliffs with maze-like, narrow and steep stone streets where you struggle to keep your sense of direction. Surely nobody with arthritis could live happily in these towns. And although super-adorable, it kind-of got overshadowed by the throngs of tourists, knick-knack souvenir shops, and way overpriced food that made you feel like you got sucked into a big tourism vortex. So happy to return to flat, chillaxed Levanto each night to escape the crowds. Also happy I didn't vomit on the water taxi (touch-and-go briefly). And happy that we managed to elbow our way onto the tourist train home. Can't imagine doing that in the height of summer.
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  • Day34

    Swimming in the Mediterranean

    September 29, 2017 in Italy

    Can't really come here and not dip your toe in right?

    We walked along what looked like an abandoned and uncared for esplanade area, found the remnants of an abandoned touristy area, managed to stumble upon an entrance which took you down a tunnel where there was so much blood that it looked like someone had been murdered there the night before, found a rickety ladder with a bit of rope dangling off the bottom from which you could just reach to get into the ocean.

    Craig went first, kids followed, I minded the gear, but then we agreed it would be impossible for a person with a dodgy shoulder to get back up again. Thus, my toe has remained undipped. It was cold, so not sure I mind so much.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia di La Spezia, La Spezia

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