Cinque Terre Trails Update August 2015

On trail from Monterosso to Vernazza, looking back at Monterosso

On trail from Monterosso to Vernazza, looking back at Monterosso

Hiking the trails (i sentieri) in the Cinque Terre is an awesome adventure, but you have to be prepared for the fact that some of the trails close periodically due to weather or landslides. However, it looks like most of the five trails are open now in 2015, except for the Via Dell’Amore.

It is worth it (vale la pena) to even hike one of the trails because the views of the Ligurian Sea are breathtaking as you climb through vineyards and crisscross around, up and down the sides of the mountains.

If you start at the trailhead in Monterosso, the northernmost Cinque Terre village, you will hike and climb your way to beautiful Vernazza in about 90 minutes.

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The picturesque harbor of Vernazza greets you after your hike from Monterosso

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can stop for lunch in Vernazza, shop at the quaint shops in the small village, then hike to Corniglia. For your third hike, I have read that the trail from Corniglia to Manarola is officially open also–another 90 minute hike.  In the 7 years I have been to the Cinque Terre in September, this Corniglia to Manarola section has never been opened.

The next trail from Manarola to Riomaggiore  called Via Dell’Amore (Lovers Lane) is closed as of this post of August 9, 2015. This is the flat side-walk trail that takes 20 minutes to walk. It’s beautiful and easy, but due to the landslide in the Fall of 2012, repairs must be made.

Via Dell’Amore has been closed since October 2012. However, on April 3, 2015 they temporarily re-opened 200 meters of the trail for a few months, starting at Manarola going toward Riomaggiore, but now it is closed again for further repairs. Repairing the Via Dell’Amore is a massive ongoing project and we will just have to be patient. Or, if you’re in Riomaggiore you can try the panoramic walk around the village on via Signorini, which starts near the Riomaggiore train station, reached through the walking tunnel. There is usually a Tourist Information Center near the station. Sometimes the workers there are helpful and often they are not!

The best advice I can give is to be flexible. Hike the Trails from Monterosso to Vernazza, then Vernazza to Corniglia–trails that are usually open unless there is heavy rain. Then, for the safety of all hikers, they close due to muddy and slippery trails. I have hiked muddy trails and just moved more slowly, but only when they were officially open.

Wear good walking shoes or sandals. I have only hiked with Merrell or Ecco sandals made with a back strap, which is necessary. You must be able to climb 700 very uneven steps, up and down on these trails!  Wear sunglasses, a hat and suntan lotion! Bring water bottles as there are no watering holes on the trail. One hiker stopped my friend and said they’d give her $10 for a sip of her water!

Just be prepared and you’ll love it. Happy Trails! Buona passeggiata!  Enjoy the hiking trails of the Cinque Terre, “the five lands“.

 “Traveling is the only thing you spend money on
that makes you richer.”

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.

Vernazza Trails and Beauty

Vernazza: A welcome site after a long hard hike from Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, Italy.

Alone now in the B&B in Lucca after a wild wonderful Italy Retreat for Women with 10 amazing women from around the country. First time we did not have someone from another country. I love the gathering of women who don’t all know each other,  who laugh together and learn from one another. Always a chance to embrace possibilities.

We learned about gratitude and breaking free from beliefs that jam boulders in our lives.  We focused on our ‘wants’.  There’s something so powerful in the simplicity of  learning to choose life and make the most of it. The willingness to make mistakes while finding our way, to fall down and bruise ourselves  (some of us literally did), and then to laugh or cry some and get up and do it again. (In Italy, maybe eating a few gelati and pizzas in between the trying.) To be more of who we are, having intentions but not being attached to their outcome.
Each day a step to living outside our comfort zone, then a swim in the Mediterranean or a climb through the vineyards on the Cinque Terre trails. We can always grab inspiration from the Townspeople of Vernazza and Monterosso who have worked so very hard in their recovery.

The trails are open in the Cinque Terre except for the trail between Corniglia and Manarola. In the four years I have been there, it has not been open. Word is that it will not be fixed, and it is not from the October 2011 mudslide, but from old damage that cannot be repaired on the side of the mountain. There is, however, an upper trail that although more challenging, will connect Corniglia and Manarola, so that you can hike to all five of the Cinque Terre villages.

I am practicing managing my frustration at not being able to upload more of my photos on this post. It’s just not happening right now. But stay tuned!