This trip marked one of the last ESN Pisa trips….
Another beautiful day exploring in Italy took us to Portovenere and the Island Palmaria.
Portovenere isn’t too far from Pisa in terms of travelling. It can be reached by train or coach within two hours. One of the many benefits of living in Tuscany is how close you are to both the Tuscan countryside and the coastline. The coastline here, especially the Cinque-Terre, is noted to be one of the most beautiful stretches of coast in the world.
Portovenere makes up one part of the Cinque-Terre stretch in the region of La Spezia.
The town itself is beautiful.
I know, shame on me, I think I have described everywhere I have been as ‘beautiful’. But what can I say, nowhere quite compares to Italy.
Portovenre is situated at the very point of the coast line which is marked by the Church of San Pietro and Castello di Portovenere as well as being a typical coastal town, full of Gelatarias and Seafood delicacies.
History Fact: The Church was built in 1125 and the Castle in 1139. While we were exploring the winding ally ways and passages around the buildings there was a man playing the Harp which really made the church feel very romantic. One of the Grotto’s below the church is said to be where the poet, Lord Byron used to go for inspiration.
After we had explored the port we took a ferry to the Island Palmaria or as they say in Italian ‘Isola di Palmaria’.
We set of hiking, in what was not ideal weather, most of the path towards the top was winding and steep with immediate drops down into the ocean!
I couldn’t get over how blue the sea was, it looked so surreal.
When we reached the top we found some World War Two German Bunkers, although I was sceptical, my engineering friends reassured me they were German.
I guess it was still standing in 2017 so it couldn’t have been built by the Italians….
We also found a deserted and strictly prohibited military base on the Island, which filled me with curiosity, which I am yet to try and find online. The Island was also inhabited by several wild mountain goats which took my by surprise!
We eventually reached the Island’s beach after what felt like forever, sunbathing was bliss, although short lived before we made our way back up, and across the Island to make it back to the ferry.
The Island was almost deserted apart from our group, which instantly disrupted the paradise with a backpack speaker carried by Alessandro.
(Of Course we had to listen to ‘Despacito’, or it wouldn’t be an ESN trip)
I met some lovely new faces on this excursion, a few Erasmus students who had arrived as late as march!
This really was one of the best ESN trips I have had in a while, but I can’t believe it is also one of the last.
Erasmus never ends right? please???
Thank you ESN Pisa for another beautiful day.