Sometimes taking a wrong turn takes you to the right place. While I was exploring Portovenere during my recent trip to Cinque Terre, I stumbled upon the a most serene and beautiful cemetery. The site sits on the hilltop by the base of the city’s castle facing out across the water.I never know quite what the right approach is to take in places of local religious significance and mean no disrespect by sharing photographs – for me this was a place of utter calmness, a place to go to reflect on the beauty of the surroundings and escape from the crowds of Liguria.
I’m at the airport, waiting for the queue to die down at my gate. For once my skin tone looks healthy, slightly gold and not in the usual jaundiced ‘office tan’ way thanks to the last five days on the Italian Riviera. Cinque Terre has a high reputation to uphold – like me you’ve probably seen the photographs of multicoloured italian townhouses teetering on the cliffside in many a buzzfeed listicle or travel blog. Called the “five lands” the area is actually five fishing villages along the Ligurian coast, interlinked by hiking trails and a scenic railway. But it’s not quite the idyllic escape the images would lead you to believe, in fact there’s one thig clearly missing from the photographs you’ll only know if you’ve been. The secret? The crowds!