Cinque Terre (Walk Vernazza to Monterosso) - Momboisse Family Adventures September 2019 / Part 4

View Vernazza from Hike 

Hike Cinque Terre Vernazza to Monterosso 

We are not going to explore Vernazza today, so from the train station at Vernazza, walk under the tracks into the village onto via Roma the main street.  Here is a view from Googlemaps of the location. 

Continue walking along via Roma about three hundred yards. When you get to this location on Googlemaps, between the Focacceria on your right and the green cross of the Farmacia on your left you have arrived at the trail heads to both Monterosso and Corniglia.  

We are on our way to Monterosso so our trail head will be on our right.  The picture below is what the entrance looks like. 

This trail is about 2 miles long and should take the average hiker 1 hour.  We are apparently not the average hiker as it  took us 3 hours.

The climb is about 600 feet which isn't really bad, except that it is on uneven stone stairs.  The weather was perfect for hiking not too warm and a bit of overcast that came and went quite quickly.

Here is a Googlemap from the sky of the terrain. On the Googlemap the path is about 1/4 inch up from the sea. All in all this is definitely worth the adventure!  

 Wind your way up stairs and through the narrow passageways of Vernazza for about five minutes.  

Periodically you will peek out 

between buildings to get a glimpse 

of the small harbor and 

Belforte Tower in the distance.  Tomorrow we will be back here in Vernazza. At that time we will have more time to explore the village as well as the tower. 

In the picture below, we can see the belfry of the church of Saint Margherita d' Antiochia to the left and way in the distance the Belforte Tower.  

Just ahead is the nice Italian man that checks our Cinque Terre ticket.  We had purchased the 
Cinque Terre Card + Train  before we left the US for €29 per person which was good for two days. It gave us unlimited train rides between towns, and was  our necessary pass to hike from village to village. They also made sure we were wearing hiking shoes.  Not sure what would have happened if we weren't?  Maybe just grease the palm or something? 

We begin our climb at the base of the vineyards along the cliff.  In the picture below you can see the tunnel for the train tracks.  This Googlemap shows the path from the sky.    

Periodically we will pass a home that hugs the cliff.  These families have worked these vineyards for generations. 

The the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso is not as steep as the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. Though the path continues to rise, and we breath heavier as we climb higher and higher along the uneven stone stairs.   

The trail levels off occasionally.  Just long enough to catch our breath.  

Even when the terrain is flat, it is necessary to pay very close attention to our steps, as the ground is uneven making it easy to trip and fall.   

And then there are the stairs.
The picture above is looking
 back down the stairs
we just climbed.   

The temperature is in the low 70s,
 but the humidity a bit higher
 than we are used to
as we have broken a good sweat.  

Important to bring bottled water
 and stay hydrated on this hike. 

Almost an hour into the walk 

here is the view back to Vernazza. 

Using this Googlemap you can see where the trail is along the hillside.  The dirt clearing is where we get this glimpse of Vernazza.  It is in the upper left hand corner of the map near the words Sentierio (pathway in Italian) Monterosso Vernazza.  Notice the beautiful vineyards terraced into the cliff.  

Another 15 minutes and the picture below shows our view back to Vernazza.  According to hikers passing us in the opposite direction we are almost to the top of the hillside.   

Looking down at the sea, it reminds us of the Big Sur coastline.  Ahead in the picture below is Montessoro in the distance.  

The hike levels out just when we need a breather.  

This is challenging terrain. The stairs to the right off the path go to a home surrounded by vineyards.  My thoughts go to how they get their groceries up here?  

It is not that hot, but the
shade helps to cool us down.

This is an area set aside for feral cats.  Each one has a name and a house.  They are all well fed by locals and tourists who bring food in their packs.  

What?  I thought we were at the top.  More stairs.


No railing along edge in some area of trail. 

When foliage cleared for us to look back down the coast we had this view of Corniglia way in the distance.  It is the town south of Vernazza  and it sits up high on the rock.  

Really have to pay attention along this 
hike.  As noted not all edges have railings.
And the drop off is substantial. 

Trail signs that let us know we are on the right track. 

Here begins our 500 stairs down into Monterosso. 

 Or depending on which way you are walking,
 they could also be the end of the 

500 stairs up from Monterosso.  

This contraption is ingenious.  There are railways all over the hillside that allow for grapes or olives or whatever crop is being harvested to be transported by machine instead of by hand. 

Modern farming Cinque Terre style. 

We actually got a bit lost here.  But when the path came to a dead end we figured we had made a mistake.  So turned around and found a path that made a sharp u-turn down some stairs and over a dry stream bed.    

The path was covered with tall bamboo. But we found the painted red and white stripe which let us know we are on the right path. 

Finally we see the trail head from the Monterosso side.
It is the shed in the picture below.
We made it!

Well not quite.  
More stairs. 

Finally the last of the stairs until we are down in Monterosso.  Do we dare tell this lovely woman in the picture below she is just beginning a long journey?  

Three hours later we see the train station in Monterosso.  Well worth the hike and we definitely earned a good meal and cold drink soon! 

But first a shower and nap is in order. 


This evening we dine at Lapo's
on the via Fegina by our hotel. 

Tomorrow's adventure, explore Corniglia, hike from Corniglia to Vernazza and finish exploring Vernazza Part 5.  

Monterosso al Mare Part 1  

Manarola Part 2
Riomaggiore Part 3
All pictures by L. A. and R. M. Momboisse 


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