the life of a village

I recently spent a week in Monterosso, home to my Italian. My first taste of this Ligurian village, hidden on the Mediterranean coast, was during my year of travel. I’m not exactly certain who or what propelled me to visit this cluster of villages, known to much of the world as ‘Cinque Terre’, known to me as paradise. I fell in love immediately, particularly with Monterosso and it’s landscape. It’s difficult not to, as anyone who has been to this part of the world knows well. I remember during those days imagining the life of a local, living in a population of no more than 1,700, recognizing each face that passes by in the streets, the only foreign faces being those of seasonal tourists. How would it feel living so isolated from the world, in constant familiarity, a lack of privacy in social affairs, the life of a village. At once fascinating and impossible to imagine coming from a place like NYC.

During this week spent eating, meeting, and always observing, the village appeared to wake up from its winter slumber. I began to look from the inside rather than as an outsider or tourist. It was my third visit and this one felt much more like being at home. All thanks to my Italian and his family. I began to understand the people and the way of life, to feel the intimacy that they shared, if not understand what they said. Each region of Italy contains its own dialect, and one day when I speak Italian (after mastering French of course) I will still not understand the Ligurian locals. But I will continue to say ‘Ciao’ in passing and smile as though I have lived here all my life.

There is much to explore in this region, a true haven to hikers and nature lovers. As I did during my first visit, but now with much greater an appreciation and insight, we took the local train to Riomaggiore, the eastern most village.

From there we hiked to Manarola, considered the most scenic of the five villages. Breath-taking!

Back ‘home’ to Monterosso, saving Corniglia and Vernazza for a Summer tour via boat. It was time to climb the terraces, known as ‘poggi’ and pick lemons and oranges in the family orchard….

 Do as the locals do. Well, almost.

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8 Comments

  1. forest March 29, 2010

    Hi Kasia! I just love this part of Italy…I think it is some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere! Thanks for sharing the lovely pics & nice post. Ahhh….I want to go back there now! 🙂

    Reply
  2. Saad March 30, 2010

    Hey Kasia,

    Look forward to visiting you in Monterosso one day 🙂 I had a lovely time there last summer and your Cinque Terre snaps certainly bring back some fond memories. Truly a magical region of La Bell’Italia.

    Reply
  3. Andi March 31, 2010

    The color of the sea is just amazing! And I have always loved how the houses are painted different colors.

    Reply
  4. Matt Cheuvront April 25, 2010

    Incredible and insanely jealous – I need to get myself overseas STAT. Hope all is well Kasia.

    Reply
    • Kasia May 7, 2010

      Traveling it one of the most self-actualizing experiences of your life. I HIGHLY recommend you spend some time exploring the world. (Second honeymoon perhaps? ;)) It’s the experiences of our lives that remain with us forever.

      Reply
  5. passion for travel May 26, 2010

    […] it, during my around-the-world trip I had spend a memorable 5 days in the village of his birth, Monterosso, and was very pleased to express my enthusiasm for this ‘found paradise’. This village […]

    Reply
  6. Angela & Basia June 20, 2010

    Belisimo

    Baci Baci

    Angelina, Basia

    Reply
  7. scenes of a village April 5, 2011

    […] by Kasia on April 5, 2011 TweetI first discovered Monterosso during my trip around the world over 3 years ago. It was a seredipitous encounter, completely unplanned. I fell in love immediately. It’s hard not to, being surrounded by so much natural beauty. Little did I know, it was a place I would come to call home. […]

    Reply

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