Boat parking—Life in the fishing villages of the Cinque Terre (five lands), hanging out.
In Manarola lifting the boat at sunset is like an offering to the sun god. The small shoreline is lower than the town.
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.
I 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.