Friday, January 1, 2010

Blame it on Cinque Terre

It’s the New Year and we are still waiting for our Visas.  People often ask us why are we moving to Italy and I give them the reasons I mentioned in the First Blog.  But when did the idea reach critical mass?  Blame it on Cinque Terre.  We were doing the usual Venice, Florence, Rome, Tuscany tour in 2005.  It was our first trip to Italy and we were told we absolutely had to see each of these places.  I agreed and we loved it.  Our first afternoon in Venice was magical--but our thoughts remained suitably touristy while we were there. To say the least, we are NOT city people.  Somehow our itinerary that first trip included the Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre.  We couldn't believe how great it was.  Five gorgeous towns without any car traffic that you reach by train.  Not only that, the whole area is linked by hiking trails.

You can see the idea of living here is now in my eyes in this picture.

We even took pictures of signs for land for sale!!

Eventually our love of the sea and mountains and the simple life led us to Calabria, but its origin was that fine weekend in Cinque Terre.

Some facts from Wikipedia on Cinque Terre:
"The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible "modern" development.
Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach it from the outside. It is a very popular tourist destination.

In 1998 the Italian Ministry for the Environment set up the Protected natural marine area Cinque Terre to protect the natural environment and to promote socio-economical development compatible with the natural landscape of the area.
In 1999 the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre was set up to conserve the ecological balance, protect the landscape, and safeguard the anthropological values of the location".


  1. Diana,

    Yes, it is wonderful that communities are looking for ways too co-exist with the natural landscape. However, the searching for and the finding are two different things.

    You say they have a "socio-economical development compatible with the natural landscape of the area"? There is no such compatibility. We as a people have not arrived at that point yet.

    There is no win-win situations. In all cases, the natural landscape is harmed. From the photos of "Blame it on Cinque Terre", Italy it looks like there is great potential and perhaps someday many of these acres will in fact return to the control of natural forces and processes. Cinqueterre might even provide valuable research and insight into our quest for true co-existence with the natural landscape.

    The first step is to recognize that people need to correct the damage and then relinquish control wherever possible.

    Dick Stafursky
    (802) 257-9158
    Species List Forest
    Conway, MA
    The Natural Landscape

  2. Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Dick. People also need to see with their own eyes how it might start. Have you ever been to the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon? It's another not-yet-perfect place that can still give people hope for a way forward to the future. I've spent my last 10 years working there. It's a great experiment too. I'm not in full agreement with you about the possibility of compatibility. Things that seem impossible now can change very quickly.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful adventure. I have stayed in Monterroso before. I would alas never be able to get my husband to relocate. If only I could find a University close by where he could teach for a few months out of the year, then maybe...

  4. Hello Diana and "Guido", I hope you are enjoying your adventure in Calabria and I look forward to hearing more about your life there.

    Welcome to 2010

  5. Doug and Di, you have now introduced me to the videos and great views and music of Calabria on You Tube!

  6. Donna, what does your husband teach?

    Thanks Mary Ann! And Romancing Italy, I shall stop by your blog soon.
    The best new year to all of you.

  7. Happy New Year !
    You are right, 5 terre is magic !
    And about Venice: it is magic too, but feels always unreal to me. Like a real DisneyCity.

  8. Happy New Year to you Suzie. Your blog has Venice in it this week. I have been wondering how high it will get there with global warming and all.
    Venice was our first stop in Italy, ever. It will retain it's magic for us just because of that.



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