02 August, 2021

Cinque Terre Diary

It’s a hotspot for tourists with attitude, who don’t want the Rome-Venice-Florence rigmarole

Cinque Terre Diary


The Indian Ocean beating at the foothills of the Himalayas, with five pretty villages nestling among them, peering down at the waves below. That’s the closest parallel I can draw, and if you could picture that, you would get an idea of the breathtaking landscape of Cinque Terre, in northwestern Italy. For 15 minutes the train pulls through a tunnel, the occasional blink-of-an-eye patch-patch of sunlight interspersing its rattle through the darkness. Then slowly, it rolls to a halt on a narrow, bright stretch carved out of a cliff overlooking a vast spread of turquoise sea. The train disappears into the tunnel ahead, leaving me behind, mesmerised, transfixed in existential solitude between hill and sea, between two dark tunnels on either side of a sunlit railway platform. Riomaggiore, the first of the five villages of Cinque...

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