Cinque Terre, Lemon and Olive trees

Off to Cinque Terre National Park for the day but not before Kim and Jacky explored the garden centre for Lemon and Olive trees. The plan is to bring them back in the vans’ showers.

The National Park runs along the coast for 25 miles and only accessible by train or walking. We opted to take the train which was covered in graffiti and interesting decor. The backs of all seats were peppered with bullet holes. We wondered if this is where Sicilian trains retire.

We took the train to the first Cinque Terre  village, Monterosso, and decided to walk to the next one, Vernazza. How difficult could it be? We were warned of ‘many steps’.

The walk was about 3.5 miles and one of the hardest we’ve ever done. We went up about 180 metres, along  very narrow paths through vineyards and citrus trees. Then we went up some more before descending back to sea level. There were many, many steps!
Along the way we were entertained by Ken singing songs from his youth, much to the amusement of the Americans and Portuguese that we kept meeting along the way.

We discovered a hillside sanctuary for feral cats. There are shelters and bins of food with a request for walkers to put some food out for them, mornings only.

Lunch was overlooking the harbour at Vernazzo where we relaxed with the local aperitif, Aperol Spritz, a mixture of Aperol and Prosecco

After lunch, we hopped back on the train to the last of the Cinque Terre towns, Romaggiore, where we stopped for a welcome cuppa.

John and I headed back to Levanto for a wander round the town and a final Gelato. John chose licorice which was not a good flavour! We were all so weary from the walk that our final Italian meal was in the newly opened pizzeria on the campsite.

An early night for us all, hoping that the clock chiming every 15 minutes wouldn’t keep us awake again!

Latest update from Matt is that he’s snowboarding in the Alps listening to ‘Days like these’  from The Italian Job by Matt Monroe

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