Vernazza Night - Cinque Terre, Italy

One of the most memorable experiences that I had on my recent trip to Tuscany was visiting Cinque Terre. This region of the Italian Riviera consists of five fishing villages and there is little or no car traffic except in the most northern of the villages, Monterosso al Mare. The main mode of transportation is by train or by foot along the trails connecting the five villages. The highlight of my stay in Cinque Terre was getting what I consider to be the quintessential photograph of Cinque Terre, that being the harbor of Vernazza from high above on the trail. We decided to photograph the harbor at night, so we started out from the center of Vernazza and began the arduous trail up. To say it was challenging was an understatement. I walk five miles every day and am in pretty good shape. We reached one overlook where a small family was situated and continued upward. As we continued up, our breathing became more ragged. Our much younger workshop leader and guide told us to hang on while they went up to see how much further the next overlook was. Turns out that the higher overlook was totally overgrown, and we then headed back to the first one to set up. Waiting for darkness allowed us to catch our breath and take in the beautiful harbor from above. As you can see in my long-exposure photo (28 seconds) the effort was so worth it. Next was the climb down and a very late dinner.