The Cinque Terre (the Five Lands) is a very beautiful National Park in Italy attracting millions of tourists every year.
Main tourist attractions:
- Five very beautiful, vividly coloured villages located on cliffs overlooking the sea.
- Hundreds of walking trails passing through the virgin landscape with very beautiful nature and breath-taking scenery.
- Old castles, old walls and other ancient structures.
- Plenty of small beaches that fit every taste, including wild and secluded ones.
THE FIVE VILLAGES
Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the Cinque Terre, the first which you meet coming from La Spezia. The small town, coloured with the typical Ligurian colours, is made up of Genoese tower houses.
Manarola is the second village of the National Park. It is just 500 metres away from Riomaggiore, and tourists enjoy walking the trail hewed in a rock back in the 1920s. The small town of Manarola rises up in the valley of Groppo stream. The multi-coloured houses, made up of the typical Genoese tower houses, overlook each other on the main street, called Via Discovolo, obtained by the surfacing of the waterway.
Corniglia is the only village of the Cinque Terre which is not directly placed on the sea, rising on top of a rocky promontory which is one hundred meters high, surrounded by vineyards located on typical Ligurian terraces. Corniglia is probably the quietest village of Cinque Terre because it’s the most difficult one to access. Located high on the hill it is the only Cinque Terre village that cannot be reached by boat. There is a train station, however, but it’s located down by the sea.
If arriving by train, there is a couple of hundred stairs to climb to get to the village.
By many, Vernazza is considered to be the most striking village of Cinque Terre. Already in the Middle Ages, it was economically and socially developed and still today this is shown by its several valuable architectural buildings. Vernazza itself is a colourful little village bustling with life. There are several stunning viewpoints from the Cinque Terre trail, some 5-10 minutes before you reach the village coming from Monterosso. Even if you are not hiking the whole trail, you could walk to these viewpoints from Vernazza.
Monterosso is the largest and busiest of the Cinque Terre. This lovely town is surrounded by enchanting rolling hills decorated with vineyards and olive groves. Stone steps take you from the village old center to the port and seaside promenade. Monterosso is the most visited village in Cinque Terre, mainly due to its sandy beach. Monterosso has the only somewhat noteworthy sand beach in Cinque Terre, so it attracts many tourists in summer.
WALKING THE FIVE VILLAGES
In the past, you could hike the whole trail from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, but due to mudslides a few years ago, the paths between Corniglia and Manarola and between Manarola and Riomaggiore are often closed, so check before setting off as you may have to take a different route.
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