Going Up?

Early in the morning, gray skies greeted our first look out the window, but a few distant streaks of blue over the sea gave us hope. Not wanting to squander a single minute of rainless sky, we hurried down to the piazza for a cappuccino and cornetto. Where to first? I wanted to hike up to the cemetery (of course!) at the top of the hill overlooking the town.

Past the train station, the walk leads alongside a stream dotted with ducks, then crosses over the water and starts up the hill, a sign pointing the way to the cemetery. A slight drizzle wet the way until, halfway up, we had to hover under the broad reach of a tree to protect ourselves from a downpour. It finally lightened up and we resumed our tromp upwards.

Going up?

From across the small valley, we spied a trenino and its driver traversing the grape-garnished slopes, loaded with crates of the harvested fruit. The tiny train’s plastic bucket seat was empty — the driver stood rather than sat, talking on a cell phone as he fearlessly chugged along vertical terraces teetering high above the sea.

The terraced hillsides above Vernazza

We came upon a lonely clock tower guarding the town from above

From the other side of the tower we spied its bell

Amazing panoramic ocean scenes to the right and glimpses of the town far below to the left kept us oohing and ahhing until the cemetery entrance came into view.

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