Tradition has it that, at the end of the year, we have a hike to the lit Xmas crib of Manarola. 2015 was no exception to the rule, we walked along the Riomaggiore-Montenero-Manarola route. The shrine of Montenero provided us with a wonderful lunch spot, from which to observe the Ligurian coast from Punta Mesco to Palmaria; the weather was cloudy, but the clouds occasionally gave way to some enchanting sun spells. The new vineyard path of Costa Corniolo allowed us to walk just above the Nativity scene hill of Manarola (and newcomers Eva and Sarah, who was celebrating her 3rd birthday,seemed to enjoy it). The descent to Manarola was steep and a bit rough on the knees… but we arrived down safely and could fully enjoy the light show with no worries, apart from those menacing signs at the train station (beware Ale of pickpockets! :-D)
I’m not sure that it was still St Martin’s summer today: the fog that engulfed Soviore and Bardellone was so thick, that it might have been St Martin’s Halloween, with the saint playing tricks on us (with fog and plenty of trunks), but ultimately also treating us with a memorable sunset over Levanto.
As for the hike: the dampness and steep steps made the ascent to Soviore more challenging than expected: good for us that, once at the shrine, we could all relax, eat lunch… and do some stretching; the way from Mt Bardellone to Levanto was more of an obstacle course than a hiking trail; however, once we got to the church of S.Bartolomeo, things got easier; we could then enjoy the colorful landscape over the Levanto inland, as well as a fairy tale sunset.
The hike from Levanto to Framura was quite a relaxing one. Unfortunately we lost 3 hikers at the beginning, but were happy to gain one at the church of S.Giorgio, near Montaretto. Thanks for finding us, Emilia, and congratulations for deciphering my indications!
As for the hike: it was a warm and bright Sunday, so there were a few jaw-dropping views over the coast (so jaw-dropping, that you might as well forget your cell phone while sitting on a panoramic rock), followed by a few dives… and some refreshing beer in the end. Framura might have become slightly more touristy this year… but we
don’t mind it!