We’re spending two days in Cinque Terre– five villages along the Italian coast. These little towns have the charm of every Italian village we’ve seen, with the added benefit of clinging to hills and cliffs that dip down into the Mediterranean Sea.
While we came like most others for the sunshine and the beaches, we’ve found we’re drawn to the churches.
Though we didn’t set out in this direction, churches have become a theme for us this month. And we were delighted to find several open in Cinque Terre. The church elders may recognize how welcome a cool place for quiet reflection can be to tourists.
When I saw a small sign pointing the way to the Cappuccini Church, I was intrigued. Did they serve coffee? We veered off the main drag to go see. How far could it be?
The trail went up. And up. The path turned narrow and rough. It curved around bends. Always up. This church was not for the faint of heart. Instead of biking to heaven, we truly felt this might be hiking to heaven!
Finally we received a sign – well two of them actually. One was the statue of a monk with a dog. Another sign on a wall that looked a castle armament provide some history. Around another two bends – up only another hundred yards or may be two hundred – there it was. Chiesa Cappuccini. And it was open.
We walked in, closing the door tightly as the sign requested. And then we heard it. The sound of men singing. We had stumbled into an enclave of Capuchin monks. We sat and listened. We could not see them, but their voices filtered into the sanctuary, spreading peace in that space.