Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore: Ladies and gentlemen, here are the Cinque Terre.
«The cinque terre are the reason why we are here, to live a honeymoon like a precious necklace, pearl after pearl of wonderful jewels that Liguria has given us with love, almost as if it had been invited to our wedding. A land of towns perched on mountains with all their energy, almost as if they were afraid to fall down, a cascade of rainbow houses which unesco safeguards like a protected species. “I don’t want to have to choose, we have to visit all the five towns!” you tell me, and I agree because you speak of these towns as if they were people, and perhaps this is the secret to capture their true essence. We start from Monterosso, with the ruins of the ancient Villa Pastine pulling us towards the beach. The statue of Neptune is still there, that which remains of a stone giant, his nostalgic gaze cast towards the horizon, shoulders curved in memory of a weight endured, which is now no longer. We continue towards Vernazza, a single main road that branches into parallel lanes towards the sea almost imitating the branches of the ancient underground river. Corniglia is more in love with the land than the sea. The Church of San Pietro is all high arches and frescoed ceilings, a white rose- window on the facade, like the eye of the cyclops. Manarola is the core of houses that rises ever higher up the rock, one floor above the other as in a game of Lego. At the centre of the village, the great “magna roea”, the mill wheel that gave its name to the town, now leaning against a colourful wall like a sweet memory. We finish with Riomaggiore, modelled on the coastline like a seagull’s wings, the dusk that stretches its pink fingers over the tops of the houses.»