An Ode to Parasols: Cinque Terre, Italy

An Ode to Parasols: Cinque Terre, Italy

I speak of magical trips, I’m referring to those that when
you return, your memories take on a dream-like quality.

This happened after I visited Cinque Terre, the “five lands”
suspended over the sea on the Italian Riviera coast. I block out
the tourists and visualise a sleepy fishing village, remembering
how the rocks jutting out of the sea at Manarola stole my heart. I
hear the waves crashing against the beach from quietness of my room
in Monterosso al Mare, and can almost smell the coffee I drank on
my terrace, feel the crispness of the day’s newspaper in my

In my mind’s eye, I pick my way along the clifftops, vivid
Ligurian sea views before me. Farmers toil on their steep land, the
heady perfume of Corniglia’s vineyards clings to the ocean breeze.
I’m in the hustle and bustle of craft shops trying on beautifully
made leather sandals, then it’s a plate of homemade spaghetti in a
hidden corner. But it’s the parasols that are etched most deeply in
my mind. Audacious yet sophisticated, vivid yet subtle, bright
colours and neat rows conceal the congenial babble of holidaymakers

For many, Italy is about food, wine, leather and the sea. But
when I think of Italy, my mind always drifts back to those

@carlacuencacortes |

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