Participants: Tianshu Li,
Francesco Grilli, Simone Gabellani, Eva Trasforini.
Park of Portofino
Cinque Terre (“Five Lands”) and Portofino are probably the
best-known spots of the Eastern Riviera, the stretch of
Mediterranean seacoast east of Genoa in northwestern Italy. I
recommend this region of Italy, especially to the numerous tourists
spending time in Florence and Tuscany.
The Cinque Terre are five historical
villages with colorful houses on the coast surrounded by steep
vineyards, the best product of which is the dessert wine "Sciacchetrà". A network of trails connects the villages. We have hiked east to
west the most famous (Trail n.2), which runs close to sea level most
of the times. The starting point is Riomaggiore, easily reachable by
train both from Genoa and Tuscany.
The typical coastline of Cinque Terre.
From Riomaggiore, the easy and paved
“Walk of love” leads to Manarola. Next is Corniglia, which can be
reached after a series of a few hundred steps. Before Corniglia, the
trail passes by a beach, where a refreshing swim can be taken in
summer. But don’t expect smooth white sandy beaches here; instead,
pebbles rounded by the sea or simply big rocks abound. The water is crystal
clear and deep. After Corniglia is Vernazza, probably the best
looking of the five lands, with its typical old defense tower, which
makes it immediately recognizable among the others. From Vernazza,
there is the final long stretch to Monterosso: the final part of the
hike is also the most demanding, with a steep climb up, followed by
an equally steep downhill, always on a narrow and stepped
trail, immersed in the olive trees cultures.
This complete hike, 7-8 miles long, takes about 5 hours.
The village of Vernazza, with an old tower as its landmark.
Similarly to Cinque Terre, the Park of
the Mount of Portofino is characterized by a dense network of
trails. The trail with probably the best views is that running on
the south side of the peninsula, from Camogli to S. Fruttuoso. The
hike can be extended to the trendy (and very expensive!) village of
Portofino, either in order to see some famous actor harboring there
with a big boat or, as it happened to us, to avoid being stuck in S.
Fruttuoso in case of stormy sea (S. Fruttuoso can be reached only by
boat or on foot, and in case of bad weather the boat service is
The medieval abbey of S. Fruttuoso di Camogli.
The hike starts
from Camogli, which can be easily reached by train from Genoa. The
trail, marked with two red full circles, climbs up in half an hour
to the village of S. Rocco, which offers beautiful views of the
coast; then it descends to some abandoned fortifications and
continues on the south side of the mountain. Metallic chains help
pass some exposed passages. A steep uphill followed by a downhill
leads to S. Fruttuoso of Camogli, a tiny village in a narrow gulf,
characterized by a medieval abbey. If the weather allows, boats can
be taken back to Camogli or to Portofino and S. Margherita Ligure
(where there is the train). As mentioned the hike can be extended to
Portofino, where one can reach S. Margherita Ligure by bus or by
This complete hike takes
about 5 hours (3 and half hours for S. Fruttuoso)