Friday, October 17, 2014

Cinque Terra Vacation

Sorry I haven't posted in some time, it has been a very busy summer for me but I did manage to get in a very nice vacation hiking the Cinque Terre on the very rugged coast of Italy. 
Here's a few pictures to share.  I'll post a few more pics over the weekend. I did make it to Firenze, Como, Milan and Mandello del Lario and toured the Moto Guzzi museum...

The best vacation EVER...

Monterosso al Mare as seen from the trail
The Cinque Terre are five villages that dot the Italian Riviera and are part of a National Park.  The trails are made of macadam and cut stone with hundreds and hundreds of steps that wind there way through the steep cliffs that plunge to the sea.  The views are truly awesome with treks through vineyards and olive tree groves all part of a days hike.  The first town in the sequence of the five going South is Monterosso al Mare, shown above.  There's this huge sculpture in the old part of the city...

Neptune - a concrete and iron sculpture created in 1910, during WW2 it was damaged. Originally the statue had a trident and huge shell...
Typical trail cut into the steep terrain with lots and lots of...
STEPS and more steps!
The trail follows the land features in such a way that you climb and serpentine your way though the dense vegetation from town to town.

Trail side view of Vernazza, I recommend eating at Batti Batti

There are many wonderful little places to explore.  The restaurants and shops are small and unique with a lot of local art on display.  Seafood is a common staple of the Cinque Terre and I dont think you can go wrong with ordering any seafood.
Artist on the street

So after hiking the Cinque Terre the next stop was Florence or Firenze in Italian...  An amazing old world city with many treasures to experience.

View from Michelangelo Piazza
The Uffizi Gallery was wonderful as was the Galileo Museum.

Sculpture of Christ
 The Ponte Vecchio is a fascinating place... very sparkely

Wall to wall jewelery of the most exquisite designs

A most cooperative mime at the Uffizi

Around the corner from the Uffizi...

Moving around Italy is pretty easy and efficient on the TrenItalia rail system.

Train station at Milan Airport (Malpensa)
Lake Como - a very beautiful place!
 On the last day - Moto Guzzi!

The train station is right across the street from the plant!

Carlo Guzzi and I hanging out in downtown Mandello del Lario...

It is I knocking at the big Red Door at the Moto Guzzi Factory...

 You can hear the famous 1957 Guzzi V-8 here...  The factory rep explained to me that in the second year of racing they discovered that they had to add an extra fuel chamber on the carbs just so the engine wouldn't starve for fuel in corners... More art from Italy - desmodronic valves too!

Ok, not to diminish Honda's break out CB 750 I-4 "Dream Machine." But this Magnum Opus of Carcano's rolled out of  the Mandello plant 12 years before... AND this mill ran the Monza 500cc Grand Prix Circuit -- I'd doff my fedora (if I had one) to Giulio Carcano Ing extraordinaire. 

Carcano was one heck of an engineer!
I really think ├╝ber creative people tend to have crazy hair...

Hope you enjoyed the pics.  I have a 100's more, if anyone is inetersted in finding out more about Cinque Terre just ask.



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