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Photographer's Note

The Via dell' Amore (Lover's road) stretches over a kilometer of rocky coastline from Riomaggiore to Manarola. It is a promenade that connects two of the villages comprising the five known as Cinque Terre.
The history of the Via dell' Amore may be traced to 1920, when the miners of the Tameo Company built a gunpowder warehouse in Vaolungo for security reasons. Yet both the gunpowder warehouse and path were forgotten and wer not used until 1928, when another company came to Riomaggiore to drill an opening in the mountain in order to built a long tunnel towards La Spezia. Another safe location was needed for the gunpowder warehouse.
The technicians asked Mr. Vittorio Benevento, who lived in the area, for advice. "Vittorino" suggested the ravine towards Manarola, secretely knowning that a path to reach the gunpowder warehouse would also have to be buiuld. To encourage them, he gave them permission to cross through his land.
Once the path and gunpowder warehouse were built, the population began to think that the path leading to the two warehouses could also be extended so as to intersect at the railway platform built in Batternara. The men from the two villages engaged in lenghty discussions and came to an agreement. Each man was to contribute a certain number of workday to the project.

Certainly nothing would have come of the project had it not been for the local population's determionation, as well as the courage and unconventional nature of Alessandro Andreoli Lissandrin. Known as a shopkeeper by the townfolk, Alessandro considered himself a poet and orator by vocation, as well as a lover of that which is unusual and beautiful.
Ocassionally, Lissandrin buthcered and sold beef at alow cost, saying, "enjoy it, my townspeople." Sometimes he engaged a musical band to perform in the town at his expense, to the great joy of the town's youths. He wrote his poems on yellow butcher shop paper and read them to his customers. He made speeches to groups of fun-loving youths that he would invite to dinner when he wasn't able to sell his lamb heads and livers.
It was Lissandrin who told the podesta, "I have enough men to break through the Vaolungo wall and if the commune won't pay for it, I will, but the path must be built."

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Additional Photos by Marque Berger (rio_de_janeiro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 82 N: 410] (2091)
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