“Portovenere View” Oil Painting

| March 28, 2010
"Portovenere View" - 8x10, Oil on Linen

“Portovenere View” – 8×10, Oil on Linen

In Italy last summer, to escape the Cinque Terre tourist crush, we stayed just south of the five famous fishing villages in a town called Portovenere. It’s about a 20 minute cab ride on a twisty hillside road from La Spezia. The town was home to mostly Italian tourists, had a laid back atmosphere, and all we were had to do to visit the Cinque Terre villages was take a convenient ferry from the city center for about 30 Euro each. The painting above is of a location on one of our hikes in Portovenere. These churches are perched above the city center overlooking absolutely stunning scenery. I posted on twitter while I was there and could only come up with, “jaw dropping.” See the map below to get oriented so you can start booking your trip.

Map of Portovenere and the Cinque Terre

Map of Portovenere and the Cinque Terre

The photo below gives you an idea of where the churches were and how high we were above the city center. They are up and to the right. I have to say that the town and the many things to see exceeded out wildest expectations.

Portovenere's City Center

Portovenere’s City Center

As you walk south past the multicolored buildings in the city center, you come across the Church of San Pietro that looks to be carved out of the rocky shoreline. If you look to the bottom near the white umbrellas, you can see the entrance to a swanky and insanely expensive restaurant. We ate there one night. It was a cool experience being in the basement of the fortress but way overpriced. A good meal can be found on the main street for a much better price. I must admit watching yachts go by as we were eating was a pretty cool experience though.

san pietro church portovenere italy

Church of San Pietro in Portovenere, Italy

To get to the Cinque Terre, the ferry takes you around this church and up to the North. The cliffs leading up to the villages drop almost vertically into the ocean and they are enormous! The first village is quaint, and if you go first thing in the morning, you will pretty much have it to yourself. Wait a few hours and you will be amazed how many people are there!

Cinque Terre fishing village

Cinque Terre fishing village

Once you reach Riomaggiore, you can easily walk to the next town on a very nicely kept trail. The section between Riomaggiore and Manarola has been called the Via dell’Amore since the thirties – lovers love the view! It’s pretty level and pretty much anyone in reasonable condition can enjoy the views from the trail. Note that the trail becomes more rugged as you go past Manarola. Some may not be comfortable doing it. If not, just hop back on the ferry or grab the train that goes all the way to the last town called Montorosso. Below, you can see the first trail. You won’t want to miss this!

The trail connecting the Cinque Terre

The trail connecting the Cinque Terre

You can do all of the Cinque Terre in one day. It’s a long one but worth every minute. Keep in mind that the crowds get very large as the day goes on. Take a deep breath and count your blessings to be in such a wonderful place! If this does not wet your appetite to go, I don’t know what will. You only need to go once – but you must go!

Category: Fine Art and Painting, Italy, Travel

Comments (3)

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  1. AutumnLeaves says:

    What a beautiful painting (at first I thought it was a different view of the same church in the March challenge! LOL)!! Very well done indeed, Lee. But I must say that these photos are breathtaking! The one Church of San Pietro immediately reminded me of Alcatraz Island. The beautiful clear waters in the last photo leave me awed and desirous of sitting on a rock there with my feet dangling in. What a true blessing to have been able to visit such a gorgeous place!!

  2. AutumnLeaves says:

    Lee, thank you so much for your thoughtfulness of me; my wonderful apron came in the mail yesterday. I can’t help but think this is going to be fabulous when I am painting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stained clothes with paints…even my watercolors, when they aren’t diluted with water! But? I am even more excited to see your next challenge!! Tomorrow…

  3. Lee says:

    You are welcome!