Even winter in the Cinque Terre is fabulous! How many times have I written that in previous blogs. Yet it is worth repeating and a wonderful way of settling back into life in Italy. All it needed was mild weather and some sunshine to have me out walking those same old trails that I have hiked so many times before.
I never tire of the views, knowing every nook and cranny so well; my favourite photo spots (not only mine!), my much loved rest points to breathe it all in and let a smile out.
The wild boar had been busy snuffling up their precious roots, berries, mushrooms and whatever else they could find under the olives and vines.
So the Park rangers were out, rifles on the ready, walkie talkies in hand trying desperately to find the boar….that got away! Most visitors are not aware of how much damage the boar do to the vineyards and the Park territory, rooting around at the base of the dry stone walls, often destabilising the wall.
The hunt is controlled but as the Ranger said ” they are sly and hardy beasts” that slide down effortlessly from one terrace to another and easily outsmart the hunters. While I heard no shots, the Rangers were on the run along the trail and through the undergrowth much to the surprise of the odd tourist. They ducked as the armed rangers rushed past and were quite shocked and keen to be reassured that it was safe to continue!
In Corniglia, there was hardly a soul and while the gelati billboard was out the shop was closed, probably in waiting for the weekend trade. The village returns to being a local village, washing being hung out, and grandmas sitting in the sun chatting as they crochet.
It’s always heartening to see the work being done on restoring properties and dry stone walls so critical to the maintenance of the terraces.
Park signs have been renewed and hopefully hikers will heed the advice.
Vernazza has the same tranquil atmosphere, with many of the touristy shops still closed and the main street deserted.
Quite a contrast to the Summer crowds!
Children have reclaimed the main square as their playground, under the watchful eye of grandparents, and the medieval features of the buildings are more noticeable.
The sea laps idly over the rocks, as a fisherman tries his luck. And there is an air of peace; time to catch our breath and rest up in readiness for the season to come.
If you are thinking of coming over and would like a ‘detour’ don’t hesitate to get in touch, I would be more than happy to show you round!