Friday Postcards from the Cinque Terre Trails
Dreaming about a visit to the Cinque Terre doesn’t even come close to the reality when you step foot in this coastal region of Italy. I’ve wanted to see these famous five towns for years. I’d never been on the Italian coast, always staying inland to see the sights. The idea of walking from one town to another, even with my kids, seemed like a must-do trip. We finally got the chance to visit in mid-May this year.
My friend Tai and I were camped out in a great little apartment with our three kids just north of the Cinque Terre in the town of Levanto. We headed to the train station to grab our tickets and Cinque Terre cards (the combo park entrance and train ticket you need to visit), but were greeted by some bad news. All but 200 meters of the famous trail connecting the five towns were closed off. Spring mudslides had caused significant damage to the trail and it wasn’t safe for hikers.
As disappointing as this was, it was also a blessing in disguise. The weatherman had turned up the heat. In the sun it felt like it was at least 90 degrees. Walking with the kids with no shade to cool us down would have been a bit of a nightmare. Instead we took the train to Monterosso to explore the town and hopped on the ferry to see the rest of the coastal villages by boat.
Passing each town by water allowed us to see the topology in ways the train never would have allowed. We saw first hand the mudslides that had taken out the trails between each village. It could take months for the villages to fix the trail, although you never know. This is a major tourist destination, especially in the summer months. Getting those trails up and running is important to the local economy.
Although we didn’t get to hike the trail we did get a taste of life in this beautiful section of the Italian Riviera. The colors, food and views are worth the trip no matter how you see it. If you have a choice, do a combination of train, ferry and hiking though. When you have traveled that far to see the Cinque Terre trails you might as well see it all.
READ FIRST: Welcome to Friday Postcards, a place where I will share a small memory or “postcard” moment from our travels. I hope you will join me too. Link your favorite photo-driven post here if you have a blog so we can share the joys of traveling with each other. If you would like to spread the word, please link back to this post in your own post so others will know where to find a little travel inspiration to end their week. #fridaypostcards
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