"Sure it's raining, but it's Italian rain" Heleneandsteve's photos around Vernazza, Italy





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Uploaded on Feb 17, 2011

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Entry from: Vernazza, Italy
Entry Title: "Sure it's raining, but it's Italian rain"


"Frankly, Nice was nice to leave behind. Not just the rain, but the big city and a fairly questionable area near the train station made it a less than desirable spot to stay too long. But we were close to the train station so we didn't have to get up as early as other mornings nor did we have to lug our backpacks too far. On the other hand, it is hard to find a morning where you get to step over fresh vomit before getting onto your train.
The train plan was by now a familiar one. Take a local train to the edge of the country. Change trains for one that ran through Italy. Take another train to get to the little towns along the Ligurian Sea. Seemed easy enough. By most standards, it was, though there was some confusion from the instructions given by the ticket seller on just which terminal in Genova would actually have a train heading where we were going. So we hopped stations, found the train, and settled in for more rocking.
I've long since given up the idea that I must glue my eyes to the train window the entire trip. I've found that despite the romantic idea that my brain is taking quick postcards of the countryside, I've found that what it is actually doing is not recording a thing. The Record light is flashing, but the memory card is full, shall we say. So we have both high and low tech devices for amusement: books and devices that play video. The former can keep your brain healthy recreating exotic locales and characters, while the latter can give you mental jetlag as you bounce between Vancouver (the set of Psych, for example,despite the show supposedly being set in Santa Barbara) and where ever you are at the moment. Listen to too much American television on your Touch and you suddenly don't remember how to say "thank you" in Italian. Or worse yet, you get brain fuzz which has you saying the social niceties in the language of the previous country. Woops.
Despite heading into a weekend, we'd decided not to book a room in advance in one of the towns of the Cinque Terre but to just go there and see if we could get a tourist room. We got off the train first in Vernazza (with a backup plan of going on to Manarola if there were no rooms) and walked to the Blue Marlin Bar to see if they knew of anyone with a room available. The bartender gave us a card and told us to give these folks a call. Not having a cell phone with a chip that would work in Italy, I found out where the local pay phone was (uh, about forty feet outside the door of the bar) and we walked over there. On the way, a guy stopped us and asked us if we were looking for a room. Yes, we said. He turns around and yells down the street, up to a woman hanging out laundry during one of the short dry spells between rain showers. She says she's got a room and to send us over. Sergio greeted us at the door and his wife was Gemmina, who ran the operation. Tabate was the dog.
Perhaps our standards were a bit low but the room was nice, had a bathroom, was quiet (close to the train station and quiet, a treat) and was warm. A comfortable bed sealed the deal. It probably wasn't the cheapest deal available, but the rate wasn't bad and it was in the middle of town but with no window facing the main street.
That evening it was Italian food and wine and a true blessing. I love Italian food, and my traveling companion also favors the cuisine of Bella Italia. Stuffed mussels, potato pasta in pesto, wine and something bad for you for dessert and you've got a nice meal.
The next day we set out for some hiking after doing Internet duties. The clouds were low and getting lower, and the piddling drops of rain were becoming more enthusiastic and inviting all their friends. We set out dry but by the time we left the trail, it was raining with significant determination. We hiked from Vernazza first to Corniglia, a steep up and down affair that reminded me that I hadn't done a real workout in two months. Ugh. We toured around the town, then decided to keep going despite the rain. The town of Manarola was in the fog and looked inviting nonetheless, so we set out to visit it too. Here there was music blasting from a pub and some teenagers on the beach trying to get up enough nerve to jump in the ..."
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Photos from this trip:
1. "Vernazza"
2. "Along the trail"
3. "Yep, more trail"
4. "And more trail"
5. "The Red Door"

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