1919 – 2019: the harvest of the centenary in Volastra.

Posted on 28 September 2019, in Blog

This year the harvest, the splendid final act of a hard work  season in the vineyards, has been enriched by the centenary birthday of my grandmother, Elia, who on September 19th reached the memorable milestone of her  century of life, entirely spent in Volastra, an agricultural heart button of the territory of the Cinque Terre National Park.
My grandmother is a witness and at the same time the author of the incredible work carried out by the old generations that has allowed us to maintain and exploit a difficult and fragile territory, delivering it in perfect conditions  to the new generations, who today can enjoy it taking advantage of the great tourist appeal that the Cinque Terre exercise all over the world.
The harvest represented by the 60% of Bosco grapes (autochthonous vine of the Cinque Terre) and another 40% of Vermentino and Arbarola, was excellent and spectacular, using, where possible, the rack railway, a great attraction for tourists who in this period still they cover numerous the path network of our territory.


Punta Mesco

The path SVA between Monterosso and Levanto

Posted on 23 April 2019, in Blog

Coming from Vernazza, the SVA follows the Fegina seafront to Monterosso, passes behind the "Gigante", the famous statue of Neptune which leaned against the cliff overlooking the homonymous beach, to then cross splendid residences overlooking the sea, among which the villa of Eugenio Montale, poet and Nobel Prize winner, where he spent his summers in the Cinque Terre.
In the initial stretch the path is very steep and crosses a pine forest and the classic Mediterranean scrub, reaching a carriage road serving the Hotel Suisse Bellevue, in a splendid panoramic position above the Mesco cliffs.
The hard climb ends with a slight slope that in a few minutes leads to the branch to the archaeological site of Sant’Antonio del Mesco at 313 meters s.l.m.; here the friars acted as sentinels, alerting the monterossini, by lighting fires, when the ships of the Barbary pirates appeared on the horizon. (more…)

Cinque Terre

The Vernaccia: the first wine of the Cinque Terre

Posted on 3 December 2018, in Blog

The "Vernaccia" wine, produced in the Cinque Terre area, spread widely with great success in the 13th century and most of the historians claim that to give the name to this wine was the ancient nucleus of Vernazza, stamping a trademark origin to a very famous product that takes the way of the sea. In fact, the toponym appears a century before the same name is found to indicate the wine.

The other hypothesis is that the village of Vernazza would derive its name from the wine, being the only safe harbor in the Cinque Terre where it is possible to embark a substantial quantity of the product coming from the neighboring localities.
The "Vernaccia" was a wine of high alcohol content and valuable that could be likened to strong and liqueur wines from the eastern Mediterranean coast, such as Malvasia or Moscato. Historical documents attest that vine vessels of "Vernaccia" were found in the cellars of Pompei with the words "vinum Corneliae" engraved, that is of Corniglia, one of the villages of the Cinque Terre and the closest to Vernazza. (more…)


Harvest 2018: great harvest in Volastra!!!

Posted on 26 September 2018, in Blog

Even this year, after a hard year of work in the vineyards, the hardest and most beautiful moment of the season has arrived: the harvest.
In the Cinque Terre National Park the harvest is a special and spectacular event as it takes place in an incredibly scenographic territory, offering inimitable views suspended between sky and sea.
The unique feature of the Cinque Terre in the world is the use of racks to transport heavy baskets full of grapes from terraced strips, hundreds of meters away from the road.

The use of this mechanical system introduced in the 80s, every year triggers the curiosity and photographs of thousands of tourists from all over the world who walk the sea-view paths of the National Park, immersed in the vineyards.
The vintage has been excellent from the climatic point of view, thus ensuring a great quality of the grapes. (more…)


The Path n. 531: from Riomaggiore to Manarola through Beccara

Posted on 12 May 2018, in Blog

Before the coastal road of the Cinque Terre was built in the seventies and before the Genoa-La Spezia railway arrived (inaugurated in 1874), and the Via dell'Amore, dug into the rock overlooking the sea between 1926 and 1928, Riomaggiore and Manarola, two beautiful villages of the Cinque Terre National Park, were connected only by a short path but with significant slopes, which forced the villagers to climb Mount Corniolo, which separates the two villages.
The Cinque Terre National Park, carrying out an important environmental and productive recovery, consisting in the planting of new vineyards, has restored this ancient path marked in the trail network with the number 531.

The trail, also called "della Beccara", takes about 1 hour and a half on foot, starting  from Riomaggiore in via Telemaco Signorini, near the railway station and then up to the Rio Finale stream and then cross it with a small stone bridge and face the steep climb to Mount Corniolo. (more…)


The Maremonti pedestrian cycle path from Levanto to Framura

Posted on 17 January 2018, in Blog

From the western seafront of Levanto, in the Vallesanta area, a splendid pedestrian and cycle path opens up, which, using the line of the old Tyrrhenian railway line, allows you to reach Bonassola and Framura, walking or cycling a few steps from the cliffs and pristine beaches.

