News from Cinque Terre
Blog by Prevo, Vernazza - Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre - La Spezia - Italy
A Blond and her passport
The best place to stay in Cinque Terre
I had originally planned to come to the Cinque Terre about a week later than I actually did. My plan was to stay in Vernazza as my slow down part of my trip and then I heard about an amazing place to stay called The Heart of Cinque Terre.
One of my mom’s friends had just stayed there and said it was beyond amazing. It is literally the only room that you can rent in the Cinque Terre National Park. There are plenty of rooms in the five towns of the Cinque Terre, but there’s definitely nothing like the room I found.
I heard it was quiet at night with beautiful views over the water. Seriously, look at this view:
I decided it was a true experience that very few people get to live locally with a view like this at an amazing price, so it was time to reschedule my trip. I cancelled my segment through southern France and decided to plan on extra time in Italy. It was an excellent choice although I made a very stupid mistake my first day by not respecting the hills, heat, and weight I’d be carrying to get there. That said, this was an amazing place to stay.
Upon arriving at Heart of Cinque Terre, I was greeted by Pierpaolo, the amazingly nice and generous owner. I arrived starving and thirsty and enjoyed drinking the cold spring water he had on site, which he also offered to hikers passing through. He told me the kitchen was stocked with some things left by previous travelers and I found some good pasta and tomato sauce. I whipped that up and it was appropriately delicious. However, Pierpaolo now told me about the olive oil that he made himself. There was a bottle of it in the kitchen and Pierpaolo told me I could have as much as I wanted. I had some left over pasta, so I threw that together with some olive oil and salt and pepper and wow…
It’s amazing how good those simple meals can be with a few really good ingredients. This meal strongly influenced what I ate the rest of the time in the Cinque Terre. Pierpaolo was kind enough to drive me into town so I could do some grocery shopping, so I loaded up on fresh produce, excellent sliced cheese and meats, and some delicious bread that was really just another excuse to mop up more olive oil. That’s pretty much what I ate for a couple days outside of one meal in Vernazza and it was great!
The experience of staying at Heart of Cinque Terre was perfect for me since I was tired from traveling a little too fast and needing some quiet time. You are about a mile from any kind of city life. Obviously, if you were planning to go out in the evenings, then you need to get a taxi. For me, sitting back an enjoying the sunsets, the peace and quiet, and the cool evening breezes was all I could ask for. Pierpaolo was an amazingly gracious host and really goes out of his way to make you feel at home. As long as you’re fine with being away from the cities for a few days, Heart of Cinque Terre gets my highest recommendation.
Additional Note: If you’re really traveling on the cheap or just want a unique experience, Pierpaolo also sometimes allows people to work for their stay. At times, he needs extra help for preparing olive oil and working in the garden and that can be arranged to pay for your stay.
If you’re interested contact him through his web site.
I paid for my own room and my review comes straight from the heart.
The dog had to be killed in Serbia has become a hero in Italy
By Sasa Milosevic
When Pierpaolo Paradisi, an Italian man from Vernazza, adopted a brown puppy from Serbia, he could not guess that small Balkan dog would soon save his life. He named him Leo.
He knew nothing about him except that Leo was waiting to be executed in one of Serbian pounds. The cute mongrel entered the Italian family thanks to HumAnimal, an Italian non-profit association saving many animals from Serbia and Bosnia. They rescued Leo at the last moment. He arrived in Paradisi’s Guest House on September 15, 2011 and easily adapted to the warmness of foster family in the house of stone with a colorful garden and twelve cats to play with looking beyond a horizon from the undergrowth.
On October 25, Pierpaolo and Leo were in the car driving back home when a furious storm hit them on the local road seriously upsetting the dog. Mr Paradisi had to move him to the rear seat. As the storm got stronger the car progressed to a crawl but after 200 meters from the junction Leo suddenly changed mood and jumped on the master’s legs who has nailed the shot.
Pierpaolo has only time to move the dog to the right seat and as dog continues whining he sees the hill collapsing before him and sinking down into a bottomless void that swallowed everything.
”The landslide had touched the nose of our car and if Leo had not given me the alarm it would fall in; he felt the danger and I yelled : ”Stop, stop, let’s save ourselves, we do not go to meet death.” Not knowing what did happen he called the police but they responded to him : “It’s pandemonium, we can not send anyone, make yourself safe as you can.” He turned the car around and they escaped the death, unlike the 9 locals who died in the floods that hit the Italian Riviera.
Mr Paradisi describes the scenes associating it with the Apocalypse….
”Full of landslides and desperate, pieces of asphalt and guard rail were everywhere and you could hear a few voices; someone who was beginning to use pick and shovel, someone called and no one answered, a helicopter flying over a sailboat sank.”
