How to get there… Episode 2: Portovenere and Cinque Terre

1 October 2017 by Federica Ghimenti
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One of the most interesting destinations of CasaLina & CasAlfredo’s guests is the Riviera of Levante in Liguria, here in the province of La Spezia are a series of villages that since 1997 have been included among the UNESCO World Heritage. Porto Venere, with the islands Palmaria, Tino, Tinetto and Cinque Terre (from west to east: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore) definitely deserve a visit. Porto Venere means Venus Harbor and Cinque Terre means Five Lands. In less than 90 minutes drive you can enjoy a fabulous, unreal landscape made of crystal clear waters, unspoilt beaches, wonderful naturalistic trails, stunning scenery, art, culture and food at the highest standards. Let us remember, however, that as a monumental hamlet our presence must not have too much environmental impact for them. These lands live in a fragile balance that can not be overwhelmed by the frenzy of modern life. For this reason, those arriving by car will surely have to deal with the parking problem, often crowded, far from the center and quite expensive. Some countries have been parked very externally with respect to the center, but well connected by a very frequent and economical shuttle bus. For further details, please visit http://www.cinqueterre.eu/en/parcheggi-cinque-terre

The train is a hinting alternative. Trenitalia proposes 5 Terre Express. In words all very beautiful, in reality we find ourselves in a nightmare journey, made up of delays, crowds, besides noting that in the past Italy has built tunnels and stations without respect for the surrounding environment and never making significant improvements to the structures. There is someone who likes to say that this is all very picturesque in Italy, I disagree. I want my guests to have a fantastic memory of Italy.

My advice to spend a wonderful day without stress is to take part in boat trips organized by the Consorzio Marittimo Turistico Cinque Terre Gulf of Poets. I generally suggest that you reach the Marina di Massa haven https://goo.gl/maps/2dhBZGiWacL2 with less than an hour’s drive. You must park in Via Zolezzi near the church for parking is free and close to the embarkation site https://goo.gl/maps/NjUy72uKhfC2. You can check out more useful information, timetables and rates at the following link http://www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it/en/timetables-and-rates.html

The boat is certainly the most convenient and suggestive way to visit this area. A light luggage, a little camera, a beach towel and a sunblock in the beautiful season and the game is done. During the journey you can admire unseen glimpses and often in summer the ships approach into marvelous coves where you can swim. Upon arrival in the villages you will immediately find yourself in the little harbor of the historic center and without any parking problems you can easily walk to the area, try one of the many restaurants tasting the typical pesto trophies or pointing at the bakeries that propose the typical Ligurian focaccia note for its delicious softness, a soft dough that if I think I’m getting it now! You will love this place, not by chance in the last century was the typical destination of our grandparents’ honeymoon and one of the most famous trails is called the Way of Love. These are feelings that can not be explained, perhaps for this reason Lord Byron was a frequent visitor to these areas, the famous poet was inspired by the passion transmitted from this wild, uncontaminated nature and a bit harsh with its inhabitants. Here, where the mountains dive into the sea, the nature trails are mostly suitable for well-equipped and experienced trekking people. Those who want to get closer to this type of tourism put their skills to the test, but it also takes great satisfaction. The trails can take you to the most hidden and pure places in the Cinque Terre Park. In the summer the activities are multiplied, the sea is calm and clean and becomes deep only after 3 meters from the shore, so suitable for all ages and all levels of skill as swimmers. Even in the spring, if you leave for the Cinque Terre, do not forget to put your costume under your clothes, because tan is insured.

In short, Cinque Terre is for all tastes and it is not impossible to take a tour from the morning to the evening also with children. Just plan your trip well, assess the difficulty of the trails and get involved with the magical atmosphere you breathe here.

CasaLina & CasAlfredo