Dolly Travels: Vernazza on the Cinque Terra

Published Date Author: , September 17th, 2011

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Our dear friend, Bella (Dolly Goolsby) is on the go again, this time starting in Switzerland and ending in Italy. She has graciously allowed us to republish her travel blogs. Enjoy!

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Buongiorno, everyone.

Vernazza, Cinque TerreIt is 7:00 in the morning here; I know that for certain, as the church bells just chimed the hour. I do love the bells! In this village, the bells chime every hour and half hour from 7:00 a.m. Until 10:00 p.m.

It is nice to wake up this way. As I look out into the main square, I see the people cleaning the piazza from last night’s revelry, some one is taking a morning swim in the harbor, the cats are coming out looking for any scraps that might be left behind.

It is a beautiful morning. As we are facing northwest, I cannot see the sunrise, but I can see the first pink tinge to the wispy clouds that are above the mountain.

We have had three lovely days here. Not quiet, but fun. The first night, there was a benefit affair down on the harbor, with food and music, loud rock, of course! This went on until midnight, then people sat in the piazza drinking and talking until almost time for the sun to come up.

Wedding in Vernazza, Cinque TerreOn Saturday, there were 2 weddings in the church across the piazza, and yesterday was a big affair with musical groups of all sorts, performing in different parts of the village, until midnight again.

There was a couple performing tango with fire, hard to describe, and another group were on a stage set right over the water in the harbor. Their sound equipment was powered by people pedaling 10 bicycles in front of the stage. The brochure said this generates 2 kw of energy! The group was very good… all 16 musicians were immigrants to Italy from 11 different cities, from 5 different countries.

Vernazza, Cinque TerreWe were fortunate to have a room overlooking the piazza, but quiet it was not! Different and interesting, though! Patrick said he needs to tell his parents that Grandma brought him to a party town!

This was the view from our room last night (at left), of the international group performing. If you look closely, you can see the bicycles in front of the stage, providing the power for the equipment.

We arrived here about 3:30 p.m. On Friday, so we just explored the town, got settled in our room, then the kids went swimming in the harbor. I found my favorite spot for a Aperol spritz, and watched the action. After dinner, we watched the concert for awhile, but it was pretty bad, so we retired for the night…..or tried to, over the sounds from the harbor and the piazza.

The next day, Saturday, I stayed in town and caught up on email and laundry, not so exciting, but necessary. I did get to see the reception of one of the weddings, since it took place at the restaurant right under my window.

That day, Kiri and Patrick hiked the trail from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, though they could not hike from Corniglia to Manarola, as the trail was closed there. After their hike, they swam in the harbor, and later we had a good dinner at Il Pirata, up the hill from us, my favorite restaurant here, both for dinner, with their homemade pasta and sauces, but also for breakfast with the fresh homemade pastries and fresh squeezed orange juice.

Vernazza, Cinque TerreYesterday, we went to Monterosso. We walked around the Old Town. I took the kids to the anchovy center, where we watched a film on packing anchovies, and got to taste some, after which Patrick said he needed a beer to wash away the anchovy taste.

Kiri simply looked a bit green, but did drink a full bottle of mineral water afterward. As for me, that one taste was enough, also. I, too, had a beer afterward! We then got chairs and umbrellas at one of the beaches, and relaxed for the rest of the day. The kids took the boat, then, from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, and I hopped on the train back to Vernazza.

Now we are leaving here today, and going to Viareggio, to have dinner with our friends, Massimo and Magda, and I will get to visit with my Italian dog, Orson. He really belongs to Massimo and Magda, but I love that dog. Then we will go on to Florence for a few days, and after that, Rome. What a great adventure we are having!

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