Feeds RSS

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The boat sailed pretty fast on the sea, that had compensated its shortcoming of having no air conditioning system on board. Sigh, city folks like us, are so hooked to the air conditioner in hot weather.

After sailing for about 20 minutes, we could see our 1st destination, Vernazza from the boat.

Vernazza is a town located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northwestern Italy. It is one of the 5 towns in the Cinque Terre region. These towns are famous for their colorful, antique homes clinging to the impossible cliffs. The entire Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Vernazza has the only proper harbor in Cinque Terre and is a charming, small fishing village. The village was founded about 1000 A.D. and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276.

There is no car traffic in Vernazza, just a road leads into a parking lot on the edge of the town. In modern days, sightseeing is more common in this astoundingly beautiful cliffside town though.

As the boat approaching slowing towards the harbor, we could see many people were actually sun bathing on the rocks. To me, they were more like getting themselves roasted under the hot sun.

We disembarked from here, and walked towards the heart of the town.

It's true Vernazza is a quaint, beautiful ancient paradise, hidden from the outside world. The population is only 1000 in this 12 km2 area.

Anyway, hundreds or thousands visitors that gathered on this small village had made this place less mysterious.

A lovely small harbor nestles under the shadows of an ancient castle and a dramatic seaside church.

The boys wanted to join the rest in the water straight away, but we held them off. We wanted to tour around the town when the boys were still in dry condition.

The 1st restaurant we saw nearby the harbor. I like the setting of the tables.

As expected, the boys pestered us to buy them the fishing nets when they saw them. As usual, we said NO to them.

Vernazza's historic wealth is evidenced by the elegant style of its houses and streets, which are decorated with tower forms, open galleries, refined arcades and elaborate doorways.

The Village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced Olive groves which are said to produce among the finest Olive oil in the country.

Vernazza is all about relaxation and enjoying a slower pace to life. There is no need to "get out" in Vernazza. Everyone just enjoyed a stroll on the main street in an Italian euphoria. This is simply a nice place to stay and spend time with the family.

There aren't any traditional full service hotels in Vernazza, but some assortment of guest houses, vacation rentals, and boutique hotels.

Guess this is one of the guest houses. Too bad husband couldn't find any of them registered from the internet before departure. So we have missed the chance to soak up the real Vernazza in one of these smaller establishments.

We detoured from the main street to a side street that eventually, lead us to the hill.

Soon, we were on the steep walk above Vernazza. This is the trail where tourists can hike northwest from Vernazza to Monterosso (or vice versa, each way takes about 90 min).

Initially, husband had planed to walk to Vernazza as soon as we get off the train from Monterosso. But looking at the hot bright sun, we gave up the idea.

Although we have skipped the hiking part, I'm glad we still made the way to see this expansive views of the water below, incredibly beautiful seascapes.

The train runs through the town from time to time. We could have taken the train from Rapallo station and go directly to Vernazza. But husband said we could only get to see the impossible cliffside houses offshore. Thus, he choose the sea way for us.

Postcade of Vernazza town.

Octagonal bell tower of the 14th century Santa Margherita d'Antiochia church, begun in 1318. It has a nave and two aisles.

Very awesome town.

We could get to see the pier where we disembarked the boat.

The beach here is very different from the beach we get to see elsewhere, especially in SEA. Here, the beach is more rugged.

Also, I feel the sea over here is more blue than the other seas I've seen.

Unfortunately, the weather was really darn hot that we couldn't stand here for any longer to admire the beauty of the seascape. 10 minutes later, we descent.

Posing in front of one of the local restaurants. Actually, I just like the garlic chain they have put up there.

Just when we were hesitating if we should let the boys to play water here for a while, we get to know the next boat would be coming in another 15 min. If we didn't take this one, we will need to wait for 2 hours for the next to come.

Despite the boys had complained seriously, we just got to hoop in the next boat and continue the journey. To pacify the boys, we made a promise that we would let them play the water when we reached our next destination later.

Slowing, the boat sailded away from Vernazza...that's the other side of Vernazza we won't get to see if not by boat.


After we had finished touring he last town in the list, we had decided to end the boat ride in Vernazza and took the train back to our base in Rapallo.

The time was nearly 6 pm by then, yet the crowds didn't seem to subside a bit.

By then, the sun had set to the side that was perfect for photo shooting.

That rock, is the natural diving platform for the dare devil youngsters.

The cliffside restaurant, very cool.

Yes, we were back again.

The colors of the town is too awesome that I couldn't resist but to take another round of shooting.

The photos taken in the evening time are definitely more beautiful...

Yup, 6.10 pm.

Everything is very authentic, the people, the houses and the colors.

I believe the living style in Vernazza is very authentic too.

Dinner time was not started yet.

We started to walk to the train station, by following the main street.

Everything seems so irregular, yet very charming.

Pasta & spaghetti related foods are typical souvenir everywhere in Italy. The price is not expensive, just hard to carry them home by hands.

One of the street bars.

The street was not crowded yet, but I think it would be in another 1 hour, when all those people left the beach side later.

There is no car traffic in Vernazza, which definitely adds to the village's charms, only a small parking lot about a quarter mile north of the village.

Not too long later, we reached the train station, which isn't far from the pier.

Good Bye, I will remember you.

The train ride is a good experience as the passengers will ride along the cliffs, overlooking turquoise waters and olive trees. Tunnel after tunnel, the air cools and heats in the sun. Anyway, it can be improved if they install air conditioning system inside the train, I insist.

It took us more than 1 hour to go back to Rapallo. What an exhausted day !

Feeling hungry, we walked in to a Chinese restaurant which located just next to the train station. I remember the restaurant is called " How are you ?" in Mandarin words. The owners are from mainland China back in 20 years ago. They served us with good foods, with non-expensive price. For this, I feel grateful.


Post a Comment