This image first appeared on my personal Instagram page. And it is definitely an image I keep going back to - it’s even the wallpaper on my phone and iPad. I think it’s pretty obvious why this is one of my favorite photos of all time.
In 2012, my husband, Jesús, and I spent a week in Liguria, at the famed Cinque Terre. During our stay, we hiked the stretch of Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza, Vernazza to Corniglia, then Manarola to Riomaggiore. Much to my dismay (with some slight gratitude, though), at the time of our visit, the Corniglia to Manarola hiking path had been closed. I say slight gratitude because my husband surely would have been energetic enough to do a straight hike across the 5 lands, which I know would’ve been an amazing accomplishment. But, realistically, I don’t think I would have been able to keep up. This particular stretch of the hike was the easiest though, since it’s all been paved, and it is a veritable street really, just with more breathtaking views than your average strada.
This was 4 years ago now, and when we went, to get this image, we actually waited a good 20 minutes to find someone walking down the Via dell’Amore to ask for a photo, despite us being there in early June. Jesús and I had time to discuss how I wanted us to pose, and I was able to find the perfect spot our would-be photographer had to be standing in. And big thanks to the two local teenagers who were patient enough to take the image I had asked them to take!
When we visited, it was well after the Cinque Terre National Park had been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (in 1997), and well after Rick Steves had already popularized the Cinque Terre, but it was still a time when hiking paths were not crowded at all, and we were still able to disconnect from the world and really experience nature in the unique way that the jewel of the Italian Riviera can offer. I wonder how it is to hike there now. Can a couple still take a romantic stroll without being pushed by a throng of hikers and tourists?
Bianca is one of the founders of get there | get lost. She is an avid writer and photographer based in Northern California. Her love for history, literature, architecture and food culminate to her passion for traveling and learning about different cultures. She advocates for accessible travel, and continues to explore with her husband and travel partner, Jesús, despite physical limitations. Follow their adventures on Instagram as @gettheregetlost and @coffeeandtherapy.