Saturday, February 9, 2013

Love Walk of the Cinque Terre

"Path of Love" between Riomaggiore and Manorola
There are many words to describe Italy's Cinque Terre; beautiful, rugged, charming, and romantic all accurately describe the area.  The Cinque Terre are five villages located along the Northwestern coast of Italy.  The villages are connected by hiking trails that hug seaside cliffs and meander through vineyards.  The shortest and easiest path connect the villages of Riomaggiore and Manorola.  The walk between Riomaggiore and Manorola has been nicknamed the "Path or Love" or "Love Walk" because of it's stunning views and wide path that couples can walk hand-in-hand.

What to Expect

The "Love Walk" is the only trail in the Cinque Terre than can be accessed by people of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels.  All five villages and trails are part of the Cinque Terre National Park, which  is Italy's smallest National Park.  You will have to purchase an inexpensive Cinque Terre card (available at the beginning of each trail) to hike between towns.  Unlike most trails in the Cinque Terre, the "Love Walk" is wheel-chair-friendly, flat, and can easily be walked in 20-30 minutes.  However, most people take much longer to stroll the path in order to take in the views and snap photos.

Lovers' Chair Cinque Terre
To begin the "Love Walk" from Riomaggiore to Manorola, turn left out of Riomaggiore's train station and walk up the stairs or escalator to the start of the trail.  The entire path hugs the cliffs along the sea between the two villages. Midway between the villages is a sculpture of a kissing couple known as the "lovers chair."  It is a popular spot for real-life couples to sit down and steal a few kisses.  There is also a "lovers' fence" a few hundred yard further down the trail for couples to place a padlock to seal their love.  Most shops in the Riomaggiore and Manorola sell a padlocks for a few Euros for those that forget to bring their own.  The trail ends near the Manorola train station.   The "Love Walk" can be started from either village.  I would suggest taking the walk before dinner as the sun is setting and makings are return trip on the lighted path after dinner.

While the "Lovers' Path" is great, the Cinque Terre has much more to offer! Stay a few days in the area, pack sturdy shoes, and hike the challenging trails between other villages to discover views like this.

Just the Basics
Lovers' Fence Cinque Terre 
  • Location: Cinque Terre National Park, Italy
  • Time to Walk: 30 minutes
  • What to Bring:  Cinque Terre Card, camera, padlock, and significant othe