After breakfast we walked to the waterfront,which is across the street from our hotel,to catch the boat to the Cinque Terre. The boats can fit hundreds of tourists eager to visit the 5 lands of the national park which cover 12 km.
As we were leaving La Spezia our guide pointed out Georgio Armani's yacht. It stands out in the marina - it's all black. Stylish.
Porto Venere was our first stop. The houses are painted different colours so the fisherman could pick out their home from a distance.
It was pretty quiet in the village when we arrived. We walked the quaint street to the cathedral at the end. We climbed to the top for the best views -stunning. We visited the cathedral at the top and mom and I lit a candle for Garth.The sidewalk that we took on the way back along the water was built by the romantic poets who frquented here - Byron, Keats, Yates...They loved visiting and I can understand how they would have been inspired by the village and scenery.
Before we had to make our way back we spotted some deodorant for James and Lyn. Whew!
We got back on the boat to Vernazza where we had time to walk around and have a drink. There was a market on when we arrived and we saw the opera singing flower seller that is in one of the Rick Steves videos about the Cinque Terre. He wasn't singing when we saw him but maybe if you buy something you get a song?!
Then on to the largest village (population 1500), Montersosso. The villages are picturesque and the total population is 5000.The people of the Cinque Terre are also protected. They don't pay taxes and Unesco will pay them if they don't make as much money as they did the year before. It is very important that the people stay otherwise the villages will become ghost towns. It seems all the tourism has ensured that won't happen.
Our guide told us the local specialties are anchovies (caught fresh daily), mussels (also caught daily) and wine. We had lunch in Monterosso with some Cinque Terre wine. I had gnocchi with pesto - delicious! Others tried the seafood. We were able to find a store with lemoncello tasting. We wandered around before heading back to Le Spezia on the train.We were able to see some of La Spezia on the walk back to the hotel.
All in all a beautiful day in the Cinque Terre.