It was finally time to say farewell to our first Italian home in Camogli - thanks again to the generous Molly and Massimo for the keys to their lovely place. On November 20 we set off with Patrick for Monterosso al Mare, the northernmost of the "Cinque Terre". After washing down our Italian-style egg salad on fresh focaccia from Camogli's Pasticceria / Focacceria Revello with strong cappuccino and English Breakfast tea, we headed off to Sentiero Azzurro - the "Blue Path Trail". Our trek took us high above the vineyards and olive groves on a rocky and hilly trail along the sea, headed for Vernazza.
The first hour-and-a-half of the two-hour hike was literally an uphill climb on rough-hewn "stairs". The reward for our efforts was a breathtaking view, waterfall after waterfall, the sound of birds and rushing water, the scent of vines and orchards, and a cool breeze that made the trek bearable. You know the terrain is difficult when you see makeshift trams for farmers to move their gear, and a helicopter being used to deliver bags of construction blocks to stops along the way.
Just when you feel like you can't make it another step, the trail thankfully levels off and then starts to head downhill. Soon you turn a corner, and Vernazza - perhaps the most picturesque of the 5 towns - appears below. With a renewed energy, we forged on - Patrick far ahead of us already touring the piazzas and shops.
Over beer and wine we opted not to hike to another of the 5 villages and instead we hopped the train to La Spezia where we had checked our luggage and caught the next train to Pisa, sore and tired, but grateful for the memories.
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Nancy McCabe &