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Posts tagged ‘Step by Step Charms of Cinque Terre’

Thursday Doors: April 21, 2016

My Favorite Door in Manarola, Cinque Terre, italy

My Favorite Door in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

The View of All that Quirkiness, Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

The View of All that Quirkiness, Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

Today for Thursday Doors we are in Manarola, one of the five villages in Cinque Terre, Italy. We stayed at the tippy top of this small village and would walk down everyday to the harbor or train station. These are some of the doors I observed along the way! My favorite is the first Pale Blue Shutter Door! Quite quirky, don’t you think? That entire building was quirky from the porthole windows to the cement gate pass through! What about that wrought iron railing made up of different finds? I liked the curly ques placed at the top of the cement arbor too. The walkway was narrow so I could get up close and personal to study all the finds near this door!

More Sea Blue to Add a Touch of Contrast

More Sea Blue to Add a Touch of Contrast

Here a Touch of Green Goes a Long Way

Here a Touch of Green Goes a Long Way

Why Not Add a Bit of Red to Draw Your Eye?

Why Not Add a Bit of Red to Draw Your Eye?

Manarola may be the oldest of the villages in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating to 1338. The name Manarola is a form of the latin worlds “magna rota” which means “large wheel” in reference to the mill wheel in the village.

The Teeny Tiny Church Door of San Lorenzo

The Teeny Tiny Church Door of San Lorenzo Church

Notice the bell above the church? As part of the history of the church, we learned that at one time the priest liked to ring the bell a lot, to remind the villagers to come to Mass. The villagers pleaded with him to stop all the ringing, day and night, to no avail. The priest was found murdered in the church and the bell no longer tolls! No one was ever prosecuted for the murder either!

A Door With A Lot Going On Above It

A Door With A Lot Going On Above It

In the picture above one could jump out the window, scoot across the walkway and be gone on the next roof!

A Stroll Along Narrow Walkways Through the Village

A Stroll Along Narrow Walkways Through the Village

Most of the residents in Manarola are involved with the fishing or wine-making industry. The local wine, Sciacchetrà, is well known, and the high quality wine of the region was noted in Roman writings!  The only way to get around the five villages is by train, boat or the hiking trails in the hills and vineyards above the towns, which makes up the Cinque Terre National Park. To read another post about Manarola look Here. You can collect charms that represent each village in the Cinque Terre, to make a bracelet or necklace. To find out how to get the Cinque Terre Charms look Here!

What’s your favorite Door ?

This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0!   Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?

By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea!

The Pirate Lookout and "Pillbox"

The Pirate Lookout and “Pillbox”

We are off today to the resort town of Monterosso al Mare, the only Cinque Terre town built on flat land, with two parts: The New Town (Fegina) to the left as you get off the train and the Old Town (Centro Storico) to the right.  A long pedestrian tunnel connects the old with the new.

The Promenade

The Promenade

We stroll the waterfront promenade and can see all five Cinque Terre towns along the coast. Looking up we see the sixteenth century pirate lookout tower and down below the Nazi “pill box”, a small low concrete bunker where gunners hid in World War II. Heading into the Old Town there are dozens of little shops, restaurants and skinny, winding streets to explore.

The Village Shops

The Village Shops

Outdoor Cafe in Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

Outdoor Cafe in Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy

We come to a small jewelry store and a sign outside in the window attracts my attention. It shows a necklace created “step by step” while walking the Cinque Terre.

Step by Step Charms of Cinque Terre

Step by Step Charms of Cinque Terre

There is a shop in each Cinque Terre town offering a bronze or silver charm with the name of that village, to complete a necklace or bracelet. I go inside La Gazza Ladra and the kind woman explains the procedure to collect the charms to me. I purchase a charm that says Monterosso in this shop and receive the charm and a passport, so to speak, that shows where the charms are located in the other four Cinque Terre towns.

