Friday, December 29, 2017

Cinque Terre treats, the Italian way: with castles, scenery, seafood, churches, riots of color and stunning views

Photographers from all over the world are drawn to the colors and sea views of Cinque Terre, visited from Portovenere.


Cookie and Keller, happy in Porto Venere, Italy, near a famed Gothic church,
stunning beaches,caves, rocky promontories and a clifftop fortress.
Seafood is one of the draws of the exotic ports of Cinque Terre.

UNFORGETTABLE VIEWS of the bay inspired English poets more than a century ago, and continue to draw visitors from around the globe to the magic of Cinque Terre.
Lunch al fresco, featuring calimari, clams,
octopus and local greens in Monterosso.

Five picturesque townships bursting with color and charm look out on the Ligurian Sea, an alluring arm of the Mediterranean. 
WE SPENT  a few delightful days here, on the northwest edge of Italy's boot," recharging after a week of hectic touring. We jumped ship after a rejuvenating Royal Caribbean sail aboard Brilliance of the Seas, and returned to Monterosso.
Nestled between the  Italian Riviera (Liguria) and the island of Corsica, this quintet of enticing hamlets may be accessed by train or boat from La Spezia.
The castle of Porto Venere draws hikers to a stunning view.
We motored to Cinque Terre from the Brilliance, tracing the route Napoleon developed when he was assembling his navy in the late 18th Century.
We motored from La Spezia, also famous as an entree to Tuscany.  
We'd explored the wonders of Florence and its magnificent Uffizi Gallery many times so searched for a new discovery: enter Cinque Terre.
Winding streets with fun shops featuring
handmades are part of Cinque Terre's charm.

WE BOARDED our boat in the village of Porto Venere, known for its Regional Natural Park, a lovely protected area with trails and dive sites. The park encompasses Palmaria Island, dotted with beaches and caves. We walked past colorful shops and hotels to the Gothic-style Church of St. Peter, which sits atop a rocky headland. Nearby is the centuries-old Castello Doria, an imposing clifftop fortress with views of the Gulf of Poets. The wonders continue to entertain the senses -- grottos, tower-like houses, riots of bougainvillea,  delectable seafood, beautiful handmade linens and pottery, and romantic footpaths dating back to the Middle Ages.     Our favorite walk was the Via dell'Amore, dedicated to lovers. More info:
Fishing is an important career for many locals. We watched the owners of these boats repair their nets one sunny afternoon.

UP NEXT:  What do you know about Malta?  This small but interesting Mediterranean country is less than 100 kilometers from Sicily.  Nearly everyone speaks Italian, but  Maltese is the major language, a pleasing blend of several languages, including Arabic, because of the proximity to Africa. Other languages spoken are French and English, But its closeness to Africa inspires not only language, but Malta's art, architecture, food and temperament.. Join us each Friday  to explore, learn and live  as we offer  a fresh approach to travel, nature and the arts.

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