The peace and quiet of Autumn

Cinque Terre fishing boatsThe off season in the Cinque Terre is always a favourite time for me. Residents linger on the streets; enjoying the quiet and a catch up on the gossip, and the towns become “ours” again. Even the small number of tourists still enjoying the trails, the views and the villages feel like locals. A certain calm and balance has come back into place, and a little sunshine peeks from behind the clouds.

The recent rains have caused flooding in various areas in Liguria and Tuscany, and while the emergency warning has reigned on several days in the Cinque Terre, luckily enough for now there has been no flooding.Cinque Terre

I saunter down the trail from San Bernardino to Vernazza and come across only a French couple going in the opposite direction to Corniglia. I gaze down on my favourite beach and there is not a soul about, if only it was a smidge warmer I may even go and sit there for a while.

The train offloads some tourists but they spread out quickly and in the main square kids play “hide and seek’ amongst the fishing boats now pulled up for the season.Cinque Terre

A lone painter is capturing the atmosphere from afar, undisturbed by onlookers and a few locals’ fish, with some success by the look of their bucket.FishFishermen








A few closed umbrellas of the cafes are in sight, although most of the outdoor seating has been packed away for another year. And some of the shops have already put up their protective flood barriers. Cinque terre view





The same scene is repeated in the other villages. On the trail down to Manarola through the woods I only hear the scrunching of leaves underfoot, not even a cricket stirs. Manarola Cinque TerreManarola’s main street is lined with fishing boats and no one is splayed out sunbaking on the rocks around the harbour.
Washing flaps in the breeze as if to say “we’re back home now” as many residents dislodge themselves to La Spezia during the season while they rent out their apartments.Monterosso washing




There’s a laziness in the air as life takes on a slower pace, locals chat on the doorstop, shopkeepers seem less stressed and the old men reclaim their favourite bench in the piazza..Corniglia main square



Corniglia’s plane trees are the only inhabitants in their piazza these days as residents gather inside the cafés. Although all it needs is a ray of sunshine to bring clients to one of my favourite haunts in Corniglia whose lovely creeper flaunts Autumn colours, offering the last shade that will be needed until next year.

Tuscan vineyards

On the home front near Florence I am immersed in golden vineyards and flaming walnut trees.Autumn vineyardsWalnut trees




2 thoughts on “The peace and quiet of Autumn

  1. What a life, so tranquil and peaceful. It’s almost like a day strolling along St. Kilda Beach, Sue! But I think that I’d also like to be where you are.

    • It always seems greener on the other side…as the saying goes Alex! A stroll along St Kilda beach still sounds pretty good to me

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