After the deluge ... Riomaggiore hugs the shore.

Stairways to heaven

Alison Stewart scales the cliffs of the Cinque Terre and finds villages returning to life after devastating floods.

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Happy trio ... the writer with her mother and husband at Burano.

And mother makes three

What happens when a seventysomething eschews escorted touring for an independent jaunt with family? Some might predict disaster. Dayle Green finds out.

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The secluded beach at Monterosso.

A five-star cliffhanger

Rosemarie Milsom works up a thirst hiking the rugged terrain of the Ligurian Coast's Cinque Terre.

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