Cinque Terre: Vernazza

After exploring a little bit of Corniglia, we went to Vernazza, the neighbouring village. Train fare is 1.80 Euro from Corniglia Station, and the ride took less than 10 minutes.

Just in front of the station, there’s the main street, Via Roma, that is lined with little cafes, restaurants, shops, grocery stores as well as colourful houses and steps that lead to more cliff houses. Vernazza is packed with tourists, unlike the quiet Corniglia, but nonetheless, the village is beautiful.


Via Roma - Vernazza main roadVia Roma, Vernazza.

Shops, cafes and houses at hte main street.Shops, cafes and houses at the main street.

Via Roma runs to the  main square through Via G. Guidoni. The main square, known as Piazza Marconi, is where the small natural harbour is located.  Having a small harbour with an amphitheatre shape makes it the most quaintest of the five villages. Local fishermen dock their colourful boats here and unload their catch of the day that they will immediately sell to the restaurants around the village.

piazza marconi

piazza marconi

boats at Piazza Marconi



After spending time at Piazza Marconi, we walked up the trekking steps that lead to Monterosso Al Mare. We made it just to the top to view Vernazza from up the cliff.


Vernazza from top

Vernazza from top, amidst lemon trees.

Then we went down and climbed the opposite steps that lead to Corniglia. At first we wanted to walk all the way to Corniglia which is 1 and a half hour away but we skipped the idea because my shoes were not meant for hiking. And we actually have to pay 7.50 Euro to continue walking. We thought we just get down and take the train and pay 1.80 Euro instead. Cheaper and safer. ;P

The view was breathtaking. We glad that we climbed the cliff.

Vernazza from top (Corniglia side)

We had a nice lunch at a restaurant by the cliff which is called Bar Ristorante La Torre. The waiter, Andrea,  was friendly and recommended us nice lunch and learned some Malay Language from us. He wished us Selamat makang. Yup, Vernazza can be like Terengganu. Few minutes later his cook came and wished us Sala makan.


Spaghetti with seafood at La Torre.


view from la torre

We had a great time at Vernazza. Climbing up to the top to have the beautiful view and food was the best thing that we did here. If we ever visited Cinque Terre again, we will make sure to wear hiking boots and hike to all five villages.




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Cinque Terre: Corniglia

The Cinque Terre comprises of five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso al Mare (by order, if taking a train from La Spezia), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Evi and I had picked Riomaggiore earlier because we found one small cheap room to share but when our friend, Evelyn, decided to join us for this fun trip, we could not find a room that fit 3 persons at Riomaggiore that is within our lean budget. So we searched booking dot com and found a cheap apartment at Corniglia that can fit 3 persons.

From the train station, Evelyn who reached Corniglia earlier, told us to take the City Centro bus just outside the train station. We paid 2.50 Euro to the bus driver, but then found out later from Evelyn that we could get cheaper bus ticket from the small tourism office located inside the station. Alternatively, we can climb Lardarina, a long brick flight of more than 300 steps, but we were both not up to it as we had been travelling since morning and did not have the energy to climb up. We would be blue-black catching our breath. ;P


The village stretches along the main road, Fieschi Road (or Via Fieschi), and the houses have one side facing this road and the other facing the sea. Corniglia is characterised by narrow roads and a terrace in the rock from which all other four Cinque Terre’s villages, two on one side and two on the other, can be seen. The houses are lower set, and only more recently higher, similar to those of the villages of the hinterland.

My two travelling buddies, Evelyn and Evi, busy capturing photos at Via Fieschi.

Corniglia houses

Fieschi RoadNarrow Fieschi Road.

Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 metres high, surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces, the fourth side descends steeply to the sea.

Corniglia houses




The origin of the village dates back to the Roman Age as testified by the name, which finds its roots in Gens Cornelia, the Roman family to whom the land belonged. In the Middle Ages it was a possession of the counts of Lavagna, the lords of Carpena and of Luni. In 1254 Pope Innocent IV gave it to Nicolò Fieschi, who held it until 1276, when the village was acquired by the Republic of Genoa.

We spent only a short time discovering Corniglia the day we arrived and the next morning before going to Vernazza in the afternoon. As for food, we had pasta al pomodorro, lemon pie, sandwich with anchovies, bell pepper, eggplant and olive and of course not leaving behind, our favourite drinks; coffee and hot chocolate.

Here are more photos around Corniglia:

Corniglia Piazza.

corniglia-square2Having breakfast at the piazza.


pieHaving limoni (lemon) pie at the terrace by the cliff.

lemonLemon is one of the main crops at Cinque Terre.

neighbourhoodThe neighbourhood.









From Corniglia, we witnessed the sunrise over Manarola and ended the day witnessing a sunset over Monterosso. We will never forget the feeling nor the beauty.

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March Top 3 Commenters

Congrats to Sya, Imaisha and Hazural for being my March Top 3 Commenters. Each will receive my latest book, Fleeting Moments: Illustrated Haiku Poems sponsored by Oyez!Books.

Fleeting Moments

Please send your mailing address and telephone number to with the title March 2016 Top 3. Thank you ladies for making my blog merrier!

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Cinque Terre Dream

“My luggage is too heavy, I think I wanna leave it here and take few clothes with me. I don’t think dragging it along will do me good,”I broke the silence while Evi and I packed our luggage before we leave the guesthouse in Bologna for Cinque Terre. Evi looked at me and agreed right away. We thought that each our luggage would be lighter after selling some of our books at the fair, but that was not the case. We bought books and collected some brochures/postcards, and that certainly cover the weight of the books that we sold. After communicating with the guesthouse owner via Whatsapp, we left our luggages that we will collect in five days and paid 3 Euro.

