Path n° 2: Riomaggiore-Monterosso (Blue Path)

Sentiero 2 completo_eng

The path n. 2, which links together the five fishing villages, is one of the most famous and popular place all over the country and attracts many fans and tourists from abroad.
This is a pedestrian street about 12 km long, partly dating back to the times of the Repubbliche Marinare (excluding the stretch between Manarola and Riomaggiore, which coincides with via dell’Amore, built in the XII century), whose artistic and touristic value is appreciated throughout the world.

Also known as the sentiero Azzurro, it looks like a well-marked mule track and it has a low degree of difficulty: the difference in level is, in fact, very small (the maximum altitude attained is in fact of 208 m, in village of Prevo) and the refreshment points - unlike to what happens with the path n. 1 - are many and widespread. The importance of this magnificent mule track is given by the fact that dozens of mule tracks start from it leading up to the watershed, intersecting with each other and drawing a thick web of pedestrian streets scrambling through stone walls, vineyards, farmhouses, ruins, small settlements, forests and sanctuaries.

Walking along this ancient road (warning: it is a toll road) also allows us to appreciate the botanical varieties that make up the Mediterranean scrub, in this environment it is more luxuriant than ever. Along the way we in fact can observe the colors and we can enjoy the essences of plants of asparagus, strawberry, everlasting, heather, euphorbia, sea fennel, lavender, mastic, myrtle, sarsaparilla, oak, thyme, rosemary, rue, red valerian. Some endemic in the area are also of great interest, such as Centaurea lunensis subsp. lunensis, Centaurea apoplepa subsp. apoplepa and Santolina ligustica. The first two species are widespread in the eastern areas of the Cinque Terre, while the third grows mainly on the promontorio del Mesco. Not to mention, then, the many exotic species present, already imported into Europe after the discovery of America. Among the many species we must remember the agave and prickly pear, originating in Central America, the tree of heaven (or tree of heaven), who arrived from China in the XVIII century, the sorrel, from South Africa, the butterbush, of Asian origin, not to mention palm trees and cedars, and monkey-puzzle.

From a wildlife point of view this is the realm of the gulls, but above all of the many marine species, such as anchovies, blennies, maidens, sea fans, moray eels, the seagrass, amberjack, sea bream and some varieties of the sponges.

Walking along the path n. 2 also means plunge ourselves in the authentic spirit, both historical and social, of the Cinque Terre.

So, to discover the towns and rural and marinate activities, savor the aromas and atmosphere, walking in the midst of the typical narrow street, the characteristic taste and excellent food wine, perhaps drunk in the cellar of a peasant, becomes an unique, charming experience.

That is why, despite the entire path is easily explored on foot in a single day, even in this case it is advisable to split the path at least in four stages. A task made easier by the fact that each of the five countries is easily accessible by train.

In any case - as well as for all other paths in the area - it is advisable to address the path sufficiently trained and well equipped, paying attention to certain stretches (such as between Vernazza and Monterosso) that may present some risks for less experienced walkers.

Source: 5trek.it

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