2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Italy - Vernazza

View from the train window on the way to Vernazza.

Have you ever heard of Carrara marble?  Well this is where it comes from.. Carrara, Italy.  No that is not snow.

After a change of trains in La Spezia, we finally get to the Ligurian Sea on Italy's west Coast.  This is the view from Riomaggiore's train station.  I did a lot of the planning for this trip by reading two books, one of which was Rick Steves' Italy.  The backpack and the day bag I took on the trip were purchased at Rick Steves' Travel Center in Washington state.  As we exited the train in Vernazza, my sis got my attention and motioned to the left of me.  There was Rick Steves.  He was in the area to update the information for future books and film some segments for an upcoming show.   We saw him several times during our visit to Vernazza including at the restaurant where we had breakfast and while he was filming.  We may even have been in the background during one of the film clips.  So look for us on any Rick Steves' travel segment.. usually seen on PBS or at the Rick Steves' website.. www.ricksteves.com
On the walk from the train station to our lodging we walked up this narrow road.  It is open to traffic in the mornings and closed in the afternoon.

A garage door on one side opened to display these two ambulances.
A panoramic view of the upper part of the town and our lodging.
We stayed at Camere Fontana
Vecchia, this yellow and green building.  We crossed a footbridge over the river that goes through town then entered at the door in the green building.  Our room was at the bottom window in the yellow part.  Nice room. 

This was the only Italian lodging we rented that didn't have a separate bidet.  It had a hose you could use.
Doors out to the small patio that had a clothesline.
Looking toward the road from our patio.

After getting settled in to the room, we walked back down the hill on Vernazza's only street.  See the stairs weaving up the hill?  There's a photo of them from the top looking down later in this post.
Street just below the train station.

Vernazza's tiny harbor.

The train line runs just above the stone wall and tunnels into the hillside.

Above the train tracks, vineyards climb the hillside.

Click to see all of photo.  Panoramic view of
Vernazza's harbor.

Up the hill to the left of the tower is Vernazza's burial crypts.

Closer view of the crypts but there are better pictures later in this post since we climbed up to them the next day.
I love to watch water crash onto rocks so I set down at the end edge of the sea and took photos.

The waves crashed into the breakwater on my other side.   A section of the walk was cordoned off.

Across the bay was the town of Monterossa al Mare.  

We sat down at the restaurant on the breakwater and ordered pizza with anchovies and

Insalata Caprese.  We were told that the anchovies were not like the ones in the states... they weren't as salty.  I thought they were still too salty.
On the way back to our rooms we saw this undercut in the cliff so we took it...

to Vernazza's small rocky beach.  Just what I love...lot of colorful rocks!

The exit of the undercut where the cliff was covered in netting to catch any falling rocks.  The rocks were stacked in cairns all over this area.

The vegetation creeps down the cliff walls.
The stream that runs through town empties into the sea here.

Even its drainage is marked by a cairn.

Beautiful place as the sun sets.

As we got just past the train station, we noticed these cars and the sign saying they were for the residents to share.   Good thinking for a town without parking.

For our only full day in Vernazza we had planned to walk some of the cliffside trails and ride the boat between the Cinque Terre villages so we could see them from the sea.  It had been raining for days so the trails were muddy and the seas were too rough for the boat to run.
We watched the waves crash where we had sat the night before.

It looked like we would walk to just under the train tracks on the other side of the harbor so we decided to walk there.

We saw this beautiful design in the courtyard as we walked through the piazza.

Our pigeon friends lead the way.

Some places we had to gauge our passing so we weren't doused in seawater.

Looking back across the harbor.

We found a stairways leading up so we followed it.

Another view of Monterossa al Mare
We stopped for lunch and had focaccia bread that is native to the area.

I had bresoala meat with parmesan.

We ate outside under the umbrella at the Lunch Box.

After lunch we passed by our lodging and started up the hill to the crypts.

At one point we passed over the train station as a train passed by.

Couldn't figure out why the rocks were on the roofs.  Shingles need held down?

We came to some steps leading up to the crypts.

It didn't look like they were well traveled.

The Vernazza harbor from above.

The castle looms above the town.   Pirate, and later Nazi lookout, the tower sits high above the town. 

In 2011 major flooding destroyed the road leading into town.  See how the stream runs alongside the road?

We saw green beans like this at the store.  They were huge .. maybe 6 to 7 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

Once we arrived at the crypts, we saw they were arranged in many different ways.  These were lengthways.

These were for urns.  Others were for caskets put in widthwise.

Up here we had even better views of the waves crashing into the breakwater.

Another view of the road leading into town.  You can see where the repairs were made.  Our lodging is in the buildings on the lower right.

Top of the stairs that weaved up the hillside.

Fire hydrant

We ate at the Il Pirata dell 5 Terre for both breakfast and dinner on our full day in Vernazza.

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