Something nice about La Spezia, as with most Italian villages, is that it has beautiful churches spread around the city. Art in Italy is in fact fantastic and I can never get enough of it. Even in small hidden churches, there is always something beautiful to delight visitor's eyes. Some of those churches, however, are not always opened for visits all day, just at specific hours, unfortunately.
Famous for its vineyards and olive groves, Corniglia stands on the principal road over a rocky cliff dropping to the sea; it is the only village far from the sea but it can be reached by some steps.
I highly recommend trying the...
I highly recommend trying the local white wine. It's delicious and cheap. As the picture indicates the vineyards were not green and lush but it was still neat to see the vineyards scattered throughout the hills. The red wine is not nearly the quality of the white but still is a good wine and a great bargin. A bottle of white was about $10 euros and the red was about $4 euros.
La Spezia Sunday July 16 2006
Upon hearing that my wife and I were going to Italy for our honeymoon one of the bartenders I worked with approached me at our Christmas party and told me I had to go to Cinque Terre. I had never heard of the place, but he was so passionate about his trip there I knew we had to add it to our honeymoon. He had visited the villages the previous year and while backpacking through Europe and said it was the most romantic place he had ever been and wished he was there there with his girlfriend (they are actually heading there in Fall of '06). I did some research on line and decided we would stay in La Spezia and use that as our home base for visiting the villages. Our plan was to hike through the villages and take the train back to La Spezia.
We arrived in La Spezia from Como (one of the most scenic drives I've ever taken, and some of the most fun driving as well) early afternoon on Sunday. Our room wasn't quite ready so we left our bags and went to the waterfront and grabbed some lunch. After spending 1.5 seconds in the afternoon sun we realized that hiking of any kind was not happening today. We went back to the hotel and settled in. I wasn't feeling well and took a nap. We were ready to take a boat ride around 5T around 6pm and headed back down to the waterfront. To our disappointment we had missed all the boats to 5T for the day.
"Let's go for a ride"
The bartender had mentioned that part of the beauty of 5T was that you could not reach there by car. That turned out to be not entirely true. Having seen signs for 5T in La Spezia we decided to drive and see what we could find. The first village we drove by was Rio Maggiore. It must be said that this road to the villages was extremely narrow in many points, with little guardrail to protect you from certain death if you were to go over the side, it being hundreds of feet down to the sea. Definitely not for the faint of heart. The next village we came to was Vernazza. We followed the signs and came to an parking lot where you can leave your car and walk down to the village (a long, winding hill down to the village and a hellacious walk back, especially for overweight people carrying bottles of wine). Vernazza was a beautiful village, very small with a few stores, bars and restaurants. At the seafront there's an open area to eat, small beach and huge rocks where people sit and relax along the shore. We didn't get to see all of the villages, but i was thankful we were at least able to see Vernazza.