While in Cinque Terre, an Italian sight that I’d had wanted to visit when I lived a Roma, we stayed in Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the five towns. We parked the car for days and went about enjoying the freedom. Monterosso al Mare has this brilliant boardwalk along the water. The gigante was under restoration, unfortunately, but the waves and rocks kept us preoccupied.
There were little stores and great restaurants and tomato patches. It’s a cute town, but the least quintessentially Cinque Terre one. More was to come…
On our last evening in Cinque Terre, in Monterosso al Mare, Stéphane and I headed out as the sun was setting to explore the town one more time. You can feel the wilderness of the ocean and mountains closing in, and how it must have felt centuries ago.
These hills were once marauded by pirates, so refuges were built in the hills. Finally, they became part of Genoa, so found protection and could cling closer to the shoreline. We visited the Oratorio dei Neri, a church filled with death. We paid one euro to visit the space behind the pulpit, falling apart, where we found this piano.
On a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, the sun had set, and I wandered through a Franciscan cemetery. The space was beautiful and haunting, empty of life. A large mausoleum door stood, fastened by chains and a single plastic rose.