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:


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.


CORNIGLIA: terzo di cinque in Cinque Terre

7-8 May 2022

Steve – no snooze button

Steve woke me this morning. He was rather persistent at 7:20 am, like I was missing breakfast of something. The day was bright and sunny, I could hear the waves splashing against the rocks below my balcony, an express train was rumbling through the tunnel under Manarola. I guess Steve was right, I needed to get up and explore more of the Cinque Terre. Once Steve saw I was out of bed, he flew away, probably to peck at the patio door of his next client.


Trekking Cinque Terre: Corniglia to Vernazza

Leaving one sole in Corniglia, the other in Vernazza

7 May 2022

Look back at Corniglia from the Azure Trail.

The Azure Trail is mostly an easy upper trail connecting Corniglia to Vernazza. It is an easier climb because I start out at around 330 feet above sea level from Corniglia. The upper, or high trails, tend to be older, more in tune with nature, and closer to the farmers who originally built and continue to tend the rock walls and paths. It evidently gave them a constructive use for all the rocks that were removed from their terraces in order to grow their grapes.