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Cinque Terre Park trails closed due to landslides - what we did instead

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We just got back from our trip to Italy, the last two full days spent in the Cinque Terre. I had read about the landslide that injured the 4 Australian women a few weeks ago on the Via Amore trail, so was aware that it had been shut down. By the time we arrived October 12, the whole CT park had been shut down. Since it had also been raining recently, am assuming that the trails we be closed for awhile.

Luckily, our innkeeper Lorenza gave us a nice alternative hike. We took the train to Manarola and walked along the coastal path as far as we could go before getting turned away by the shutdown. We then hiked from Manarola to Corniglia, up and over. You can start from Manarola (we talked to some who did, and this took over 3 hours with quite a bit of climbing) or take the green bus in Manarola to Volastra, and start the hike from there. We did this and it took almost two hours (with quite a few photo stops, of course). This hike is not too strenuous and is just gorgeous. The views are spectacular, and you walk through the ancient stone terraced vineyards that are so beautiful.

It's ironic that I had asked a question before the trip, "What to do if rain prevents hiking in the Cinque Terre." I got all sorts of great responses. Based on several, we decided we would take the boat to Portovenere the next day. This was a great alternative also, as the trains were on strike! Sometimes nothing happens as you plan, however. The boat to Portovenere was cancelled that day due to choppy seas! So there we were in Riomaggiore with no train and no boat...

But wait! I had seen a trail at the top of the main street of Riomaggiore that led up to a sanctuary (Sanctuario, Trail #3). We took this trail and loved it. We hiked up a narrow ancient stone path until we reached the road, then you cross the road and take a wide set of steps across way to the right to reach the sancturary. We returned on the wider Via Grande trail (there was a sort of intersection going up, where you could take the narrow trail as we did, or go up some stone steps which turns into the Via Grande). This was the trail used by pilgrims to trek up to the sanctuary.

While our stay in the Cinque Terre was not as I had carefully planned, we loved what we did and just let the initial disappointment evaporate with the joy of that first lovely hike and the very atmospheric hike on the ancient stone Sactuario paths.

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