LIGURIATREKKINGEXPERIENCE – RIOMAGGIORE (STAGE 9)

The path Infinito and the magic stairway of Monesteroli

 SEP  2019

At the beginning we started from the Western Liguria, we walked along wonderful pathways surrounded by several natural wonders and by the amazing history of our charming country.
Now we are at the last stage of #LiguriaTrekkingeXperience and we decide to close our adventure in fine style!
We are in Riomaggiore, in the heart of the Cinque Terre, where one of the most scenic trails in the world is waiting for us: the path Infinito!
But the surprises do not end here as another hidden wonder is ready to be visited: the stunning staircase of Monesteroli!
In short, we will spend a day full of emotions and beauty… let’s go!

The path Infinito

The National Park of the Cinque Terre offers an interconnected network of more than one hundred hiking footpaths.
There is plenty of choice, in a few words.
For this last stage of #LiguriaTrekkingeXperience we decide to aim high by choosing a really famous walking trail in Liguria and worldwide.
The name of this route suggests the incredible wonder it can show those who walk it: the path Infinito. A name, a guarantee.
This path is 13 km long in total and needs around 6-8 hours to walk it. It leads from Riomaggiore to Portovenere, but today we decide to stop before, in order to visit Monesteroli.

The beginning of the path Infinito in Riomaggiore, LiguriaTrekkingeXperience

We start from the rail station in Riomaggiore and we past the city center moving towards the upper part of the village.
Here a panel easily explains all the route we have to face.
A little bit forward we meet a hiking road with long and cobblestone stairs leading to the Santuario of Montenero at 340 meters asl.
Here the first viewpoint of our walking trip obviously stops our stroll.
An extraordinary and unforgettable sea view opens up just in front of the religious building.

Montenero Sanctuary in Riomaggiore

From the sanctuary we take the path to Colle del Telegrafo, crossing the hamlet of Lemmen.
While going through we can enjoy the wonderful terraces cultivated with vine, a peculiarity of this land.
This is a steeping and inhospitable region where only with daily sweat and great commitment the local vineyard workers are able to produce a special wine, named “heroic”.
It is sufficient to say that in this area the only kind of real mechanization are the small monorail trains used by farmers to transport baskets full of grapes.

monorail trains in Cinque Terre

As we reach Colle del Telegrafo we meet the first refreshment area; afterwards we follow a large, easy and dirt road.
Twenty minutes later we are at the Church of Sant’Antonio with a second refreshment point and a crossroad.
From one side the path goes on and until it passes through Campiglia up to Portovenere. The keen walkers who choose this walk, can come back to Riomaggiore by catching the ferry in Portovenere.
We decide to take the other side shown at the crossroad and we head toward Monesteroli.

The stairway of Monesteroli

We hike downhill along a paved road for about a kilometer and we firstly meet a precious Menhir; after a while a pathway closed with a little gate with a handwritten word “Monesteroli” on is in front of us.

We walk past the gate. After a short distance start up the steps and the footpath becomes harder.
At the beginning the flight of stairs is large and short but the longer we go down the steeper and steeper the steps become.
Past a bend a breathtaking view is in front of us.

The view from the Monesteroli stairway

The stairs surrounded by the rocks and a lush nature seem to come from the sky and dive to the sea waters directly.

This stairway with 1100 steps full of beauty, tiredness and astonishment ends when we get to the village, a small community of a few houses which nowadays are a popular tourist destination.

MOnesteroli's steps

After a break we get ready to go up along the single climb possible: the stairs!
If the descent is hard, the ascent is obviously really strenuous.
Luckily, we are well equipped to protect us from sunrays and thirst.

Houses f Monesteroli at the end of the stairway

In about 40 minutes we are at the Church of Sant’Antonio again.
We get some well-deserved rest and a good lunch before coming back to the beautiful village of Riomaggiore.

Six hours are needed to walk from Riomaggiore but when we left Ceriale, the first stage of this adventure, all the hours spent along the gorgeous Ligurian hikes were much more.
We spent hours in a peaceful atmosphere and in the natural beauty of Liguria.
These long hours show us another face of this land.
For ever these hours will stay in our hearts together with the amazing landscapes we had the chance to enjoy.

 

Here is the list of  Cinque Terre’s accommodations where you can stay:
https://www.residenceliguria.com/en/location/Details/cinque_terre

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