Tuesday, 7 September 2010

CINQUE TERRE...... or, how to build up your thigh and calf muscles in one easy lesson !!!! ..........

Viareggio was the perfect base to enable us to travel to many of the beautiful areas of Tuscany. Our next stop was the Cinque Terre. The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera, which is virtually unspoilt. The 'Five Lands' comprises five villages : Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is noted for it's beauty.We took the train that connects the five villages, which runs mostly through a tunnel. The train emerges from the tunnel along the way, giving passengers quick glimpses of the villages and the Mediterranean Sea.
We then hopped off of the train at each village to explore ( and of course, to eat and drink (just to be sociable, of course !!)). The mountainsides of the Cinque Terre are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives. I would think that, tending to their trees and vines is a bit of a hazardous affair.....it is very steep as our legs were about to find out !!!!

On the day that we went to explore this beautiful area, the weather didn't look as if it was going to be that good but, on hindsight, with all of the walking UP,UP, UP, it was perfect and there was not one drop of rain and, of course, it was still beautifully warm.

It is a very popular area and was very busy. There are many serious hikers that come to this area and, if you look hard in my photographs, you can see them, wending their way between the vineyards, across the lush green hillsides. That is serious walking !!

This was one of the many towers that we climbed.....it became quite difficult when we were going up and someone was coming down. To pass each other became quite an intimate experience !!!! hehe. I went back quite a few times when I saw a Johnny Depp look-a-like coming up, just to experience it again Haha!!!!

By now, the thighs and calf's are beginning to burn. Up and up, higher and higher..........

.......... but, it's all worth it, for the magnificent views ..........

More of the beautiful alleyways that are such a feature in Italy ..........

Once at the top of one of the villages, we found this lovely little church..................

Most of the churches that tourists see in Italy are large, decadent affairs, dripping in ornate altars, stained glass windows and gold but, this was our favourite.

Tiny little stained glass windows and pretty chandeliers. Outside was a man sorting reeds and grasses, painstakingly stripping the leaves off to reveal the stems for I'm not sure what. Weaving them, perhaps.

We had walked all the way up and were gifted with some magnificent views. Well worth the effort.

Well, that was our day in the Cinque Terre region.
Beautiful, unspoilt and a joy to visit.
I'll just put my feet up and rest my calf's and thighs for a few days, and will be back with part three of our Tuscany experience.



  1. Hello,dear Jackie!

    What an amazing trip,how dreamly nice is Italia,WOOOW...
    Those photos are fantastic,just wonderful!!!
    I am impressed realy so very much,I can smel the smell from there and feel the beautiful warm sun on my face...
    Great,great post!-)*


  2. Jackie!
    Unbelievably beautiful! Your photos are amazing and show so much detail! I feel as if I have been there....thank you for sharing this fabulous trip!
    Love it all!
    Can't wait for the next post!
    :) Laura

  3. Dearest Jackie, another wonderful photos from your trip! I love all, and I love Italy!!!!!!!
    Big Hugs, Yvonne

  4. Dear Jacqueline, All of this is depressing me. Why am I tied down with house and garden when I could, possibly should, forsake all and travel, travel, travel? This is all so wonderful: magnificent scenery, good food and wine, picturesque towns and villages, the company of others [close at times as you remark!], warmth, and always the SEA. What a splendid time you must have had and with what mixed feelings you must have returned home.

    These postings are such a joy. I shall much look forward to the next.

  5. Jacqueline your photos are stunning, I would love to visit that part of Tuscany, I love the different colours of the houses and the breathtaking view to the sea, its raining here and it has brought some sunshine into my day!
    Jill x

  6. I just LOVED reading this Jackie, I have always wanted to visit this part of Italy.

    Fabulous photos, love the colours of the houses. And even climbing the towers sounds like fun ;)

    Hope you are well! xoxo

    PS Thanks for writing to Butch xx

  7. Sigh, sigh and sigh again. I just loved looking at these. Wonderful colours, especially that beautiful sea. Can't believe I've been twice to Italy but never to the Cinque Terre...next time!! Till then I'll live vicariously through you :)

  8. Hello Jackie! Oh how I want to go there some day! Such beautiful, beautiful, beautiful photos!!! I am however coming to London in 2 weeks and would love any tips you might want to share :))) Some day I'll make it to Italy as well!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

  9. WIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING pictures!!!! and uhm I thought about, that's a workout I want to try,where can I aply;))!!
    WONDERFUL !!!! really.....walking up up UP, you need to eat every now and then so...it was for a good cause;))!!!

    Sweet greetings

  10. Fantastic images!
    I´m drooooooling, I feel a sudden need to travel there;)

  11. I'm speechless... I must go there....NOW!!!
    What a perfect little slice of HEAVEN!
    lucky you :)

  12. Such aMAZing photos - I want to be there NOW!

  13. What a great pictires from a great trip.....i want to be there....next time i come with you....hahahaahahh!! love Ria.....

