Manarola to Riomaggiore – 1 km/ 17822 Fit Bit steps
Before the 2011 floods, it would have been an easy 1km walk to Riomaggiore along the Via dell’Amore (named after the increase in marriages between the two villages when the coastal path was first opened). Instead, we had to navigate very steep trails above the villages, some of which were also closed, taking us even higher up on ancient trails which were clearly not maintained. We both made use of the new poles!
Another long steep descent on a rocky uneven path through active vineyards brought us down into the railway station side of Riomaggiore. The old town and harbour are through a long pedestrian tunnel parallel to the rail tracks.
We decided to treat ourselves to a nice lunch on the terrace at Ristorante Dau Cila, looking out on the Ligurian Sea – marinated swordfish with orange, smoked tuna and lemon, salad with fresh aragula, local sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts, a glass of Cinque Terre white, pannacota and espressos.
Restored, we spent the afternoon sitting looking at the sea and exploring the town. Even dinner, which we planned to be “just pizza” was another culinary experience of fresh, local ingredients.
Tomorrow, we travel by train to Pisa and from there we will head to Naples and the Amalfi Coast. We are already getting into a new rhythm of travelling. We miss our bikes, but are enjoying the new opportunities being without them allows. For Paul, the last four days have shown him that he can now hike as well as before (while carrying his full pack), although the following morning it takes a time for the joint stiffness to ease up! It has also been the kind of experience that we had hoped for; a combination of natural beauty and cultural learning. The lovely weather is an added bonus!