Wednesday, October 19, 2016 | Italy – Liguria, Deiva Marina | Petra
WAITING IN LIGURIA
BETWEEN WORKSHOP AND SCOUTING EXPEDITION
At Alba we sent our motorbike to the workshop. It has to wait there for a specific spare part. Basically, the continuation of our journey comes to a standstill. But we not let ourselves get worked up and meanwhile we do a slight detour to Liguria at the Italian riviera. We will come back to Alba as soon as the spare part has arrived. Quite clever, isn’t it?
At the camp ground La Sfinge in the small coastal village Deiva Marina we find a nice place. It is a perfect home base to visit our most important destinations Cinque Terre, Portofino, Portovenere and Genua by bus and by train during the next days.
Even the next day we have cozy 22 degrees Celsius and bright sun. It is perfect for a hiking tour along Cinque Terre at the Ligurian coast. Since 1997 these five villages together with Portovenere are part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Our friend Günter, geopraphy teacher and seasoned traveller, gave us the tip.
During off-season the favored coastal hike on narrow trails from Monterosso to Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore is easier to walk than during summer months. For one thing it’s not too hot and for another thing it’s less crowded.
In the year of 2015 2.5 million visitors came to see those five small villages. An incredible number of visitors, that hardly couldn’t get managed. That is why there now is a restriction to 1.5 million tourists is provided and visitors have to buy a ticket for the trail. It works for us and we hope that it will help to preserve these charming villages with the colorful houses.
We happily walk barely three hours from Monterosso via Vernazza to Corniglia. We very much enjoy the stunning views of the Ligurian sea and the tiny wine hills around. Bey the way they’re considered to be the steepest wine areas of Europe and are farmed laboriously by hand.
At Corniglia we stop at the cozy Bar A’ Càneva and have a break for Sprizz, Caffè and smooth music. The last two villages we later reach by train, as the trail is currently closed due to landslides and some maintenance works. Filled with many beautiful impressions and tired from hiking we take the train back home in the evening.
What a wonderful day!
We basically don’t know a lot about Genua, the capital of Liguria. Only that it is a harbor town and from there we can cross over to e. g. Sardinia, Sicily or Morocco by boat.
During a day trip we get to know this attractive capital, where famous people like Christoph Kolumbus and Niccolò Paganini were born.
We stroll through the historic district from the station to Porto Antico, visit some churches, marvel at lavishly painted facades and impressive palazzi. The old harbor welcomes us with exclusive yachts and the seaworthy Neptune, the magnificent sailing ship of Roman Polanski’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
In a side road of Via XX Settembre we accidentally come upon Mercato Orientale. In this big market hall they sell all kinds of delicacies gourmets are dreaming of. Superb fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and prime meat up to delicious dolci , everything of first class quality. Of course you also can get the ingredients for orignal pesto Genovese, first of all fresh pine nuts including marble mortar and wooden pestle. Our mouth is watering – yummy …
There is a lot to see in this surprisingly beautiful city.
Genua is worth a trip!
Where the beautiful people feel fine, we are wanted, too. Let’s go Portofino!
The idyllic village with its tiny port sits protected in the bay of Portofino and is the hotspot of the jetset since the fifties. In Portofino Richard Burton proposed to Liz Taylor, Rod Stewart got married a third time and royals and stars like Lady Di or George Clooney laid at anchor.
While having a light pasta lunch we enjoy the picturesque scene. Win watches (female) tourists strolling and I have fun at the sculpture garden Museo del Parco di Portofino. I get amused by the variety of art works of modern artists. Sometimes I would love to wipe one or another masterpiece to make it shiny again. (Did I ever tell, that I like cleaning?). The outdoor art is quite coated with patina due to weather.
A Tornado, that yesterday caused a stir in Genua and at the coast, left its marks. Everywhere broken off trees and branches, crashed down roof tiles and leaves lie about. We were lucky, that we only had heavy rain at Deiva Marina but apart from that were spared from it. Now it is calm and sunny again.
We take the bus in the early evening and ride back to Santa Margherita Ligure along the winding coastal road. This village with its painted facades, nice restaurants and pretty shops is worth to see, too. We also take a look at Basilica Santa Margherita di Antiochia and stare with wide eyes. That’s jaw-dropping! Amazing, beautiful and superb it is.
A good conclusion of a wonderful day.
Two days of rain and idleness is way enough, we decide. We want to go to Portovenere. By foot!
From Riomaggiore a five hours walk on a mountain trail leads to Portovenere. Before we can find the entrance to the trail, a friendly woman approaches us, if we would know the way to Portovenere. From this moment we walk in a group of three having a nice conversation and make the first 600 meters in altitude.
By the way we learn that Sabine is the woman’s name, she lives in Colone and is a teacher. She is spending her holidays here. She hasn’t been to Italy very often, but to Asia. We get carried away and ramble on. In doing so, we pass the pilgrimage church Madonna di Montenero, arrive at Campiglia, walk through forests, enjoy stunning views of the sea and finally arrive at the port of La Spezia.
After pleasurable four hours and 13 kilometers of walking uphill and downhill we arrive at Portovenere in the afternoon. Time flies. In the vibrant harbor town we treat ourselves to snacks and refreshments. There is not a lot of time left to catch the last ferry back to Riomaggiore.
On our way back on the sea we catch a fantastic view of the bold cliff coast of Cinque Terre and get spoiled ripe by some happy dolphins swimming along the coast. An aperitivo helps Sabine, Win and me to pass the wait for our train back home. Only some minutes left, then we part company.
We loved to meet Sabine and to spend a day of walking together. Grazie mille, Sabine!