Cinque Terre, Day 3, Walking the hilltops

Day three walking the Cinque Terre and I’ve got my friends back after a rest day!

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Rested, my friends are up for another rigorous day walking.

We’ve chosen to walk the picturesque hilltops from Volastra to Corniglia among the grape vines and see how the locals live.

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The autumn colours of the grape leaves.

We could have started our walk from Riomaggiore but to eliminate some of the ascent we took the local bus to Volastra. As you can imagine the walks above the coast are vast and can be tailored to all levels of fitness.

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The bus system between the local villages is good and these mini-vans are small enough to come right into the villages. The train system is also excellent  but they only operate at sea level.

Volastra sits at about 340 metres above sea level. The village was founded in the10th century and today is surrounded by a myriad of terraces planted with grapes and olive trees.

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Centuries of hard work have produced these terraced farms.

The walk winds around the farming plots for about four kilometres eventually descending into Corniglia, the middle of the five Cinque Terre villages.

Sitting high on the summit of a rocky headland, it has views of the entire Cinque Terre coastline and is surrounded on three sides with terraces, with the remaining side falling steeply into the ocean.

One of the highlights of Corniglia is the Church of S. Pietro  There is no shortage of churches and even the smallest village has one but this church was spectacular dating back to 1267 with many of the original features still intact. It also has a stunning fresco on the ceiling.

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The Church of S. Pietro.

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The fresco on the ceiling of S. Pietro Church.

With our walk complete, it’s time for a swim so we descend the 400 steps to the train station and get ourselves to our favourite beach at Monterosso. Another satisfying day.

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Walking down 400 steps to the train station in Corniglia it’s better than climbing up.

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