After breakfast at the nearby bar we went to the information centre and bought our Cinque Terre passes which entitle one to walk the trails, allow unlimited travel on the local trains and buses and have some little extras like toilets. It was quite cloudy but we decided to walk from Rio Maggiore to the next village of Manarola. The maps were rather indicative than precise, but we made our way up the hill to the tower above the village, which was a bit complicated because we are not staying in the main part. We then walked up a very steep hillside and eventually got to a road. It wasn’t very clear what to do next so we walked along the road across a high viaduct and through a short tunnel and came out above the village we were aiming for. We found a little path that went down through vineyards. It didn’t look very official but there was no gate or keep out notice such as the Italians are very fond of. We made our way down cautiously and came out on the road leading down into Manarola which had very enticing tourist shops and some nice looking restaurants. We had lunch at one of them and tried the local Cinque Terre white wine which was good, quite different from our whites. We walked up a path from where we had a very nice view over the village and along the coast.

We then took the train the to the next village of Corniglia. The village itself is up on the hill and you have to walk up 365 steps or take the bus. We walked up the steps of course which was on our to do list and had a look round the village which was very attractive. We then went down and took the train to the last village of Monte Rosso. By this time the villages were seething with tourists, especially compared to the walking tracks where there was hardly anybody, we shuddered to think what it would be like in July and August. We encountered many tour groups including large and noisy groups of Chinese which we avoided as far as possible. We had a little look round Monte Rosso but we had had about had enough by this time and caught the train back to Rio Maggiore for a rest

before going to the nearby trattoria for dinner.

The person serving us spoke very good English as she had lived and worked in Australia for about a year. They had some specials that day so after detailed consultation Tamara had a local version of ravioli with spinach and ricotta and Dave had spinach tortellini with meat sauce, and we had the house red wine which was very acceptable. We then staggered off to the apartment and had an early night.


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