  14. Beautiful photos of a most beautiful place! We spent a week in Rome last summer and are longing to return to visit Tuscany. I will definitely refer back to your posts. For now I can enjoy it through your wonderful photos.

  15. The village looks as tough it was designed by toymakers. So charming!
    Keep the photos coming!

  16. What a gorgeous spot Jackie! Your shots are just amazing and I can see why this little church was your favorite. I so want to go overseas if only to have a taste of some of this beauty ~ ahh ~ I want to jet off somewhere now to spend the rest of my holiday experiencing something different and fun.

  17. Hey Jackie......do you know any great spots to flea market shop and such in London? Tracey, from French Larkspur is traveling there in a few weeks and asked for any help in that department...and the FIRST person I thought of was you my traveling friend :)

    all these pictures are awesome - and of course, I love all the places you go!!!!

  18. Yeah, I would live there in a heartbeat!

  19. Wow, what an amazing trip...my calves and thighs are hurting just reading this...haha..

    You photos are breathtaking as are the views - I can't wait to see this part of the world soon!

    Thanks for taking us on this lovely journey, Jackie!!

    xxoo :)

  20. Hi Jackie,

    Wow, you took some amazing photographs! I love them all: the yellow and orange coloured houses, the green water of the Mediterranean, the Yuccas and all the flowers!! I would love to go there as well. I guess I will have to do some exercise first before I leave :-)!

    Have a good evening!

    Lieve groet

  21. Experience Johnny Depp look alike again. Jackie you're a hoot! I think an afternoon touring anyplace with you would be a great time.

  22. Dear Jackie, we were on the venezian bay! In Jesolo and in Venice!
    Big Hugs and a wonderful evening,

  23. Der Jackie,
    what wonderful photographs you took.
    I love Italy .Its colours,kitchen,the Italians,
    the sun and warmth,the sea ,the beach.....

    Hugs Sabine

  24. That seriously looks like the best vacation ever! My mama is in Italy right now!

  25. Hello my dear friend, what a wonderful journey you have made. I get very inspired by your incredible WOW nice photo which buildings and the views. I've never been to Italy but would love to go there, maybe sometime in the future. You are a very talented photographer and I love your pictures Jackie. many hugs to you / Ingela

  26. Beautiful stuff, what a lovely vacation for the eyes;) Thank you!


  27. Jackie -- Did you see all that in ONE day?! Wow. And how did you manage to outdo yourself on the visuals? Your last post was already quite atmospheric, but THIS one here. Gorgeous. I think you lucked out that it was actually a bit overcast -- the beautiful grey tones of the sky provide a nicer backdrop to the carnival of color on display in the villages. Perfect!!! Kudos for capturing the atmosphere so very well. (But then again, what else is new?) A tough act to follow! But I'll do my very best next week in bella Italia.

  28. hay Jacky,
    what a beautiful place.
    Very very nice pictures.
    The pictures are so good for my heart!
    Love geratings,

  29. Jackie,
    These are absoluty the most gorgeous phots. I have never been to Tuscany. I can't beleave I missed the shore line. I love Italy and the people.


  30. Hi Jackie, if you have time to, go to Lerici as well. I was born there :) Now I live in Pisa. And, if you are still in Viareggio, go to a restaurant called Oca Bianca - it's in the harbour. It's fenomenal!

  31. color me green!!! yikes Jackie this place is almost unbelivable. lucky, lucky you. Your photos are really excellent. I must visit this place NOW! cheers caw

  32. Love your pictures. I love those houses, all there together and the colors.
    A different place and time.

  33. Put me on the envious list. Everything just looks extraordinary! You captured it so beautifully in your pics too. Had to giggle at the Johnny Depp comment. Glad to know that your legs survived all that climbing!

  34. Dear Jackie,
    Every image is GORGE!! SO SO SO INSPIRING! Every every step was worth it x 1000! Those pretty bright houses and all the colors remind me of a painters palet with an old bucket of paint brushes stained with oils of brilliant color!
    Thank you for sharing my friend~

  35. you should really become a travel agent.
    these images are fabulous.


  36. I recently visited your blog. It is a very interesting one. Keep it up.


  37. Gorgeous photos! I can't wait to visit in October. My son is studying for the semester in Florence. After seeing your photos, I'm getting excited to get on that plane. Cinque Terra is on the agenda. It's been about ten years since we visited.

