Carerra & Cinque Terre

Not snow, but a MARBLE MOUNTAIN

Another wonderful thing about Taponecco are the day trips accessible from its location.

Ever since reading Irving Stones, “The Agony and the Ecstasy” I was fascinated by the idea of Michelangelo leaving Florence to visit the Marble Mines in Carrera to select the piece of marble he wanted to use for his sculptures. Possibly even Michelangelo had no idea what an inspiration he would create when he selected the slab for the statue of David!!

That was in the 15th century, and still today, they mine marble from the same quarry. When Antonio suggested a day trip to Carrera I was very excited and NOT disappointed. The mountains really do seem to be covered in snow, but no, its marble. And there is mountain after mountain, full, solid marble.

We took a tour inside one of the internal mines, 600 meters in, another 600 to the other side, 400 meters from the sky, 430 meters from the sea. We were literally inside the very middle of this marble mountain. Of 250 concessions to mine in Carrera, allocated by the local council, the majority are on the outside and 150 concessions total, are currently in use.

Another easy day trip from Taponecco, (although we camped overnight on the edge of the road by the cliff of course!!) is the Cinque Terre. I had not expected to visit here, but being so close, we could not miss it.

A much loved holiday destination for Italians and international tourists, and not unlike the Velveteen rabbit, its being loved to bits. The coast is corroding. A heavy barrage of rain last November caused a “catastrophe!!!; (a wonderful word when fully exclaimed, with vigor, in the Italian accent.) 4 sections of the 5 city walk were closed. Agriculture used to be the main income into this area.  This has now been surpassed by Tourism and the land, unworked, is getting washed away.

We managed to visit 3 of the villages. Superb, colourful, wonderful, whimsical, little port villages, winding down of course, into the sea, decorated with colored timber boats. Curiously looking used but perhaps just for tourists??

We were able to walk along the only open section of the 5 city walk, the Via Dell Amore, “The Path for Lovers.” Due to its popularity and to ensure it does not corrode,  it has been heavily reinforced, over the years, with the Italian “fix it” – cement!!  Still on a sunny Sunday afternoon, views of cliff edges and a bright, sparkling Tireno Sea, we strolled, hand in hand  and felt romantic, along side the many courting, kissing couples we passed along the way.


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