Three days earlier,we bought our tickets to Cinque Terre (Corniglia, specifically) for 19.15 Euro each. If we buy on the day we leave, the fare would be more expensive. Or we might have to take a different route with more expensive fare.

From Bologna to Corniglia, we have to change train three times. As written on the ticket, we have to travel through Modena, Parma and Fornovo. We were not sure whether to get down at Modena or Parma, so we followed our instincts; get down at Parma. So, we did. So far, so good.

While waiting for next train to La Spezia.

A photo posted by Em – Illustrator, Malaysia. (@emilayusof) on

We waited at Parma Stazione for one hour for the connecting train to La Spezia. We boarded the train but we had doubts whether to get down at Fornovo or La Spezia. We both agreed to board down at Fornovo as we thought that maybe there’s another connecting train there.



We thought wrong. Fornovo station is just a small station, not an interchange station. So we had to wait for two hours for another train to La Spezia to arrive. We felt stupid, of course, because the only way to Corniglia is through La Spezia. ;P

We wandered outside the station and found a cafe. We had vegetable pies and coffee and took the chance to complete our previous sketching from Bologna.

Don’t really like it but that’ll do.

A photo posted by Em – Illustrator, Malaysia. (@emilayusof) on

Somewhere along the way from Fornovo to La Spezia, Evelyn (my previous travel partner to Arcidosso back in 2014), texted me that she already arrived at Corniglia. Poor girl had to wait more than two hours for us to arrive. But she really enjoyed the time waiting. She had good late lunch, coffee and went sight-seeing around the area.

We arrived at La Spezia Centrale around 5.30pm. From La Spezia, we had to take another train (Levanto bound) and boarded off at Corniglia. We passed by Riomaggiore and Manarola before reaching Corniglia.

So to sum it up; we took 3 regional trains: Bologna – Parma – La Spezia – Corniglia. And from Corniglia Station, we took a bus (City Centro) to Corniglia village center and paid 2.50 Euro. We found out later that we can buy the bus ticket at the tourist counter for 1.50 Euro.

After we settled our things in our tiny apartment, we went exploring the village.

Here!!!! Finally at 5 Terre.

A photo posted by Em – Illustrator, Malaysia. (@emilayusof) on

We, finally made it after dreaming about visiting Cinque Terre for years.

We explored Corniglia and Vernazza, two of five villages of Cinque Terre.We wanted to visit all but a full one day is certainly not enough to cover all. Well, we can do it quickly, hop in the train, get down, take photos, hop in the train again to the next station and so on until we cover all five villages but that is not what we have in mind. We like to take our time and enjoy, and yes, keep the other three villages for next time.

I will post about Corniglia and Vernazza in two separate postings later tomorrow.

Rome, Italy.
1.32am, 110416.


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BICBF 2016

I went to Bologna International Children’s Book Fair for the third time this year. Every time, I went crazy looking at picture books and illustrations. I bet you would to if you were there.

bicbf01Malaysia Pavilion organised by Perbadanan Kota Buku.

bicbf02Some of the titles by Oyez!Books.

bicbf03I was invited by Hunan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House to attend the launching of Tang Sulan’s picture book series, of which one of the books is illustrated by me; ‘The Other Side of the Bridge’. It was launched by the winner of Hans Christian Anderson Awards 2016, Mr. Cao Wenxuan from China. Miss Lim Lay Koon, International Rights Director dari Yusof Gajah Lingard Literary Agency (YGL) and Oyez!Books was also present to witness the auspicious event.




Winner of the Fiction of Ragazzi Award (Fiction): MON TOUT PETIT, text by Germano Zullo, illustrations by Albertine. Winner of Non-fiction: LIBROS PARA MAÑANA (Series),text by Equipo Plantel illustrations by Marta Pina, Mikel Casal, Joan Negrescolor & Luci Gutiérrez. Winner of New Horizons: TONGUE TWISTERS (Lisanak Hisanak), text by Fatima Sharafeddine and illustrations by Hanane Kai. Winner of Opera Prima: PACHO RADA, LA LÉGENDE!, text and illustrations by Johanna Benz.


This year, BICBF celebrated 50 years of Illustrations Exhibition. The exhibition “Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration, 50 Illustrators’ Exhibitions 1967-2016” told the story of half a century that has seen a community of artists, publishers and readers meet each year to share their great passion: books and reading. The narration of
five decades, in the company of illustrators that have made their debut at the Fair or participated in the exhibition before going on to achieve international fame.

“Artists and Masterpieces of Illustration. 50 Illustrators’ Exhibitions 1967-2016”: an exhibition and a publication that intends to record the evolution and the latest trends in illustrated books for children through the work of artists from all over the world. In Italy with Altan, creator of Pimpa, and Roberto Innocenti with the unmissable Rose Blanche; together with great masters of illustration, Bruno Munari, Iela Mari and Lele Luzzati, to artists such as Chiara Carrer, Fabian Negrin and Alessandro Sanna, and the very young; from Britain, Quentin Blake, illustrator of Roald Dahl, Tony Ross, who is adored by the very young for his Stories of a Princess Series, including “I want my Potty!”; from France, Jean Claverie, author of Little Lou, Little Lou, and Yan Nascimbene, the refined illustrator of Italo Calvino; from Prague, the grand dame of illustration, Kv?ta Pacovská; from the United States, Eric Carle, creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and David Macaulay; from Australia, Shaun Tan, with The Arrival, a pertinent story of migration; to the South Korean Suzy Lee with The Wave, a precious bookwithout words, a cult work for readers of all ages, just to name a few.

Here are more photos:

bicbf07Illustrations by Korean illustrators.

bicbf08Illustrations by Taiwan illustrators.

bicbf09Books from Germany,Country of Honour this year.



Best regards,
Emila, Corniglia,
Cinque Terre, Italy.




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