Peck's personal Web site
time to walk along the Cinque Terre
may not find this tangibly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a
good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught
up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
too long we've been dozing off in front of American sitcom reruns and planning
to get to this someday, but since everybody we know (except for Fred) says that
this is the loveliest walk in the world, we're going to do it at least once before
we get pensioned off to the next planet.
here we are. Town III of the Cinque Terre.
at the church in Corniglia, as we set off on Tranche II of our hike along the
Cinque Terre . . .
. . if we can just find our way out of town.
a quick look back down into Corniglia as we're almost galloping to get on our
way at last up into the olive groves.
is all, by the way, a UNESCO World Heritage Site cultural property, and these
old paved tracks through the steep olive groves have got to be a large part of
Ligurian coast between Cinque Terre and Portovenere is a cultural landscape of
great scenic and cultural value. The layout and disposition of the small towns
and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of
a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement
in this region over the past millennium.
Committee decided to inscribe this site on the basis of criteria (ii), (iv) and
(v), considering that the eastern Ligurian Riviera between Cinque Terre and Portovenere
is a cultural site of outstanding value, representing the harmonious interaction
between people and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional scenic quality
that illustrates a traditional way of life that has existed for a thousand years
and continues to play an important socio-economic role in the life of the community.
put! You World Heritage Convention, you!
a view of Corniglia as we plod our way upwards, bound hopefully inevitably towards
Vernazza. That is to say, Town IV.
with the zoom lens on.
ancient path towards Vernazza, with modern chickenwire laid on.
hiking trail that just screams out "ancientness"!! And Kristin, who
just screams out "youthful exuberance"!! Keep up with her if you can.
looking back (like Lot's wife), but the afternoon shadows are lengthening
agglomeration of disused buildings somewhere along the path from Corniglia to
Vernazza (hard to tell where this is on the map, maybe Margareta?).
same buildings, with laundry hanging out, so evidently somebody knows they're
narrator smugly somewhere along the trail to Vernazza. Kristin's in this picture,
too; can you tell where?
got steeply so far up, we now have to go steeply down. With steps, thanks to these
conveniences thoughtfully laid on by the local tourist board almost a thousand
venerable path to Vernazza.
Italy, founded in about 1000 A.D., and looking a little not unlike Shawnee, Oklahoma,
in this light. If you squint really hard.
in this photo, even more like Shawnee, Oklahoma, if you try to blot out the Ligurian
Sea, the steep rocks, and the buildings.
IV of the V
Terre, Vernazza, with (like all Italian towns,
it seems) all the electricity and plumbing hung from wires somewhere over your head.
at this point, is wondering whether enough is enough for the day, and whether
the rest of the party should be sent on ahead with precise instructions for how
to ask for the right train in Italian.
playing "Don't Look Now" again wandering down through tiny alleys into
bustling downtown Vernazzo.
port of Vernazzo, having a good lookabout for the public facilities.
the Santa Margherita di Antiochia, dating from 1318 (the paint job seems to be
recent), a truly imposing pile
boats awaiting the return of the summer, not to mention the return of fish
craning of necks for Saint Margarita, let's go in and check out whether it's really
as old as they claim in the tourist brochures. As discriminating tourists, we
don't fall for all of these Tourist Board tricks.
it's very old.
tours the Normanish interior, absorbing a thousand years of prayers of the faithful,
and, thus fortified, decides to race the declining sun onwards to Town V of the
Cinque Terre walk: Monterosso al Mare.
fact, the rest of the party had been having doubts about Kristin dropping off
our increasingly crepuscular hike, since she's the only one who speaks Italian,
in case stocking up on additional panini with capres were to become necessary
. . .
. . but in the event Kristin stiffened up the already stiff sinews and led us,
actually dragged us, up out of Vernazza . . .
. . on the vertiginous path northwards towards Town V, Monterosso al Mare.
the sun drops slowly into the tank again
hasty march onwards to Monterosso, 3 February 2007
after a very warm February day, Kristin's "hiking sandals" let the feet
quick glance back towards Vernazza as we race the sun to Monterosso.
hiking paths so old that UNESCO has reached out to honor them
were racing the daylight, and we lost, just about at this 12,000-year-old footbridge.
we made it into Monterosso just in time to buy 12 bottles of mineral water and
catch the night train for Sestri Levante. A fine day's walk.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 18 February 2007.