About an hour's drive north of Pisa is Cinqueterre, or "The five lands". This national park protected area consists of five 'preserved' towns situated along the west coast: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. All are connected by train and walking paths (you can walk between all of them in a day), and most are connected by water ferry.
We spent two nights in the area, giving us a whole day to explore the towns, starting with Monterosso al Mare:
We caught a water ferry to the next town, Manarola:
We caught a train, which turned out to be express to the town we planned on visiting last, Riomaggiore. Oh well!
We walked from Riomaggiore to Manarola, along a path known as "Via dell'Amore", or the "path of love".
The "thing" to do along this path was bring a lock and lock it into the fence or... anywhere you possibly could.
We had a pesto-filled lunch in Manarola, and Adriana made friends with a group of pensioners.
We caught a train to the last town, Corneglia, which is the only town that was not situated on the edge of the water, but rather up on a hill. While there we sampled and purchased some of the sweet dessert wine "Sciacchetrà" and I got my bottle of regional dry white wine.
After this trip, we continued to head up north to Milan. That (and photos from Pisa, by the way) are for a separate post.
You can see the whole set for Cinqueterre here.