I hiked partly back up the trail towards Monterosso to take this picture as the sun set in Vernazza. I was joined up there by a family who had brought a few big beers up with them, which they were good enough to share. It worked out pretty well for me.
There’s a little cave off the main (only) road that runs through Vernazza. If you walk through it, you end up on this rugged little beach. After a bit of research, I discovered that this beach didn’t exist until 2011 when the landslides the devastated the region created it. This beach was the only sign I could see that the landslides had occurred at all.
When planning my Cinque Terre trip, there was something about Vernazza that made me decide I had to stay there. This was despite the fact that there was a dearth of hotel accommodation in the town, I was only booking a week in advance after all. The end result was that I booked into a two star hotel next to the train track. Upon reading the reviews, it seemed like it was clean enough but that I’d be greeted by a grumpy old lady at the front desk.
Sure enough, after 24 hours of traveling via two planes, a bus, two trains, and my feet, I arrived to meet the grumpy old lady on the front desk. I think the fact that I expected a cold greeting softened the blow a bit as I sat, chuckling to myself, while she finished whatever it was she was doing on a computer. Ten minutes later I was being rushed up the stairs and into my room, where I was shown the light-switch, bathroom, and balcony and was left alone. I was on the top floor – at least if I was in a crappy hotel, I was in the penthouse of the crappy hotel. I stepped out onto the small balcony and was shocked to discover a family of four sat on the balcony right next to me.
Anyways, I loved Vernazza and want to go back. On my first night I walked down the central port for dinner. I ate, surrounded by locals, under the multi-coloured umbrellas you can see in the shade down there. Pesto and local pasta to start, which was the best I’d ever had followed by veal Milanese. It was fantastic. It was then that I discovered that I was in a restaurant renowned for it’s seafood… naturally I went back the next night to try out the sea bream.
This photo was taken from on top of the small fortification guarding the town. While up there a helicopter with video equipment passed over me a few times. If you spot me on the travel channel, let me know.