The Pierpaolo’s house has remained intact, but the gigantic landslide in San Bernardino County has made the housing unsafe to use. Analyzing Leo’s sixth sense Mr Paradizi relies on scientific explanation:
”Dogs have 255 million olfactory receptors; we humans only 5 million. This big difference explains so strange facts . I do not believe in metaphysics, but I believe that dogs who have suffered a lot, like Leo, have developed some sense to perceive danger.”
Leo became an overnight Italian star. The Mayor of San Rocco town awarded him by “Concorso Internazionale Fidelity of the dog” during the fiesta of San Rocco, the patron saint ofdogs, a local tradition celebrated since 1962. The Mayor have also made a special party in gratitude to Leo. Italian RAI 2 broadcast a special program in Leo’s honor. The most popular Italian newspapers wrote about brave Serbian dog who escaped death in homeland to become a national hero in Italy.
Serbian media re-published the story, but their message obviously has not touched the people responsible for the basic dignity and human rights of animals. Serbia didn’t learn a lesson from Leo’s case continuing to ignore the abuse of stray dogs and cats that happens all-daily at streets and state pounds.
You can meet Leo in his house, click here
Cinque Terre little Paradise
We are in a little paradise: the Cinque Terre, Manarola one of the five villages that overlook the fragrant sea rich in iodine, which are surrounded by terraced hills of vineyards.
We are in the Liguria Riviera, we are in an ancient village that is part of the town of Riomaggiore. A fraction that is between the fishy Ligurian Sea and a mountain range that is separated from the Apennines.
Manarola, like all the villages of the Cinque Terre, it seems a kind of crib perennial: the typical colored houses that rise tower on the main street, and then alleys and stairways, alleyways that climb up and overlooking the sea.
Manarola is small but it is very interesting. Besides the spectacular landscape there are some places of interest to visit. In the main square facing the Oratory of the Disciplined, the parish church of San Lorenzo of 1338 in the Gothic style and the bell tower.
And then the castle, now a private home, which once served to defend against pirate raids.
Among the most beautiful places are worth mentioning Punta Bonfiglio, hence walking on a walkway built by locals in 1968, you can connect the marina slipway Paledo. Worth visiting right on top of Punta Bonfiglio, lies the village cemetery.
Anyone wishing to have a panoramic view of the whole country can travel via Belvedere that in its last part turns into one location, overlooking the sea and culminating in a square named after Eugenio Montale.
December 19/21 - two 'must' of music in Vernazza
Two unique evenings of music and entertainment in the beautiful village of Vernazza, where the quality of the proposals, stunning scenery and the social aspect are the winning combination to create two events not lose.
Within the project Air Festival, the agency of show Artifice 23, in December there will be two concerts of the highest quality, in a very special location, the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch in Vernazza. The first, to be held Friday, December 19 to 21, will feature Gino Paoli and Danilo Rea. The two artists will perform a series of concerts based voice and piano. The show, entitled “Two of us who …” will duet together one of the greatest interpreters of Italian songwriters and one of the most lyrical and creative pianists today. Gino Paoli and Danilo Rea renew so lucky their artistic partnership.
During the second evening, scheduled for the following day, or Saturday, December 20, to become protagonists will be two jazz musicians, Paolo Fresu and Daniele di Bonaventura, in “trumpet and bandoneon”. It will be a concert of great emotional impact and the two artists will try to tell, in a kind of poetic extraction, the colors of the universe of contemporary music.
The church of St. Margaret of Antioch, heated and fitted to the nines for the occasion, will then become a perfect set for concerts, an intimate and old, acoustically excellent.
The capacity of only 400 seats, but you can listen to the concerts also from outside, from the square, where you can comfortably sit admiring the sea and enjoying a glass of wine.
Air Festival is a project born in 2007, with the ambitious idea of giving rise to the first international festival of show to public places in Italy, over various areas in the Levante Ligure. Evenings moving in that part of the territory that comes from Sestri Levante in the Gulf of Poets, involving so beautiful reality in landscaping, but also very special and difficult from the organizational point of view. But then the idea of ‘Air’ is just to experiment with new forms of entertainment, in which art and techniques fit and are designed specifically for the region and the setting in which they take place. The project takes on even more importance to the social aspect of which is proud to lead. In 2012 Vernazza were collected funds for the reconstruction of Vernazza, hard hit by the flood of October 25, 2011. The following year they were collected funds for Sardinia, scoring an emotional connection and stories from coast to coast. This year, the spirit is to continue to use the culture and shows how small multipliers of resources for the reconstruction of a territory unfortunately scourged.
It will therefore be possible to book a place in the church by making a donation (from ten euro for Fresu / Di Bonaventura, and 20 euro for Paoli / Rea) on the website of the charity vernazzafutura.it, which dealt, and deals yet, the reconstruction of Vernazza.
For those not interested in booking, the evening concerts will still left a few places with free admission available subject to availability, with doors opening at 20:30.