  38. You're quite the photographer, Jacqueline, and indeed the travel writer. And now that you're even more toned, cultured, and well-travelled than before, how can we dare to raise our hats to you? xx

  39. Those building look like colored building blocks...like they almost don't seem real. What an utter paradise with those rolling hills and breathtaking views of the sea. You must pinch yourself when you're there.....or maybe Mr Depp would be better suited.....you little flirt you!
    and hey why are there no pictures of the look alike....maybe to brief a moment to even think of it.
    Loved this tour....keep them coming.
    Showed G that restaurant and now he wants to paint the foyer that color...oh my, more work


  40. Breath-taking! Absolutely stunning. I am so envious of your wonderful trip. Your pictures are magnificent and I look forward to seeing more. Thanks so much for taking all of us along.

  41. My husband and I spent a week in Vernazza and surrounding villages for our honeymoon. We can't wait to go back. I lost 6 pounds with all the walking. It was great!

  42. Well Jacqueline
    You know how much I wanted to visit Cinque Terre. .. two months in Italy the last time and still didn't make it.. I think I will go smack that friend of mine who wouldn't make the side trip!! Mind you I don't think my gastrocs would be up to it these days... Love all the nooks and crannies you have captured.. and the churches look fascinating too.... ciao ciao xxx Julie

  43. Oh Jackie this post is really too beautiful for words to express. My gosh, what an amazing place to vacation! The colors and the landscape take my breath away. Your pictures are wonderful and make it such a pleasure to view. Thank you for taking us along, even if it is after the fact.
    Hmmm, that's funny...my butt and thighs don't ache a bit after touring the city.LOL!

  44. Dear Jackie, I can imagine how happy you were visiting and walking through this incredible beautiful place!!!! Amazing!!!

  45. Dearest Jackie,
    yes we was in Murano, too, and it was a little bit boring!!!!!
    I wish you a wonderful weekend, my friend!!!!!

    Big Hugs, Yvonne

  46. What beautiful pictures of what looks like an amazing trip! That church is absolutely stunning!
    So happy to have found your lovely blog.
    Have a great weekend!
    ~ Jo :)

  47. Well this makes my Jam making look very boring...and I bet after all that walking you didn't put three pounds on ha ha....I just love your holiday and want to go ...
    Hugs Lynn xxxx

  48. I love how this works; the more you climb the more you can eat. It's a win/win. Stairs = pasta!!
    Your photography is so excellent Jackie and what a joy to see each photo. Please excuse me though as I trot off now to have my own little pity party. I need to write you & catch up! xo xo
    Have a fabulous weekend my friend ~

  49. Simply stunning photos . . . I am sure your new calf muscles are stunning, too. What a beautiful place.


  50. i'd go back for a johnny depp look-alike too!
    AWESOME pics. wish i was there
    ~laura xx

  51. May I add my admiration of your photographs to that of your preceding fans? You could do a coffee table book or puzzles or ...

    Cheery wave from


  52. I'm so impressed by these colours, it's amazing!

  53. Oh the first photo is my fav...just fantastic. There is so much history and intrigue in this spot. You never know what is round the next winding corner.

    Thanks honey,xxxx

  54. The Amalfi Coast of Italy is my favorite spot on earth, I love everything you shot. Your perspective is amazing, so interesting & well done. We just saw the film The American, all shot in Italy, George Clooney...everything was shot in a very washed-out lack-of-color way to show the somber mood...but how MUCH more beautiful are your photos just brimming with the richness of life in these areas. I'm saving these. Sending love...

  55. Well if that is what you have to do to build up your thigh and calf muscles, then take me there!! Beautiful, beautiful images.

  56. My dear Jackie,

    Your photos are amazing, so beautiful!!! I will have a mix show in October.I wish you were in Melbourne. I really mean it! Love you xxxx

  57. Thank you for taking me through this breathtakingly beautiful spot in Italy. Wished I had followed in your footsteps...I will be off to Bhutan very shortly and try to prepare myself for a 2 weeks trek in the Himalayas...
    You are so generous and kind with your words, I must make it to England to visit you on day....meanwhile I would love to have your input on a jewelry collection I just posted about....

  58. Buon giorno!
    You have just wonderful photos here! I adore Italy and love Italian countryside and towns like Florence and Milan.
    Thank you very much for this beautiful post!

  59. Jackie,
    I've been re-viewing your wonderful photos from Italy. We leave on the 16th of March.

    I have our travel plans in rough-draft stage. All hotel reservations made, but now working on the day-to-day details. We will be in Rome for two days and then in Florence for the remaining time, with day trips to Cinque Terre, Siena, and San Gimignano. It will be a full travel agenda, especially since we have the wedding, too.

    I've convinced my husband and our friends that renting a car and driving on the day trips will be much better than taking group tours. Please tell me that I'm right. I've only done one group-tour and I hated it. But, I hope I'm not making a mistake in thinking driving in Italy can't be much different than driving in the U.S. We will be taking the Rail Euro from Rome to Florence.

    Happy belated birthday. I loved the shutters! I think we have both been blessed with wonderful husbands. Enjoy your trip to London - I'll be waiting for photos. Rita

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