The Day of 900 Stairs

Published Date Author: , August 28th, 2014

Dolly in the Cinque TerreOk, gang,

As you know, our first day on the Cinque Terre (yesterday) was not so fun. We had rain, off and on, all day. The trails were closed. We had enough good weather to allow us to explore both the old and the new towns of Monterosso. Then the rain came back, so we had to settle in our rooms, read, catch up on emails, and of course, study more Italian.

Today, however, the sun came out, and we were ready to explore. Unfortunately for me, I had told Susan that, although I have been to the Cinque Terre many times, done some of the hikes at different times, I had never been up to the village of Corniglia. If you look at a map of the Cinque Terre, you will see that the southern most villages, Riomaggiore then Manarolo, are the least strenuous villages to visit.

There are hills, of course, but the walk between the villages is pretty flat and level. The northern most villages, Vernazza and Monterosso, are much more hilly. Monterosso has the largest beach access, so walking along the sea wall is pretty flat. But, then there is Corniglia.

Corniglia is the center village of the 5 villages. It sits way up on the mountain top…and no easy access to the village. You might think, when the train stops at the Corniglia station, the village is right there. Not so. One gets off the train, walks up a paved path to the beginning of the stairs…..426 stairs later and you be In the village.

Once we got to the village, of course, it is smaller than the others, but very pretty, in its own way.

One could really walk through the entire village in 15 minutes.

We had lunch, then we had to descend the same 426 stairs and the walkway to get to the train station. We had a full day pass, so we went on to Manarolo by train, then backtracked to Vernazza, also by train. There has been so much rain here I the past few days, many of the trails were closed, so today, no hiking, only stair climbing.

After being in Manarolo, we went by train to Vernazza. Susan and I walked up the hill to the ristorante, Il Pirata, to say Hello to our Sicilian twin friends. Luca was there, along with his wife, and the barista, whom we have met several times. It was like old home week, Luca wanted to know why we were not staying in Vernazza, and why my “marito” was not with me, I tell you, I go to Vernazza every year with my groups, sometimes twice a year. Frank has gone with me twice, I think. And they remember him. Of course, Frank is a memorable person.

We finished our afternoon with aperitivo at the bar by the waterfront in Vernazza, sharing a botte of wonderful Cinque Terre dry white wine, waiting for the church bells to chime at 5:00. This is probably my most favorite thing to do….have an aperitivo by the waterfront, and listen to the church bells.

Eventually we made it back to Monterosso, and as the weather had been kind today, the beach umbrellas were up, and life was good once more for the beach concessions.

We were least I can say. I was tired. We had to walk up and down stairs in Vernazza, in Manarola, in Monterosso. So therefore, I can easily say, this was a day of 900 stairs. After a light dinner, a “passeggiata “, with only a few more stairs, we are both ready to call it a night.

Tomorrow, perhaps, I will get to be lazy, by the beach. If not the beach, at least by the pool. But so many adventures await. Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

So I will say,

Ciao for now,


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Liguria Gay Travel Resources

Comments reader  One Reader Comment

Margie Miklas - Gravatar Margie Miklas said on August 29, 2014, 10:01 am:

Loved it Dolly-I opted out of climbing those steps to Corniglia-took the bus instead! So I admire your stamina!! Love following you in Italy!!

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