With Valentine’s Day approaching, another blog about romance is in order. Italy is a country filled with romance. One of the great ongoing romance stories is set in
the Cinque Terre (prounounced Chink way Tay reh), five small, remote villages precariously perched on the cliffs along the Mediterranean (Ligurian Sea).
This area, called the Italian Rivera, is breaktakingly beautiful.
Until the last century when a trail was cut between the villages, interaction with each other and the outside world was very limited. Because interaction was rare and difficult, villagers rarely married anyone outside their own town.
Even today most of the towns have extremely limited to no motor traffic, and just getting around can be quite a hike up the terraced hills. In the 1920’s a trail associated with the construction of a second train line was built.
There was a need to safely store gunpowder for blasting away from the villager’s homes and the gunpowder warehouse was located midway along the trail. The villagers liked the trail and asked to keep it open as a permanant link between villages. Initially, repeated rock slides kept it closed as much as open. Following WWII in the 1940’s improvements were made to the trail to keep it open.
The section of the trail is located between Riomaggiore and Manarola is the easiest walk. It became a popular meeting place for lovers between the villages. A reporter noticed and wrote an article on
the graffiti from these meetings and named the trail Via dell’Amore.
From there a tradition developed of sweethearts bringing locks inscribed with their names and locking them onto a fence along the trail .
I think the locks are cleared away periodically, but the image of a lock symbolizing one’s love standing through the years in sunshine and storm is compelling.
Scott and I walked the Via dell’Amore and were totally captivated by the beauty of the trail. It is hard to think of a more appealing place to pledge your devotion to a loved one.
If you want to explore a little more history about the area I inserted a link below.