Life just couldn’t get any better.
It was late afternoon in Cornigilia, one of the five village’s that comprises Italy’s Cinque Terre area.
The village doesn’t really have a nice sandy beach like nearby Monterosso. There it’s busy, noisy and full of tourists. You can rent an umbrella, sip a beer and people watch. While this is nice, I’d much prefer a serene, lesser known setting frequented by locals. This is exactly what I found in Cornigilia.
Swimming in Corniglia
After completing the hike between Manarola and Cornigila, I wandered through the town exploring. When I saw a sign for the marina, I headed down. The walk down to the “beach” area can be a bit tough, especially when you’re sore and tired from hiking, but worth the effort.
When you arrive, you’ll find a picture perfect rocky inlet with calm blue green waters. You almost feel as if you’re on a beach in Thailand instead of the Italian riviera. While swimming you’re treated to dramatic views of the surrounding cliffs and mountains. Locals and the few tourists who have found the spot can be found sun tanning on rocks and along the dock area.
I found a place to sun bathe along the dock and promptly jumped into the cool refreshing water, squealing happily. It was all so beautiful and surreal!
Taking the Photo
Later on that afternoon, I awoke from a snooze when I was splashed by a pack of local children who were having the time of their lives taking turns running and jumping into the water.
I whipped out my camera and took a bunch of photos. I couldn’t resist and hoped no one thought me perverted! It’s just their joy perfectly captured the essence of the moment.
As I look at the photo, I see a timeless appeal. It could have easily been taken 50 years ago and not just last week. I edited the image in iPhoto, applying boost and sepia effects.
Information on Corniglia, Italy
According to Wikipedia, Corniglia is “unlike the other localities of the Cinque Terre” as it “is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 meters high, surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces and the fourth side descends steeply on the sea.”
For more information on this lovely town, check out Lonely Planet’s Guide to Cinque Terre.