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At the end of Fegina beach, where small marina is, there are the remains of a unique sculpture 14 meters high and for 1700 tons of weight. The statue was made of reinforced concrete by Arrigo Minerbi and engineer Levachier in 1910. Originally representing Neptune, the god of Sea, and its massive shell which was used as a dance floor.
The bombings of the World War II destroyed the splendid villa of Pastine family who owned the large terrace and shell. Then the demolition work was almost completed by the storm of 1966 that undermined the stability of the statue. It was partially restored but not completely rebuilt.
Updated Mar 12, 2013
Address: Localita Fegina
According to the local tradition, every village had at least two brotherhoods, like in Monterosso with the Confraternita dei Neri (Black men) and Confraternita dei Bianchi (White men).
Santa Croce is also called the Oratory of the Confraternita dei Bianchi. It owes its name to the color of garments used by the Brotherhood during processions. The brotherhood was founded at the beginning of the 16th century during the Counter-Reformation.
The oratory of the Disciplinati di Santa Croce or dei Bianchi (Disciplinati is other name for White men) was built on the former place of worship of which only the bell tower remains. The interior of the church is notable for a beautiful 19th century organ and a fine choir.
Updated Mar 11, 2013
Address: Via Gioberti
Up the street and around the corner from the chapel of Mortis et Orantonis is the oratory of the other historic fraternity: Confraternita dei Bianchi or Brotherhood of the Whites. While their counterparts, the Blacks, provided services for the dead (among other charitable works), this group tended the sick and helped keep the village hospital in good running order. Information on this structure was almost non-existant other than a recommendation to see the 19th-century organ and painted wooden choir loft - which we did. A random snippet found somewhere stated that the bell tower dates to the 12th century.
One note of interest is the little ship hanging from the ceiling in the nave? Known as a “votiveship," similar models can found in costal churches in many other countries and are handmade offerings of thanksgiving from grateful sailors or fishermen for safe voyages.
Written Jan 22, 2013
Address: Via Gioberti
Monterosso is split in two by a high, rocky jut of headland called Salita San Cristoforo (Hill of St. Christopher) whose expansive views gave the old village a defensive location from which to watch for the approach of marauding pirates; a common threat in the Middle Ages.
We puffed up Via Buranco - past a picturesque winery, lemon and olive groves - to the ruin of a Medieval fortress where lookouts would once have been posted in now-crumbling towers. Raiding corsairs having long been replaced by roving bands of tourists, the walls of the “castle” now enclose Monterosso’s cemetery and provide terrific panoramas of the coast as well as some relief from the high-season masses below. We had it all to ourselves on a May afternoon, and spent a pleasant half-hour quietly puttering around the tombs and taking in the scenery. A window in one seemingly abandoned mausoleum (photo 3) looked out over the oldest part of the village; safely tucked away in a valley and hidden from maritime bandits.
The hilltop is also home to a Capuchin monastery and early 17th-century church: well worth a stop-by.
Updated Jan 17, 2013
Address: Salita San Cristoforo, Monterosso.
The Via dell'Amore (Lovers' Lane) is a coastal path linking Manarola with Riomaggiore (1km/0.6mi). with stunning views of the sea and walls covered in ink by lovers traveling.
The Cinque Terre towns were completely isolated until the last century. Villagers didn't really marry anyone from outside their town. After the blasting of the second train line in the 1920s, a trail was made between the first two towns: Riomaggiore and Manarola.
The villagers were happy with the trail and asked that it be improved as a permanent connection between neighbors.
After World War II, they reopened the trail and it was established as a lovers’ meeting point for boys and girls from the two towns, from where the road being called "Via dell'amore"
Written Jun 12, 2012
In the Dark Ages, a castle or fortress sat on this spot high above the village, serving as a shelter away from the attacks of roving Saracen pirates. Some remnants of the fortifications remain, as well as the bell tower in town and the Aurora Tower along the pathway to the hilltop.
Nancy and I spent quite a bit of time here exploring the cemetery and chatting with fellow English-speaking travelers. Some of the family tombs or crypts are quite elaborate (see photo 1), and many of them show interesting old photos of the departed. We were amused (hope that is not disrespectful) at the one photo showing a buff guy in his Speedo who actually lived into his 80s. We could only assume he did not look like that at the time of his passing.
Written Nov 26, 2011
A must see when in Monterosso is to take a walk around the headland that joins the old town to the new town.
It is not too energetic - all paved and the views are spectacular.
You can stop off for a drink or gelato on the way.
And the photos from up here are fantastic - especially if the sky is as blue as when I have been there!
Updated Apr 4, 2011
So you've made it to Monterroso al Mare. Now what? Get out and explore the five towns!! You can visit them by train, or better yet, you can hike from town to town. See my "Must See" tip for information on the walking trails.
Some say that Vernazza, the next town to the south, may be the prettiest of the five towns. In my opinion, all five towns are great and they all are worth a visit.
Vernazza has a nice fishing dock with colorful boats, an excellent selection of restaurants, and many picturesque streets.
See my Vernazza page for more information.
Updated Feb 24, 2010
The very next town after Vernazza is Corniglia. The walking trail literally passes right through this town. Upon entering Corniglia, we felt like we had just entered a time warp. Nothing seems to have change in decades, perhaps centuries in this town. It was absolutely special.
Updated Feb 24, 2010
Past Corniglia continuing south is the town of Manarola, another one of the picturesque towns of the Cinque Terre. Slow down, wander around the town for a bit allowing yourself to soak it all in. Pay attention to the beautifully colored houses. Watch the fishermen as they haul in their catch. See the children as they play and torture the local cats. Dream of a simple life living here.
Now snap out of it and continue on to the next town!!
Updated Feb 24, 2010
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