|Hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza|
We decided to work our way from our hostel in Levanto, at 9am, to the first of the five towns closest to us, Monterosso. This trek alone was 2.5 hours and five miles up steep hills and through shaded forests until we reached the coast line at Sant ‘Antonio with a view of the remaining peninsulas ahead of us. Once we arrived to Monterosso we begin walking down a declining road with purple bougainvilleas until we came to the expansive beach. We took a quick swim to refresh and then continued.
From Monterosso, we paid to enter the famous blue path to Vernazza. We saw the town in site and it looked beautiful! Here we got some great brick oven pizza and then went on our way. The trail was open from Vernazza to Corniglia, though the remaining paths were closed. We even met three friendly Norwegian ladies on our hike!
From Corniglia we took a more difficult, roundabout trail up cliffs and around hills through terraced vineyards, since the typical trails were closed. We noticed many conveyer belts running up and down the mountains that must be used to transport the harvest to one central location. When we finally made it to Volastra, we had to walk down seemingly never ending steps to Manarola at the very bottom of the cliff, at sea level.
At 7pm in Manarola, we decided to finish the hike to Riomaggiore, event though we were exhausted and losing daylight. We had to climb rocky stair like structures up a hill until it flattened out and then had equally rocky slopes back down to the town. We finally made it to the last of the five towns, 12 hours, 330 flights of stairs, and 20 miles later!
|Hiking through vineyards to Manarola in the background|