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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui


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Manarola, 19017

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Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy

Dear ——–,

The towns of Cinque Terre looked like paintings. We started in Riomaggiore and walked the Via dell’Amore to Manarola, admiring the locks inscribed with the names of lovers fastened onto fences along the way. Manarola was our favorite town, where we could walk out on a little punta and look back to the perfectly framed cascade of pastel-colored houses on the side of the cliff. (Apparently, the colors of the houses in Cinque Terre have to be approved by some commission!) A group of young men with a death wish were swimming right next to a little jetty there. They were lifted and dropped about 10 feet every time a tide pounded in and pulled out. I was worried they’d be thrown against the rocks, but they somehow thought this was fun. I noticed that none of the women seemed eager to join in. We walked up about two-thirds the way up the town to have lunch at Trattoria dal Billy, where we had a commanding view of the poetic Ligurian Sea and fantastically fresh shrimp over homemade pasta. The waiter also entertained our daughter while we finished the meal with a fantastic hazelnut semifreddo and limoncino. We worked off lunch with a walk along the terraced vineyards before descending back down to town.

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Riomaggiore

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Lovers’ locks on the Via dell’Amore