Julie and I completed our traverse of the five villages and we all enjoyed a magical lunch in Manarola.
Looking down on Corniglia
To pick up our trail we trained to Corniglia, meaning we had to start with a 200’ climb just to get from the train station up to town. From there the trail begins a steady but beautiful climb to a terrace we could use to traverse to Volastra. This trail is the high option, and right now the only option given the closure of the low Corniglia to Manarola to Riomaggiore routes.
We didn’t feel compromised in any way; this hike was our favorite of the area.
We quickly skirted Manarola to continue our hike to Riomaggiore. This trail is a beast: basically straight up and straight down, climbing just under 1000’ in about a half mile. Great payoff view at the peak. In Riomaggiore we jumped on the return train to meetup with the others for lunch.
Our lunch spread
Our grand plan was lunch at Nessun Dorma, requiring us to enter a digital queue at 12:30pm. We were about 70th in line so we hung around the beautiful waiting area near the restaurant for about 2 and a half hours. The wait was worth it.
The restaurant is an interesting operation with limited opening hours and menu: you get to choose some bruschettas and cheese / meat / anchovies with some garnishes. The setting is unique, overlooking Manarola, and the staff was surprisingly unstressed and pleasant.
Looking south and east from the hills of Monterosso
Julie and I had one more quest for the day: climb up to the convent and cemetery above Monterosso. We were exhausted but the trek was worth it, even with the storms coming in.
Mike and Britt enjoying the point peak
This morning at 7:30am, as a last hurrah before our train departure, four of us hiked up to Punto Mesco, the peak and point about halfway between Monterosso and Levanto. We could see the French Riviera, Corsica, and the seas were flat. A great way to finish our Cinque Terre adventure. Now, off to Florence!