Boats of the Cinque Terre

Hanging at the boat in Riomaggiore

Hanging at the boat in Riomaggiore

Boat parking—Life in the fishing villages of the Cinque Terre (five lands), hanging out.

Raising the boat from sea level to the street level of Manarola

Raising the boat from sea level to the street level in Manarola

In Manarola lifting the boat at sunset is like an offering to the sun god. The small shoreline is lower than the town.

boat arriving on land

boat arriving on land

4-5 people needed to Push the boat uphill to park for the night.

4-5 people needed to push the boat uphill to park for the night.

Once the boat is raised to street level, it is set on the trailer, and pushed to its parking place on the street. I’ve seen the women help drag the boat and the trailer through town to park in front of their apartments, like parking a car, waiting until morning when they go out to sea to catch the fish of the day. Fishing has been part of the livelihood of the Cinque Terre for a long time.  The boats are not just something pretty to take pictures of. You can count on the restaurants serving what the local fishermen catch throughout the area each day.

Each of the five towns has a train station or you can hike to some of the towns but you do need to be in shape to hike. It’s important to know that you cannot drive your cars into the towns.

Boats in Manarola Bay

Boats in Manarola Bay

photo 7I love the boats, enjoy their colors of aquamarine blue, red, and royal blue, but I would be afraid to be out in the ocean in such small vessels, so I just lean on them and admire them while they are on dry land. There’s just something awesome about colorful boats parked in front of equally colorful houses built on the sides of cliffs, and walls made of rocks cemented together, full of textures and shapes.

The boats I travel on with my Italy Retreat groups are the ferries from Monterosso to Portovenere. The sea is calm or else they don’t go, which I am grateful for because I have been known to get seasick.



Manarola and Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre

The Via Dell' Amore Path between Riomaggiore and Manarola on Cinque Terre Trail.

The Via Dell’ Amore Path between Riomaggiore and Manarola on Cinque Terre Trail.

I love taking photos and Italy is a photographer’s dream come true!  Here are a few shots of Riomaggiore and Manarola.

Manarola as seen from the rocks below the village

Manarola as seen from the rocks below the village

Ceramics in Manarola

Ceramics in Manarola

In each town in the Cinque Terre, we find beautiful and quaint shops where we enjoy shopping, ‘oohing and aahing’ over the ceramics, packaged or bottled local food items, clothing, olive oil, limoncello and wine.

Riomaggiore Harbor

Riomaggiore Harbor


If you would like to savor more photos of Riomaggiore and Manarola, you can see them on flick’r page and through Janey’s blogposts and photos.  Janey, one of the lovely women who traveled with me in 2012 writes about the Italy Retreat as seen through her lens.

She’s a great example of what it means to follow her dream and make a commitment to manifest it.  Last winter she  had the desire to travel to Italy and when she found my women’s tour online, she was excited to join us.  In her enthusiasm, she invited her best friend, Lisa, to join us too, and so the fun began.

Janey invited her friend, Lisa, to join the Retreat.

Janey invited her friend, Lisa, to join the Retreat.

Did I mention shopping?! We stimulated the Italian economy a little, right Katy and Hilary?IMG_1056

Join us in September and invite your friends! We only have room for 7 women.

Hiking in the Cinque Terre

Walking in nature has never been better than in the Cinque Terre! The easy walk takes only 25 minutes from Riomaggiore to Manarola. The panoramic views overlooking the Mediterranean (called the Ligurian Sea here) are dotted with exotic plants like the agave and cactus, as well as fascinating geological rock formations in layers. At both ends of the path are the train stations, so you can hop on the train for under two euros to get to the next Cinque Terre village or many other cities in Italy.

Via Dell’ Amore trail seen from upper street in RioMaggiore

Heading to Manarola from Riomaggiore Hiking trail

These next photos are the path that begins in Monterosso, the northern Cinque Terre village where we stay for my Italy Retreat For Women.  It continues for 90 minutes to the next village of Vernazza. Climbing up past one of the Monterosso beaches, we begin our journey.  It’s a challenge and a transformational experience, but we take our time, and rest along the way drinking lots of water. I recommend bringing small packets of electroytes along with plenty of water. If you have bad knees, I don’t recommend this hike since there are around 700 steps along the way.

Climbing into the light through grape vineyards and olive trees

Hiking from Monterosso to Vernazza

The view of Monterosso from the hiking trail to Vernazza

Some of the path has hand rails, but not all of it

Take your time walking any of the trails, visit the quaint stores in each town, eat the delicious food and savor every moment. When I teach my workshop, I focus each day on how we can live la dolce vita, the sweet life, wherever we are even in our daily lives at home. Savor each moment, do something you are afraid of doing, live outside your comfort zone.

Climbing vertical and horizontal mountain ridges

As you can see in the photos, we’re not wearing hiking boots, but good walking sandals or shoes, like Merrells or Ecco.

Passing vineyards, citrus orchards, olive groves, and brooks

Love this bridge

Jewelry sales on the trail! Made our day.

There are many rewards for hiking this gorgeous trail and one is a surprise artisan selling his beautiful creations.  The other two, of course, is breathtaking views, and the inner sense of true accomplishment.

After 90 minutes, the jewel village of Vernazza appears in the horizon

Everyone can find something to love in the Cinque Terre. Join me next year and find out for yourself.