Five villages. Rugged beauty.
The Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. In each of the 5 towns, colorful houses and ancient vineyards cling to steep terraces, fishing boats bob in harbors and trattorias turn out seafood specialties along with the Liguria region’s famous sauce, pesto.
Visitors to this district will be fascinated by the beauty of these five small villages, namely: Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Each town has its own identity and feel, despite all of them being within a few miles of coast line. Last autumn I visited three of these five villages.
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".
Riomaggiore is beautiful either on sunny or cloudy day
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.
Happy Spritz Day!
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'.
Leisure time is devoted to the night stroll, wandering lazily together up and down the main street, looking for the perfect pasta and tiramisu. After five days in town — sitting on a bench, gelato in hand, enjoying the endless "ciaos" and parade of neighbors, — I feel a part of the scene.