Monday, 5 October 2009

at 07:14 Labels: Posted by WanderingFamily

We ended our Italian travels in Cinque Terre, a string of 5 villages along the beautiful rocky northern coast. Though usually packed with tourists, it was still off-season so it was nice and quiet.

While in Sienna there were still resident's cars that were making noise and polluting the air, here, 4 of the villages (the nicest, too) were completely without automobiles, only connected by a train and foot trails and there you could sense the overwhelming quality of life not too long ago.

It was clean and silent, just hearing the train every once in a while. We were impressed with the amazing vineyards and gardens along the steep mountainside terraces, the way the houses blend with each other, and how we were still able to see an old lady sorting potatoes next door to a touristy hotel.

The visit was enhanced with vegan foccacia, and a good off-season deal for a room with a view. It rained the last day, so we only did the walk between the last 2 villages (the hardest according to the book), but it was a great experience, seeing the gardens from close, getting lost for a while, and observing some really great property, too bad the owners weren't wwoof hosts...

Out of the 5 villages, we chose the only one who had a hostel, Manarola and while we were waiting for it to open Omo entertained 3 local ladies.

It turned out that the rooms were single-sex,so the manager referred us to a bed-breakfast just across the way.

There, the cross-eyed manager and architect gave the vegan couple waiting in line next to us a good deal for 3 nights in a room with just a bunk-bed. Out our door we had a view of the sea. After seeing the rest of the villages (which are quite similar except the one with cars - Monterosso), we decided that Manarola was our favorite.