Hiking in the Cinque Terre from Manarola to Vernazza, Italy via the 506/AVT5/507
Vernazza was the only one of the five villages in the Cinque Terre we had left to visit at the end of our week in Italy.
We had taken a day off from hiking to rest and enjoy Manarola and so I was looking for a longer hike for our final morning of trekking in this beautiful area.
This turned out to be our biggest hiking day of the week.
We climbed from Manarola up to Volastra via the same route we took on the day we hiked to Corniglia. Only this time we went up past Volastra to the old #1 (now referred to as the AVT5). The old #1 is a trail that goes all the way from Levanto to Portovenere, a long distance hiking trail for those who are doing some more serious hiking in Italy.
The trail from Volastra was well marked but did not seem to have much traffic. We saw no one on our way up except a couple of guys who were doing trail maintenance, for which we were very thankful.
This first part of the trail wound up through the trees and was steep in places, but did not drop off to the sides like some of the coastal trails.
Once we reached the AV5T which is more of a ridgeline trail, the path leveled off a bit.
We were super grateful for this easy going section of the trail.
It’s well-maintained and well-traveled. There are even places to camp along the way with established fire circles.
We enjoyed seeing the signs for the old trail here and there next to the new ones.
And glimpsing the high villages.
This ridge was the highest point we hiked to all week.
Again, the boys stayed way ahead of me for most of the day.
Soon we could see the small hilltop village of San Bernadino.
We knew we needed to go through San Bernadino in order to get to Vernazza.
As we dropped elevation, we could see Corniglia and even eventually Manarola to the south.
We reached San Bernadino around noon.
It was very, very quiet.
I think there are places to eat in San Bernadino in the summertime, but we didn’t see anything open.
In fact, we didn’t even see any people in San Bernadino, which meant there was no one to ask for directions when we got lost trying to find the 507 to Vernazza.
After some traipsing we found some random markings for the 507, which we felt indicated that we were not the only ones to go wrong around San Bernadino.
We got back to our coastal path, above the deep blue sea.
And back to our red and white markings. We’re always happy to see those!
And then we finally got our first look at Vernazza below.
Vernazza is a lot of folks’ favorite of the five towns in the Cinque Terre, and we could see why.
It is just lovely.
Of course, blue sky and sunshine made it even more lovely.
We walked through several alley ways before coming out to the main street and natural harbor.
Then we found some pizza.
And some gelato, of course.
It was a gorgeous day hiking to Vernazza!
We were all glad to have arrived, and glad to have made the journey. At the bottom of our trail we joined with the local #2 trail that is the main trail that runs between Vernazza and Corniglia, the only trail you have to pay to walk on in the Cinque Terre. It was absolutely mobbed with people, so we were so glad we had chosen a different route.
Loads of folks were out enjoying the sun and sea in Vernazza, but we found a quiet corner of the harbor to enjoy a little rest.
I might have had a wee nap in the sun.
After a while, we made our way back up the main road to the train station and hopped on to ride two stops back to our homeless, Manarola.
Mary Polly stayed home this day, so we had to tell her all about our adventures when we got back.
PS. Here’s a six second video of our day!
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