THE CINQUE TERRE, LITERALLY THE FIVE LANDS
Favorite thing: The Cinque Terre , literally the Five Lands, is a stretch of Ligurian coast made up of five villages built right where the rocky land finishes and the sea begins.
MONTEROSSO - VERNAZZA - CORNIGLIA - MANAROLA – RIOMAGGIORE
This location is famous for its topography of the coast with
rocky promontories dramatically tumbling towards the water .
Behind them, a bewitched backdrop with hillsides covered with vineyards, olive
groves, lemon trees. This landscape isn’t natural, but is the result of
centuries of human hands which worked hard to carve out of the hills and
mountains to get some metres of land to cultivate.
To escape the many invasions that occurred here during the medieval time, locals built these villages. In particular the oldest one, Monterosso, in a position to be more isolated and protected.
The isolation remained for ages until the railway was built to connect La Spezia with Genova (Genoa) in the 19th C.
The only path which linked all the five hamlets was a mule track which now has been turned in a footpath known as SENTIERO AZZURRO .
HOW TO GET HERE
The best way to reach this beautiful part of Italian territory is by train.
There is a central train station in each of the 5 hamlets. It is possible also
to use cars but in this case, be ready to spend hours to find a parking area,
usually far from the centre of these villages.
WHEN TO VISIT THIS AREA
To enjoy your visit here at the best, it is best to avoid weekends from
April to October.
If you can’t change your plan and have to choose between a Saturday or a Sunday during that period, it is probably better to go on a Saturday.
If you would like to sunbathe but you don’t want to have a crowd, you absolutely need to avoid coming here during Italian bank holidays !!!
Here is the list of periods to avoid:
- Easter and the Monday Easter
- 25 April (our Liberation day)
- 1 May (Labour day)
- 2 June (our Republic day)
- 15 August (Ferragosto)
If you can’t change your plan and have to stay here during a weekend of a bank holiday, Think positive!
You are in one of the most beautiful part of Italy, so it is normal for it to be crowded.
Bring extra patience with you and enjoy it!
These five villages are part of the Cinque Terre National Park and all together
are listed in the Unesco World Heritage.
The five villages
Favorite thing: There are five villages to the Cinque Terre. