#7 Cinque Terre: Manorola to Vernazza

We ascend the switchback road above the town

moving away from the church square towards the cerulean ceiling of the world


Tiny staircases lead to a path and the path into an ancient vineyard

grapevines trained in neat rows on steep terraces

We wind our way across

paths punctuated by timeworn stone steps and

the skittering of lizards


How many other feet have walked here?

The Ligurian Sea sings to us of history, myths, trade, pirates, fish

Each coastal village has its song, too, of invasions long before the tourists came


As twilight creeps into the trails, we speed up, descending through woods, then allow, then into Vernazza and the scent of oranges

The train removes us from the storybook and then we slowly dismount, exhausted, to fill our bellies with wine and fish and bread born from past and present

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