AEGEE-Genova goes to the middle of nature

By | June 21, 2014 at 3:30 pm | European Events | Tags: , , , ,

Between the 30th May and 1st of June, AEGEE-Genova organized an inter-regional meeting where people from different antennae took part: AEGEE-Bari, AEGEE-Bergamo, AEGEE-Bologna, AEGEE-Cluj-Napoca, AEGEE-Milano, AEGEE-Padova, AEGEE-Pisa, AEGEE-Roma, AEGEE-Siena, AEGEE-Torino and  AEGEE-Udine sent at least one member to represent them.

“And in the boat of wine we will sail on the reef/emigrants of laughter with nails in the eyes/’till the morning will grow so to be harvested/brother of carnation and girl/lord of the rope, rotten by water and salt/that tie and bring us to a creuza de mä.” sings Fabrizio De André in “Creuza de mä”.

De André may sing this way, strolling on the renowned “Creuza de ma”, the old mule tracks that – stumbling among the cliffs and the harsh shrubs of our land, Liguria – crawl up the terraced hills of the highland or dive, with thousands of shades, in the blue-green sea.

In order to find again these old landscapes, AEGEE-Genova, moved by the excitement to discover and rediscover a bit of these scents and colours that characterize so deeply our region, decided to organize a weekend dedicated to the natural beauty of the hills and the sea, perfectly matched with entertainment and drenched in AEGEE spirit.

Our dearest destination is “Cinque terre” (five lands) an enclosure of 5 villages, named UNESCO world heritage in 1997. From the very beginning our participants were eager to take part in the event, where many antennae met in spite of the distance that separated them. All arrived by train, on highways or….very alternative means of transport! The meeting point chosen was Monterosso al Mare, the most westward among the “lands” , renowned due to its defensive tower “Torre Aurora” and its Giant, namely the marble figuring of Neptune, 14 m high.

We decided to take advantage of some late comers to enjoy the beach in front of the station, the largest one in the entire area. The meeting between oldies and newbies took place in an incredibly joyful atmosphere, made up of jokes and gags concerning the “sporty moment” that was going to come.

The next stop was Vernazza from which, after a tour around the typical pastel-coloured small port, we climbed up a 2 km long path. Our way was long, at least 40 minutes spent between steps carved in the rock and impracticable climbs, surrounded by the lush greenery.

In the end, the Church of “Nostra Signora del Reggio” housed us, with its big garden and immediately the run towards the rooms or the showers began, while the organizers started to prepare the dinner and the after-dinner program.

Across the centuries, many literates honoured the well known wine produced in “Cinque terre” and we decide to do so as well! After classic Italian songs played on the guitar and games, the night cheerfully passed… and soon we realized that the following day we would have to face a long slope and the journey in the missing “lands”. After breakfast, based on home-made biscuits and many coffees, the slope seemed to be harder than expected… nevertheless, we managed to take the first train to Riomaggiore, the most southern part of Cinque Terre.

The hike along the burg allowed us to discover new and characteristic glimpses of the coastline, like a stairway hollowed out in the rock, that brought us to the burg’s highest point and gave us the chance to cherish one of the most breathtaking landscape ever. After taking many photos, the fellowship moves to Manarola, where the trails guided us to the renowned S. Lorenzo church, laying in the shade of the typical terraced hill. After a dive from the deck in order to try out the icy – but crystalline – water of the sea, we wandered around the old town center looking for some food till we found the typical focaccia or the so-called “paper corned of fried fish”, a tradition food of harbor towns.

The new climb towards the Church was faster, proof that we were ready for the most extreme sports! The evening got by with songs, plays, obstacle courses and… the White Party! Every participant, having a white t-shirt and a permanent marker, moved like a whiteboard, ready to get written with whatever kind of message the other might have imagined! The night was awesome!

The last day came, when we had to leave the church and unwillingly to take our luggage and wait for the departure. Once again, our last pathtook us to Monterosso, where we decide to spend our last hours under the hot sun. It was time to say good-bye but nevertheless there were still people who took a last minute dive into the crystal clear sea, who went around the old town center in order to take the some snapshots or the hungry ones that wanted to find something good to eat.

Our wait for the train become a real open-air concert, where De André’s words, through his beloved songs, rang out in the air. Our weekend reached the end, but these few days surely left their mark on everyone with the lopsided pastel-coloured houses, the scent of saltiness, the sound of the waves smashing against the cliffs and new friendships that, once again, prove that bonds are stronger than distance. Perfectly matching the AEGEE spirit!

Written by Concetta Sorvillo, AEGEE-Genova 

Translated by Sonia Sommariva, AEGEE-Genova

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