Italy: because inquiring minds want to know

18 May 2022

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

Henry Miller

My adventure to Cinque Terre has topped my expectations. Though I do not believe I will challenge the hikes again, I can see a return trip in my future. I have visited most of the regions of Italy over the past 50 years and can confidently write that Cinque Terre is one of my favorites.

So what has this inquiring mind discovered of note? Just odd little bits here and there:


Genova: great city no matter how it’s spelled

15-16 May 2022

Standing in front of the kiosk at the train station, one must remember there are different ways to spell my destination – Genoa or Genova. Genoa is the English spelling and Genova is the Italian. If I want buy a ticket, I type in Genova. But no matter which way I spell it, Genova is a gorgeous city to visit.

Located in the Liguria region of Italy, Genova is located between the Principality of Monaco and the region of Tuscany. Genova represents one of the mightiest naval powers in history. Today, its main marvels are shopping, shipping, eating and passeggiata. The city is stunning to admire from the sea and beautiful when strolling its streets. Things not to miss when in Genova:


Sestri Levante: così così

13-14 May 2022

Squeezed between the villages of Cinque Terre and jet-set Portofino, Sestri Levante is like a poor cousin one visits in the suburbs. A stroll takes me among the shabby and Art Nouveau chic. Walking the extensive waterfront, I feel a similarity with Santa Monica or Palm Beach. I don’t know whether to love it or hate it.


Trekking Cinque Terre: Monterosso to Punta Mesco

12 May 2022

Destination, the white patch of peak at Punta Mesco

On a clear day, there is no panoramic point on the Cinque Terre that equals Punta Mesco, a promontory to the west dividing the village of Monterosso al mare from that of Levanto. From Monterosso, the promontory is very appealing, but hiking to this massive rock formation is daunting. I read that Italian poet Eugenio Montale walked here as a youth, later in 1975 he was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature. Don’t know about his poetry but the fact he walked this trail more than once should have earned him a Nobel Prize for something!


Trekking Cinque Terre: Vernazza to Monterosso

10 May 2022

I would not want to disabuse anyone from hiking the national park trails of the Cinque Terre. However, I will be honest and say the trails can be challenging. I witnessed those clinging to the rock walls on narrow paths, those packing large backpacks and even babies, the elderly, and those with taped knees. There were many huffers and puffers. Some of that describes me.

Google Map’s plot of altitude for Vernazza-Monterosso trek.

Following the reconstruction of a collapsed drystone wall on the Vernazza side of the trail, the Verde Azzurro (Blue Green) path became accessible again just this past month. Yeah! Alternative, higher routes are not an alternative for this hiker.