Off peak at the Cinque Terre

Dawn beams gently over the Cinque Terre and after days of rain it looks like it will be a great day. Not a sound aside from the waves lapping over the rocks as even they seem to be in off peak mode.

The  Cinque Terre is ‘ours’ again, after another hectic season. The last ferry stopped at the beginning of November and only local fishing boats bob about now

Cinque Terre trailNot a soul to be seen on the trail from Corniglia to Vernazza despite it being Saturday and no sign of a drink or rest stop halfway either as the Bar Gabbiano is Gabbiano cafe closed






Corniglia Vernazza trail



Autumn colors dot the rugged terrain enhancing the beauty of the moment. It’s a great time to hike and even free as the check point on the coastal track is closed for the season!Cinque Terre trail check point




A menacing danger sign and ‘forbidden transit’ indicates you enter at your own risk, since the trail can never be completely closed off as it is the only access some locals have to their private land.

Vernazza Autumn day

My favourite beach at Vemazza looks tempting but I guess it would be a little too fresh in and out of the water.




Vernazza main streetLocals catch up on the gossip on the Main Street and only a few stray tourists wheel trolleys from the station in downtown Vernazza. Kids play in the main square under grandparents watchful eye, tricycling amongst the boats pulled out of the water in the recent storm alert.Vernazza main square





Vernazza Santa Margherita di Antiochio church

What is usually the prime restaurant area in the season becomes the winter boat park.

Some people soak up the warm autumn rays relaxing like lizards on a rock outside the church.





Another local casts a line from a super rod and while he had not been successful ( yet there was still half a day to go) said he ‘likes the challenge’!

There is still a mix of shops, bars and restaurants open although as each week passes they become less till eventually the tourist venues close altogether. For those that have Flood barrier Vernazzatheir flood protection barriers are in place as no one wants to see a repeat of the damage from the 2011 flood. Cruise ships still dock at la Spezia but less frequently during the off peak season and tourists always look a little shocked to see so little open to tempt them into spending money.

Vernazzans make the most of the sunshine as laundry flaps from terrace to terrace, a reassuring sign of normality. While in the surrounding hills maintenance work goes on to rebuild fallen walls and bit by bit recover abandoned land.  I take the trail back home to San Bernardino.

Yet another season over at the Cinque Terre and we can soak up the peace and quiet for the next few months.Sunset Vernazza




4 thoughts on “Off peak at the Cinque Terre

  1. Hello Sue Jane,

    Love all the photos and the way you describe Cique Terre .
    Last time I wrote to you we corespondet
    about the village high on top of the hill and Maria the lovely person who owns a beautiful condos overlooking a magical vista which we were so lucky to be able to rent for a few days.
    You mentioned you worked with Artists and Galleries and knew important Arrists.
    I used to exhibit at the Barry Stern Galleries and I’m still coresponde with Barry.
    You would have known the Paddington establishments.
    The Art Scene as such has changed .

    We moved to Brisbane and live near the water , a Sea change!

    Next time I send you a name of a terrific place we stayed at in Cortona I have to look up my travel notes. It is a farmhouse with a converted stable half way down the hill owned by a Contessa .
    We had such a great time there being invited to join her and friends to fly Falcons up on the hills . What an experience my daughter and I never forget .

    Looking forward to your next chapter of C. T



    • Ciao Chris, lovely you dropped a line again and pleased you enjoy the posts. Obviously bring back some lovely memories for you, and as an artist am sure you have been inspired by the Italian landscape. Your experience in Cortona sounds very special. I have quite a few memories from there as well, as regularly took tour groups and their Etruscan museum is superb. Enjoy your sea views in Brisbane!

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