Day 4 Sunday May 29
We woke to the sound of raindrops so we slept in a little longer to catch up on the sleep we lost getting to Italy. The plan today to hike the trails would need to be modified just a bit. A stop at the bar that also serves pastries and cappuccino in the morning would suffice as breakfast. Then off to the train station to take the short ride to the most southern village of the five, Riomaggiore.
It rained off and on all day so we would duck into a bar or restaurant for a drink or something to eat till the rain stopped. Each of these towns are similar but all have a uniqueness about them. We wandered through Riomaggiore and were told the trails between it and the next town Manarola, and between Manarola and Corniglia, the town after that were closed. We would have to take the train if we were to visit them. All of these towns are about a 5 minute train ride between them.
In Riomaggiore we had lunch and found out that in Italy, there is a big difference between sausage and pork sausage on pizza. The pizza we ordered came with a cut up hot dog on it. We found it pretty funny when it came to our table. We've come to realize, in Italy the english explanation on a menu under the Italian listing does not alway equate to what we might think it is. A couple of times we've laughed when they've brought us our food. "Didn't expect that"
From Riomaggiore it was back on the train to Manarola. Still dodging raindrops we found a table (which is not easy when it's raining in these small towns filled with tourists) in a small cafe to have a gelato and caffe latte. We walked around some more, took some pictures and got back on the train headed for Corniglia. The village of Corniglia is a little more unique than the others. After walking around we stopped in a bar, waited for rain to pass, had a bellini & beer before heading out. Here we could pick up the trail to Vernazza.
Hiking from Corniglia to Vernazza took about 1 1/2 hours. It didn't rain too much and the view it offered of the Mediterranean Sea will probably go down as one of the most scenic hikes we will ever take. We didn't pass too many people on the trail that is normally packed with hikers. It was wet and slippery in spots and not the best day to take a hike. With no hiking gear to speak of, we kidded as we walked along that we were probably the most unprepared hikers on the trail that day. Well, that was until we came upon a group of people about our age in flip flops and sandals going in the other direction.
After our hike it was back to our room to shower and cleanup. Dinner tonight was in the towns castle for what was a nice relaxing meal. We had a wonderful day despite the rain visiting the villages that make up the Cinque Terra. Tomorrow we head to Tuscany. We are picking up a car in La Spezia to have for the next few days.