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Cinque Terre—Riomaggiore, Manarola (and Bonassola)

ITALY | Sunday, 10 October 2021 | Views [19]

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

THE VIA DELL’ AMORE—LOVERS’ LANE—is the most famous and romantic stretch of the Cinque Terre coastline, connecting the picturesque villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola. Since the trail remains closed there we skipped the Cinque Terre pass in favor of three individual train tickets each.  

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       "Lovers' Lane" is "chiuso"

We managed to arrive in Riomaggiore ahead of the Saturday crowds and had an “oh, yeah” moment when we remembered the modern-day tile mosaics that decorate the tunnel between the station and town. And speaking of tunnels, don’t expect many scenic views from the trains. More than half of the rail journey in Cinque Terre is burrowing through the seaside cliffs. 

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             Dejà vu in the tunnel

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                          Tunnel Art, Riomaggiore

After exploring the town center and climbing to the fort we worked our way back to the station in time to just miss the 11:30 train to Manarola. No sweat—trains run every 30 minutes or so in both directions.

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    Riomaggiore

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                    Castle

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                                               Temptation

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                                                             Just missed it!

Manarola is probably the most “vanilla” village of the Cinque Terre. It doesn’t have the remote feel of Riomaggiore, the sparkle of Vernazza or the beach of Monterosso. But I’ll bet it will be wonderful to arrive there for a glass of vino after strolling with your honey from Riomaggiore when Lovers’ Lane reopens. My honey and I had a nice lunch—pesto for her, spaghetti and mussels pour moi—before riding the rails back to Levanto station.

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     Work-a-Day Manarola                              Sea View

We weren’t quite ready to quit for the day so we walked along the sea from Levanto to Bonassola, about three miles round trip. Neither Levanto nor Bonassola is “officially” Cinque Terre country but each has a beach and seems very livable. The path from Levanto follows the old railroad and much of it—you guessed it—is inside a tunnel. The view from the rare openings, however, didn’t disappoint. 

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                   It's not the Cinque Terra, Levanto to Bonassola

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    Tunnels and more tunnels               Beach at Bonassola

Despite the sunny day we didn’t need much sunscreen.

 

 

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