The Step by Step Passport

The Step by Step Passport

In every town I must go to that shop, purchase the bronze or silver charm, get the passport stamped and when I am down to the last town I pay one euro for the last charm.  You can “Step by Step” the towns in any order. The necklace is lovely when completed. The shop owner shows the intricate knotting she has done between the five charms and added a beautiful clasp.  I have a small problem though.  I have walked four villages already and leave Cinque Terre tomorrow.  Hmm….. What to do.  I do the only sensible thing really.  I look at SB, who shrugs and says why not? What a guy!!!  I buy the charm, my first charm in bronze, walk out with my charm passport and go have a coffee to determine how much time it will take us to go back to all four of the other Cinque Terre villages and find these shops. It will make a lovely momento of my time in Cinque Terre.

After our coffee we explore Monterosso. We walk to find the Church of St John the Baptist, called the black and white church, with white marble from Carrara ( the famous Leonardo Di Vinci Carrara marble) and dark green marble, which looks black, from Punte Mesco, above the village.  There is a lacy stone rose window above the entrance to the church. The church is beautiful inside and immaculate.

Saint John the Baptist Church

Saint John the Baptist Church

The Sanctuary of St John the Baptist

The Sanctuary of St John the Baptist

The Altar of St John the Baptist

The Altar of St John the Baptist

There is also another church right across the way from St John the Baptist, and it is the most outstanding and different church I have ever been in. It is called the Oratory of the Dead.

Outside the Oratory of the Dead

Outside the Oratory of the Dead

The Oratory of the Dead

The Oratory of the Dead

The Skeleton Motiff

The Skeleton Motif

Skull-and-Crossbones

Skull-and-Crossbones and Hourglass

The Black Jesus in the Oratory of the Dead

The Black Jesus in the Oratory of the Dead

During the Counter-Reformation, the Catholic Church created brotherhoods of good works, called confraternities, to compete with the rising influence of Martin Luther. This church building is the oratory of the black group, a group whose mission was to arrange funerals, and take care of widows and orphans of lost sailors. The confraternity dates from the 16th century and membership is passed from father to son.  It has a beautiful black and white haunted house decor with skeletons and crossbones, a black hand-carved paneled choir stall adorned in skeletons and skeletons among the cherub angels.

The Choir Stalls of the Black Oratory

The Choir Stalls of the Black Oratory

I have never seen anything like it. We explore another church up the hill which has ships hanging from the ceiling and a nautical themed sanctuary.   Enjoying the sunshine we walk back through the pedestrian tunnel to the promenade of the beach to New Town.

The Beach at Monterosso al Mare

The Beach at Monterosso al Mare

This beach front of the village is perfect. There are tiny outdoor cafes, a beach with sand and swimming framed with expensive looking neighborhood villas right up to the sandy shore line.

The Beach Neighborhood

The Beach Neighborhood

People are swimming in the sea, those brave souls, the rest of us are still donning our coats and scarves.  A new stone building reveals architectural additions that start on shore and flow to the sea.  At the end of the building is Il Gigante, a look alike rock formation actually made of reinforced concrete originally constructed to support a dance terrace.

Il Gigante

Il Gigante

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We walk back along the beach and eat at one of the outdoor cafes and finish up with gelato before we head back to the train station to make our stops at Vernazza and Corniglia for the charms. While in Corniglia I also decide to go back to Fanny’s Bazar and buy two fish dishes. I kept thinking I would like two small fish dishes and decided  I could stash them in my carry on so they wouldn’t get broken.

My Fish Dishes

My Fish Dishes

I buy the silver charm in Corniglia since it is my favorite Cinque Terre village. By late afternoon we are in Vernazza and I have gathered three of the needed charms. We see our Aussie friends at an outdoor cafe (A shout out to Fee, Wes and Kathy!) and enjoy their company over drinks before taking the train back to Manarola and our last evening in this magical beautiful town.

For more information about the Cinque Terre, Step-by-Step charms in Montorosso al Mare see: La Gazza Ladra di Alessandra Pampari, Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, Moneterosso al Mare, La Spezia, Italy        Phone:+39 0187 817068

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