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Published: June 22nd 2017
Geo: 44.1097, 9.81355
With the prospect of a 7.30am start, we nearly ducked out of this trip but I am so glad we didn't as it turned out to be one of the nicest of the cruise. The ship was moored off La Spezia in Italy so were tendered in to the shore. We then caught another boat which took us out of the harbour and southwards to the area of Cinque Terre, eventually stopping at Portovenere, a lovely harbour which is not easy to reach by road which is very twisty and takes ages..
The houses on the waterfront were originally built in the 12th century and at that time they all looked straight onto the water. In Napolean's time a waterfront was built. The main access to the town off the square is via an old city gate and along a narrow road lined with shops and houses. The shops are very nice, selling all the regional products of pesto, pasta, porcini etc. Everyone came back to the ship with shopping bags! At the top of this street there is a walk up some rough stone steps to the small church of St.Peter which looks out onto some spectacular views
over the sea and the coastline. Lord Byron spent some time here. From here you can walk across an uneven path to the other church at the top of the town devoted to St Lawrence. In here there is a log which was found in the village and when they opened it they found it contained a white Madonna which is now in the church. There are steps down from here which take you back to the main shopping street. After all this touring however and before shopping it was time for a beer at Al Gabbiano's on the front. Once shopping was done and dusted we headed back to the same bar for a wine and local cheese and olives.
In no time we had to get back on the boat back to La Spezia and pick up the tender back to the ship. We agreed that this was one of the best trips of the cruise. I only hope that David and Shirley who had opted to go to Pisa had a good time too.
It is the last day of the cruise which means the real drag of packing but at least we are having a few days in
Amalfi before heading home.
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