Manarola is first stop on Cinque Terre, Veranazzi is second and Monterosso is the last stop.
We go from Livorno that is the port for Florence, (called Firenze in Italian ….on the Arno River) which is in Tuscany to the Cinque Terre which is in the Liguria.
We passed by Camp Darvy, a US military base near Livorno…..I never knew they had bases here. The Medicis built a canal that connects Florence/Livorno to Pisa. Pisa was originally on the coast but now is quite far inland. In 1174 it completed. It had been worked on by 3 different architects over a period of 200 years.
There is a huge marble industry in this area that we travelled through. You can see where they have quarried in the mountainsides…….the whole mountain is being cut away block by block.
La Spezia is a major naval base and port.
Cinque Terre means 5 villages or lands. Developed in Middle Ages ….1400s. There 7000 kms of dry wall terraces, as long or longer than the Great Wall of China. It is preserved as a world heritage centre.
All this info was on the ride there.
As we are leaving La Spezia it is poring rain. We are all hoping that it will clear before we get to the Manarola, the first village but it is just torrential. I so loved these villages and told everyone about it. When we arrived we found no one could look around, take pictures and enjoy it. We were all so soaked to the bone. It was just miserable. We never got to look around that first village. Our guide made the decision to go take the ferry immediately. We never got to visit the next one, Riomaggiore (I had visited previously) but went on to get off at Veranazzi. When we got off the ferry(?), our guide was no where to be found. What we found out later was that there were 4 passengers plus herself that were left behind because they were fully loaded. This ferry incidentally carried 350-400 foot passengers. I would never have guessed it but they just kept packing them on. I am sure that there weren’t enough life jackets….maybe enough for 75. When we arrived in Veranazzi atleast it had stopped raining but oh my were we cold. When you are cold you feel miserable and can’t enjoy the town. We stopped and had lunch….a great pepperoni pizza…..delicious and a salad with tomatoes and mozzarella …..yum!!! Just as we were finishing, we found the guide and we were back in lineup for the ferry to the next town, Monterosso. It was a lovely village but with cranky shop keepers. That was the stop that we were to have lunch but we had had already. Oh well! I think the day was a bust. All we wanted to do was get back to the ship and have a hot bath. So disappointing for me. On the previous visit to Cinque Terre, we walked through a tunnel to get to another town and also walked the “Walk of Love”. The Walk of Love was a seaside walk along the cliffs where lovers had placed locks and notes proffessing their love. Unfortunately that area was washed out the month after I was here in 2011 and still remains closed. I am so glad I Thad got to see it.