The Rambling Writer’s Italy, part 18: Hiking Cinque Terre’s Sentiero Azzurro

Your retro Virtual Italy Vacation continues as Thor and I hike the rugged coastal trail between Cinque Terre villages clinging to the cliffs.

NOTE: Since European travel is still a no-go with the pandemic continuing to surge, I’m continuing my blog series offering a virtual vacation and time-travel to my first big trip with Thor in 2008. Italy! After starting with highlight photos posted here on Saturday, Jan. 30, I’ll now resume every week (after the blogging detour in real time to Hawaii). Join us in Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice, and Milan. Buon viaggio!

The Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path) along the rugged coast, linking the isolated five villages of the Cinque Terre, dates from the 12th to 13th centuries in the early Republic of Genoa. It was originally a mule track, the only link between the villages. Thor and I were lucky to hike sections of it on our 2008 trip, as a catastrophic storm and rains in 2011 severely damaged the route and two villages, and some sections of the trail remain closed today. Today we’ll relive our hike from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza.

After hopping the small coastal train from Riomaggiore to the northenmost village of Monterosso al Mare, we set out on the first leg of the Sentiero under overcast skies that quickly turned into a broiling hot day. Railings on the right in the above photo mark the start of the trail.

Because our Book View Cafe website server at this point may not handle many photos, I’m posting my complete blog entries on my own author website at, where you can finish this episode and enjoy all the accompanying photos. Please continue reading by clicking on the link below, then you can return here (use “go back” arrow above) to comment, ask questions, or join a conversation. We love your responses!


You will find The Rambling Writer’s blog posts here every Saturday. Sara’s latest novel from Book View Cafe is available in print and ebook: The Ariadne Connection.  It’s a near-future thriller set in the Greek islands. “Technology triggers a deadly new plague. Can a healer find the cure?”  The novel has received the Chanticleer Global Thriller Grand Prize and the Cygnus Award for Speculative Fiction. Sara has recently returned from another research trip in Greece and is back at work on the sequel, The Ariadne Disconnect. Sign up for her quarterly email newsletter at




The Rambling Writer’s Italy, part 18: Hiking Cinque Terre’s Sentiero Azzurro — 4 Comments

  1. That was just the coolest trail with the weird doors in walls and houses pasted onto cliffs.