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 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".