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Five of everything

Land, sea, wine, sun, wind

[Tripper: Paola]
ITMovimento lentoCinque Terre, Liguria

Five like the fingers of the hand we use to list their names, testing our memories. Let's try to remember: Cornazza, Vermiglia, Portorosso and down to laugh at the improvised mixing of letters and places.
Five like the five senses that, here, are easily intoxicated and satisfied by the intense colors of the houses that stand out between blue and green, for the scents, for the sound of the sea waves, for the water, the sun and the earth that consume your skin.

Manarola - 5 Terre


Vigneti sulla scogliera

Vineyards on the cliff

Liguria di Levante reaches its universal notoriety right here, among the famous Cinque Terre: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, recently celebrated also in the Disney film: Luca.
Five like five are the right words for a perfect synthesis of the territory: land, sea, wine, sun and wind.
The cliff falls almost vertically into the sea, reaching slopes that make the will to build there incredible. But here the Ligurian tenacity has expressed itself in all its facets, creating not only villages clinging to the rock, but creating the most extraordinary vineyards imaginable.
When the sea was scary and the land seemed the only source of survival, human ingenuity created terraces with dry stone walls to cultivate an uncultivable land, plant vineyards and make them grow almost lying down to protect them from the wind, but at the same time, of that wind, feed them.
We are talking about a distant era, before Christ, when the Ligurians were not yet expert sailors, but some of those dry stone walls still exist.
And there are vineyards, which give life to indigenous wines such as Bosco and Albarola and Vermentino, imported later, but which was able to take root here perfectly.

Can you imagine the fatigue?
A sheer land, to be climbed and descended several times a day, to take care of the plants and then harvest them, kneeling, carrying baskets full of grapes with the sea inside.
In some cases, to ease the fatigue, the baskets were carried down and harvested with boats, waiting for their load, protected by natural inlets of the coast.
More often we went up, clinging to the earth until we reached the road.

In the Cinque Terre Natural Park, the vineyards are still there and the effort to cultivate them has remained almost the same. A few mechanized monorails help the farmers to pick up the wagons with the precious cargo, but it is always hard work.
The monorails can be seen walking along the paths that connect the villages, in an ups and downs that follow the coast, now only possible in parts.
The coast is fragile and landslides, caused by the violent discharges of rain these days, undermine its stability and damage the paths, making them impassable.
For years now the Via dell’Amore has been closed, between Manarola and Riomaggiore, a spectacular stretch of the Blue Path that connects all the five villages of the Park. The path runs about thirty meters above the sea and offers priceless views, which induce a click on the camera at every step. In addition to this mule track, which should be tackled with adequate equipment and with caution, there is a railway line, dug into the rock with the same stubbornness, inaugurated at the end of the 19th century and still perfectly in use. At the end of our trip, we have learned the names of the villages and we praise them in order without problems. Each village has a peculiarity that makes it unique, each of us counts one as a favorite, appreciating this or that characteristic. And you, which land do you love the most?

Vigneti sulla scogliera