Cinque Terre offers a remarkable kaleidoscope of regions and experiences for all visitors. It was recognized in 1997 by the Unesco Mankind’s World Heritage, are today a National Park and Protected Marine Area with the aim of protecting this great cultural heritage and natural environment. The native people of these places had agricultural origins and lived on the hills. The Italian Riviera enjoys a balmy climate and famous for its flowers and fresh food markets. It draws in a crazy 2.0 million visitors a year to walk, boat and train their way through its dramatic cliffs and pretty coastal villages. Cinque Terre has been through a few changes over the years-From five sleepy Italian fishing villages to one of the most famous coastal landscapes in the world, but it still looks every bit as exotic as you’d imagine. Over centuries, generations have carefully worked to create this monument in landscape architecture represented by terraced vineyards alternate with strips of olive trees and where man has abandoned the soil, the Mediterranean bush has taken over again, with round euphorbia bushes, white and pink cystus and the agaves that dot the landscape and heady, spicy perfume of the eternal flower. The breathtaking sight of harbors far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colors make this a memorable holiday.
The Cinque Terre are five rainbow-bright villages – Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore – located on the rocky coastline of the Riviera di Levante and these villages can bolster the most jaded of spirits. Clinging dramatically to the steep cliffs, these villages are linked only by an ancient footpath known as the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Path), which offers spectacular views of the rocky coastlines and terraced vineyards that produce the local dry white Cinque Terre wines. The footpath also provides access to secluded beaches. The most famous track of the Cinque Terre is the “Via dell’Amore” or “Lovers’ Lane”, connecting Manarola to Riomaggiore and partially cut out of the steep cliffs overlooking the sea.
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso is in an ancient village located atop a hill, offering amazing panorams to all who venture here. The main tourist attractions are the Old Castle, the Church of Saint John the Baptis,t and the Convent of the Capuchin. The modern town stands at the foot of the Fenigia Hill, and boasts ruggedly beautiful beaches and natural areas. Finally, the Statue of Neptune, called the Giant, majestically guards the coastline from on high.
Vernazza features a picturesque small port, evidence of its ancient maritime traditions. The old town bears defensive structures, elegant architecture, decorative portals and elaborate colonnades running between the narrow lanes convergin on the main piazza, adjacent to the small port. The Parish House of Saint Mary of Antioch, the Doria Castle and the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Reggio are Vernazza's main tourist attractions.
Corniglia is located on the top of a promontory, where the people produce excellent wines, such as the Cinque Terre DOC, the Pollenza, and the very well-known Sciacchetrà. The so-called Givano Beach, a famous nudists' beach, lies below.
Manarola is positioned at the top of a cliff that seems to tumble down into the sea; it is a fine example human manipulation of a harsh environment that is now made up of generous soil, terraces and vineyards and orchards. Tourists can enjoy awe-inspiring landscapes from the Punta Bonfiglio headland, or from the churchyard of Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute di Volastra'.
Riomaggiore is Cinque Terre's most famous town, as well as the closest town to La Spezia. This is the start the zone's famous trekking route, dug into the rock in the early 20th century, and leading to Manarola where we have the famous Via dell'Amore or "Way of Love". Another route not to be missed is the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail), traversing the National Park of le Cinque Terre.