We traveled on from Florence the morning of Sept. 14 - Lance taking the eurail train to Rome, and Gary and I traveling by train to the Cinque Terre area - with plans to meet up together again in Rome on the 16th.
Before our trip, Gary had searched online for a place to stay for a few nights right on the coast, and spotted the little town of Manarola, one of five towns along the northwestern coastline of Italy. The area is known as Cinque Terre, literally meaning "Five Lands", named for the five villages that nestle on rocky cliffs overlooking the Ligurian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea).
We knew from the photos online that it would be a beautiful place, but we were unprepared for the area's breathtaking beauty. It was a storybook paradise.
As our train neared the village of Manarola, we caught glimpses of the blue expanse of water, and knew we were in for an unforgettable time in this beautiful area. Upon arrival at the Manarola train station, we caught sight of the rocky cliffs of the village.
We had reserved a room with a deck and view of the sea, and after we followed our hostess up narrow winding paths, up stairways, climbing high up the rocky hill, with our luggage in tow on a very hot day, we found ourselves at the foot of a building with two sets of steep stairs, which led to our room.
It was worth the climb, and again, we were amazed at God's provision for us - the view from our room was amazing. We felt like we had the best room and view in the village.
|The view from our deck, looking toward the sea ...|
|And the view looking inland, of the terraced vineyards dating back to the Middle Ages.|
We fell in love with the little village of Manarola, and walking it's narrow little streets filled us with a sense of peace, romance, and adventure.
It is difficult to explain the romantic charm of this little village, and we're thankful for photos which help to capture it, though they are also inadequate. It was more beautiful than we can express.
And then the view of the Mediterranean from the water's edge was absolutely beautiful. We walked along one of the paths, right along the sea, captivated by the peace and beauty.
Later we stopped at a sidewalk cafe overlooking the sea, and someone passing by on the path, asked if they could take our photo for us through the open-air window...
Towards evening we walked along the well-known, beautiful path linking Manarola to Riomaggiore, the next little village in the Cinque Terre area. This 25-minute walkway right along the sea is called Via Dell Amore, meaning "Pathway of Love". The view was spectacular, and we could hardly believe that we could be in such a beautiful setting.
(More photos to come from Cinque Terre)
(Sharing photos of our unforgettable 40th Anniversary Trip to Italy from September 5-21. Click on the links below for photos posted so far ... )
Our Dream Trip Begins
Traveling to Italy
More from Venice
The Ancient Charm of Florence
More from Florence