With an interesting theme by a new host for the Lens-Artists Challenge — Sofia Alves of Photographias — we’re exploring the idea of looking up and down this week. And one of our favorite towns — Manarola — in Cinque Terre, Italy, came to mind. Although we visited on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year during mid-day lunch time, we have fond memories of what we saw both up and down.
In America, one must be something, but in Italy, one can simply be.Pietros Maneos
Arriving by bus in this quaint seaside down (one of five in Cinque Terre), we were directed by the driver to look up — above the rooftops of the town where views of people and everyday life came into focus: patios with a mishmash of flowerpots, a man working his terraced garden on a steep slope, and laundry out to dry. The way Manarola has been for many, many years.
But when we looked down, glimpses of rooftops and walls painted the colors of the Mediterranean — with a touch of blue, blue waters beneath and beyond — unfolded before us, and we prepared to scale the mountainside to enjoy all views.
As we took the rocky stairs and bridges downward, we could see vacationers and residents enjoying a secluded alcove and refreshing waters.
Boats bound together wished they could join their cousins out at sea.
When I look down, I just miss all the good stuff, and when I look up, I just trip over things.
From the bottom, we saw what we came to see: boxlike homes in orange and yellow and pink and gray — iconic colors of Cinque Terre that have charmed visitors and residents alike for hundreds of years.
And when we took in the whole of the town from a bottom rung vantage point, we saw terraces at the top with underlying box homes stacked one against another. Underneath it all, rock walkways led us in and among shops and stalls selling mementos.
Always remember to smile and look up at what you got in life.Marilyn Monroe
It’s not until you reach a facing hillside and stand on a stone walkway that you can look both up and down. And that’s where you take your postcard picture, the one you want to remember: people, houses, and terraced gardens above quiet boats in blue waters. Marvelous Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy.
For more glimpses of ups and downs, check out Photographia from Sofia Alves. There’s lots to enjoy no matter how you view the entries.
Rusha & Bert