Love me in Liguria. A romantic getaway: the hermitage of St. Mary Magdalene

Love me in Liguria. A romantic getaway: the hermitage of St. Mary Magdalene

We narrow our eyes at the blinding light of Cinque Terre, for which they distinguish themselves and that makes them so difficult to forget. You look at the creased map with your typical frown, that I would recognize among thousands and that still makes me smile after all this years. “We have to turn left, this time I am sure”, you tell me. But something brings me to think that you are struggling to find the right way on purpose, because I can read it in your eyes, how you like getting lost through Monterosso‘s streets.

We are at the first stop of our weekend, that provides for the visit of Cinque Terre’s cities from west to east. Monterosso welcomes us while we go down to the little gulf, protected by the cliff, with the beautiful Capuchin convent on its top. We relax in the sun, with a fruit salad and an ice-cream in our hands, and you stretch your graceful neck and let the bright sun of May warm up your face. “Let’s go home”, you tell me, tired, and by home you mean the place we chose for our romantic getaway.

A dive in the pool is enough to make us feel refreshed. We lean on the side and for a moment we enjoy the panorama of the sea that laps the coast underneath us and blends with the blue of the summer sky, already mitigated by the evening colors. In the maritime pines, we hear the sound of the crickets preparing for the arrival of the sunset around the hermitage of St. Mary Magdalene and we decide to head slowly towards our room. The warm shades of the setting sun play with the shadows of the hermitage and enhance its centuries-old beauty. Almost breathless for the beauty of that place, we walk through the garden, skirting the little sandstone church, and closing our eyes, we feel like we can glimpse the Benedictine monks who lived there in the Middle Ages going from the monastery to the church for the evening prayers.

st. mary magdaleneWe arrive at the stone monastery and, after changing clothes, we have an aperitif in the cloister, seated on the white pillows. The small hermitage’s lights turn on around us, delicate, without betraying the nature of the monastery. The reflection of the diamond you wear on your finger, caused by the lantern on the table, draw my attention.

“What if we marry here?”. The sudden question surprises you and you blush, like you always do when moved. We didn’t foresee to decide place and date so soon, we left everything unsettled, to shape itself.

However, here, with the evening wind, the sound of the crickets and the light from the lantern, I feel that only you and I are left in the world, and I couldn’t stop.

We spend all night imaging the day of our wedding day at the hermitage. The ceremony and the white flowers everywhere, the reception in the splendid panoramic garden, the poolside photos. And the evening, you and I alone, finally married, holding in the room where once the monks’ cells were, and that now hosts our romantic dream underneath its wooden-beamed ceiling. In your smile, in the rapid movements of your hands, in your sparkling eyes, I read an enthusiasm that confirms that I chose the perfect place.

Monterosso. Liguria

In the following days, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola e Riomaggiore are waiting for us, with their narrow gulfs and their colorful houses. Long walks and quick lunches, in a pleasant hurry of wanting not to miss a single corner of that paradise. But from now on, the Cinque Terre will have a different light for us, an atmosphere even more magic, because we know that we will come back together to make our dream come true, the day that will change our lives forever.