The itinerary runs for 6 km using the tunnels of the nineteenth-century railway line with single track, a splendid example of the architecture of the time; to achieve the stretch between Sestri Levante and La Spezia it took four years, fifty-one galleries and twenty-three bridges, resulting in the most difficult part of the entire line, due to the orography of the territory, but which allowed to break the centuries-old isolation of the Cinque Terre with the rest of the world.

The beautiful seaside resort of Levanto, with its sandy beaches and its promenade, is the starting point of the cycle path, which, through long tunnels interspersed with uncovered stretches that overlook the cliffs and small beaches, reaches the village first of Bonassola and then of Framura. (more…)


Harvest 2017: quality and quantity for D.O.C. 5 Terre wine

Posted on 22 November 2017, in Blog

This year, in Volastra, in the heart of the Cinque Terre National Park, the season reserved a wonderful sunshine and a complete lack of rainfall from late May to late September, which guaranteed an optimal maturation of the grapes and the absence of issues related to the main diseases that can afflict vineyards, namely oidio and peronospera.
Our terraced vineyards, as per millenary tradition, are still almost completely cultivated with pergola plant, "autedo" in the local dialect, protecting the bunches from the strong sun rays allowing a gradual and optimal maturation and at the same time providing greater production than the classic spinning plant.

As usual we have vinified some of our white grapes of the three different qualities Bosco, Vermentino and Albarola, in the "Torchio", the secular family cellar and the rest we have given to the Cinque Terre Social Cooperative, of which we have been members since 1982, year of its foundation.
The Social Cooperative is an extremely important structure for our fragile and difficult territory since it deals with the management and maintenance of both irrigation aqueduct  and all the rack monorails, the main pillars for the maintenance of agriculture and therefore of the landscape in the Cinque Terre National Park. (more…)

scala grande

Path n. 536 to Monesteroli: stairway to heaven.

Posted on 15 August 2017, in Blog

Path 536 (ex 4/d) to Monesteroli of Tramonti is one of the most amazing and spectacular mule track built by the rural-engineers of the Cinque Terre, to reach the vineyards supported by dry stone walls, planted just a few meters off the cliff.
This route, that you may walk in about 50 minutes with a difference of 415 meters, is a branch of path n. 504, which rises from Pegazzano (northern part of La Spezia), passing through Biassa to the San Antonio pass at the high of 508 meters above the sea level where it crosses the Alta Via of the Cinque Terre.

From the church of San Antonio steeply descends along the slope of Tramonti passing through the square where the famous Menhir rises and then on the heights of Pian di Veo. There, on a landing paved of sandstone, the n.504 mule track winds up and a steep staircase forks into n. 536, crossing a thick oak woods.

The Menhir of Tramonti also know as the "Devil's stone" is the work of the ancient Ligurians and it has a now-lost sacred valence. Facing the Menhir, "Christianized" with an iron cross, are the remains of the "posa" where passing farmers set down the loads they carried on their shoulders for a moment's rest. (more…)

Monterosso malpasso

Path n. 509 : Monterosso–Soviore

Posted on 23 March 2017, in Blog

The path n. 509 leading in about 1 hour and 15 minutes from the historic village of Monterosso to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore is one of the oldest paths of the Eastern part of Liguria, as it was first used by the Etruscans and then by the Romans to reach, by the seaport of Montrerosso, the mysterious center of civilization of Monte Albereto, which stood beyond the Mount Soviore.

Throughout the Middle Age this trail had a great importance: in fact in 996 Emperor Otto III stopped at the Sanctuary of Soviore while travelling to Rome for his coronation.

The trail starts at the oratory of the Confraternity of Bianchi in the historical center of Monterosso, and as soon as you start walking you have to climb a steep staircase in the middle of vegetable gardens dominated by the cultivation of the "legendary" Monterosso Lemon and continuing you will go through the typical terraced olive groves of Cinque Terre. (more…)

Uva secca

The Cinque Terre’s sweet wine: from Rinforzato to Sciacchetrà

Posted on 20 January 2017, in Blog

In all of its 800 years of history, the wine production of the Cinque Terre has always been famous for the dessert wine, which over the years has assumed different names.
In the thirteenth century, it was born as Vernaccia, in the XVI is quoted as Vino Amabile (sweet wine), name that is conserved until the eighteenth century; later in the nineteenth century the name of Amabile becomes increasingly rare in favor of the title Rinforzato.
The last name that appears and is still used nowadays  is the term Sciacchetrà, which in the second half of the twentieth century replaced  the term of  Rinforzato.

To better understand the name changes in that period, from Amabile to Rinforzato and from Rinforzato to Sciacchetrà we must pay more attention to the wine-making techniques used  in Cinque Terre in the nineteenth century.
In fact, as can be understood  by the names given, it passes by a term which is more associated with taste and quality (Amabile) to names that refer to the wine-making procedures. (more…)