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9/26/2015 - Today was the third day of our stay in Cinque Terre

Boat Excursion to Porto Venere and the Islands

Since our knees needed a rest from yesterday's hike, we took a round trip boat excursion

down the coast past the Cinque Terre towns we visited yesterday,

then on south to Porto Venere and the islands.

                   

ABOVE - Corniglia,  Manarola, and Riomaggiore from the boat

The terraced hills above the towns are where we hiked yesterday.

                   

ABOVE - Palmaria Island is the main island of the Porto Venere archipelago.

The south-west side of the island is high, steep and with many caves.

Our boat pulled into the mouth of this high cave so we could get a good view.

On top of Palmaria is a fortress dating back to 1857 (Fortezza del Mare - Fortress of the Sea)

                   

ABOVE LEFT - Red rock formation as we approached Porto Venere - nothing else this color

along the entire coast. Many cobblestones in town are made of this distinctive red (rosso) color.

ABOVE MIDDLE - Chiesa di San Pietro located on the point of Arpaia at the entry to the

Porto Venere Bay. A palaeo-Christian Romanesque church and monastery were built

over an ancient temple dedicated to Venus. Between 1256 and 1277 the older structures

were incorporated into a new gothic church made of white and black marble.

Our boat trip took us around three small islands making up the Porto Venere archipelago.

ABOVE RIGHT - This is Tinetto, covered by the ruins of a pre-Romanesque church, dating to the 11th century.

These ruins witness the occurrence of ancient seclusion monasticism dating to the 5th century.

                   

ABOVE - Enjoying the sights on our boat trip!

                   

ABOVE MIDDLE - Close-up of us with the Porto Venere castle on the hill behind us.

There are still walls constructed in the 12th century surrounding the town.

The fortified castle was built in 1116 and completed in the 16th century

ABOVE RIGHT - Another picture of us with Porto Venere in the background.

We met a nice couple from Iowa on the boat and he kept wanting to take our picture!

                   

ABOVE - Porto Venere was originally a fortified village consisting of rows of buildings

serving both a military and housing function. It was built in the 12th century by the

Republic of Genoa. The terrace of tower houses runs between the quay and the castle,

and is crossed by by steep and narrow stairways. The economy was based on sailing

 and seafaring, but also on agriculture and marble mining.

Today the town draws its resources essentially from tourism and mussel cultivation.

                   

ABOVE - We walked along the walls of the Muzzerone Fort to the Church of San Lorenzo

built by the Genovese in 1116. The altar inside contained inlaid marble in various colors.

                

ABOVE - Along one of the narrow town passageways

BELOW LEFT - Late afternoon shot of Vernazza taken from our apartment's roof garden -

hate to leave this place, but moving on tomorrow!

BELOW MIDDLE and RIGHT - Tonight's sunset from Vernazza harbor

                   

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