“Let’s twist again, like we did last Summer…” blares out across the piazza of Vernazza and nannas and poppas, kids and tourists jive and shake, bop and twist while others giggle on the sidelines. Summer is in full swing in the Cinque Terre!
Guitarists shimmer in their gold lamé jackets as a replica Nancy Sinatra belts out her song and jangles her tambourine under the psychedelic lights. I haven’t seen Vernazza rave like that for a long time. And it’s not the only village that is entertaining locals and holidaymakers alike.
Corniglia offered their version of a Tom Waits, John Lurie style of Blues in the main street with singer songwriter Folco Orselli and his 3 piece band – Live in Caruggio (alleyway). Milanese by birth but a lover and regular resident of the Cinque Terre. If you’d like to get into the mood click here on his album “Outside is my side”
And more Pop music at Corniglia the following night – with popular Elvis numbers, crooning Beach boys ‘Do you wanna dance.. with the crowd doing a great ‘do you do you’ chorus, ending the night with Gloria Gaynor classics ‘I will survive…..”
But it’s not just the music that makes the Cinque Terre so magic. We wandered down to Vernazza at sunset having hiked the trails between the villages, captivated by the views, the myriad of vineyards, the strong scent of Mediterranean brush and the hot sun baking our skin rewarded by a refreshing swim on arrival.
Free beach space is always a problem but I have learnt to squeeze in and create my own space seduced by crystal blue seas and in this heat….is there an option?
Corniglia Marina is fast becoming my favourite spot despite the 300+ steps down to it!
While Manarola is an old time haunt, the high trail is a little taxing in the heat and the thought of a crowded train ride sometimes puts me off.
Living almost solely on fruit and gelati, waiting for the evening breeze to revive us from the Summer heat, watching kids glued to their mobiles or searching for pokemon….yes the craze has hit even the Cinque Terre!
Drooling over a private food table in the ready for the Disabled Scuba diving club of Monterosso, and very impressed by their watermelon sculptures.
And it’s reassuring to see families playing table soccer in the main square of Vernazza surrounded by restaurants bulging at the seams with clients enjoying pesto dishes, seafood pasta, local fish and of course anchovies fried, pied or lightly marinated.
As the sun goes down, Vernazza is in its prime……
and the Cinque Terre remains an enchanting paradise.