Surprisingly, my legs weren’t aching after the walk from Vernazza to Monterosso yesterday so it was off in the other direction to Cornelia.
The path starts in the town and the upwards climb wasn’t as steep as yesterday. The views were less spectacular as, though the path still hugs the coast, there is more vegetation blocking the view of the cliffs and the blue, blue Med.
Then all of a sudden this!
‘Path closed for repairs. No admittance.’Some other walkers asked if they could go through but were told everybody would have to take the road. This wasn’t nearly as pleasant as walking along the scrubby path and the town was further away.
The closed path added 30 minutes to the walk so I was pleased to get a coffee and a pastry in Corneglia.
I bought a 2 day Cinque Terre pass the day I arrived. It cost €19 and entitles the holder to free transport on the train to any of the Cinque Terre stations and free bus connections to villages like Cornelia. It’s the only village in the group to be in the hills and not on the coast. If you don’t have a pass you have to pay at the checking stations to walk the paths and when you use the train you have to purchase tickets.
After a quick coffee fix I took the bus and train to the next village Manarola. There is a walk from Corneglia to Manarola but it seems to permanently closed due to land-slides. I saw the landslides the next day in fact when I took a short boat ride to Manarola for dinner.
From Manarola it’s a stroll on a real footpath 30 minutes to Riomaggiore.
The best walk was the first one. It was the most challenging but very scenic. At this time of the year every train is crowded with people going from one town to the next. It’s hot. A lot of people just want a swim. Many never go near the walking tracks. Many travel in their swimmers and not all look good enough to be doing that!
And where to stay? I am staying in Vernazza. There is one main street that leads down to the harbour where small boats are moored. The small town curves around the harbour and many of its cafes and bars are there. There is also a small beach. Because Vernazza is surrounded by hills every sound carries. It’s school holidays so kids are up late. It’s a lively place with beach football starting at 10pm and nobody (except me?) going to bed before 2am or later. If this is your scene than Vernazza is the place for you. It wasn’t my scene. I am tired. The noise stops for a couple of hours then the church bells start at 7am. I was staying next to the church.
My choice for accommodation would be Manarola, Monterosso or, outside the Cinque Terre one stop on the train, Levanto. The Ligurian Coast is a beautiful part of the world. The sea is on one side and on the other, mountains. I saw this as I came on the train to Genoa today. There’s a lot more to Liguria than the Cinque Terre and a lot of it looks lovely.