Walking along Via del’Amore along the stunning coast of Cinque Terra on the northern coast of this most romantic countries, I understood why it got it’s name. What a magnificent spot to stroll hand in hand with the love of your life, gazing out at the vast expanse of sea and the mountains covered with olive trees, thin strips of grape vines and rock formations created by centuries of earth’ rocking and rolling.
The five towns that make up Cinque Terra nestle into the valleys between the five mountains. Most date back 1000 years. A major part of their charm is that they aren’t linked by roads and no cars except government vehicles and taxis are allowed.
The towns are a profusion of colors we associate with Italy. Yellow. Ochre. Salmon. Siena. This is where the term unwashed was coined.
Access to the towns is by ferry, train, or on foot. The Path of Love connects Riomaggiore the southern most of the five small towns with Manarola the one to the north. It is the easiest to walk..
All the tourist brochures say it is the prettiest but the whole area is drop dead gorgeous so I don’t know how one can make that claim.
I love the “making a promise” tradition. Lovers come prepared for this with a small lock, which after making a commitment to each other they attach the lock to netting, gates, railings and ropes strung up for this purpose. The symbolism is perfect and the tradition charming. On the day we made our way down the path, we enjoyed the lyrical sounds of a young man playing his accordion.
Ahh, Mama Mia would be so happy.