Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Cinque Terre Coastline (La Spezia to Levanto)

Coast: Portovenere towards Riomaggiore

Coast: From Vernazza westwards

Coast: From Riomaggiore westwards towards Monterosso

The coastline between La Spezia towards Genova has steep cliffs with villages clinging to them.

In Canto III of his Purgatory, Dante compared the steepness and height of these cliffs with the Mountain of Purgatory which Dante and Virgil have to climb to attain entry to The Kingdom of Heaven.

"Meanwhile we had arriv'd
Far as the mountain's foot, and there the rock
Found of so steep ascent, that nimblest steps
To climb it had been vain. The most remote
Most wild untrodden path, in all the tract
'Twixt Lerici and Turbia were to this
A ladder easy' and open of access.

"Who knows on which hand now the steep declines?"
My master said and paus'd, "so that he may
Ascend, who journeys without aid of wine?"
And while with looks directed to the ground
The meaning of the pathway he explor'd,
And I gaz'd upward round the stony height,
Of spirits, that toward us mov'd their steps,
Yet moving seem'd not, they so slow approach'd."


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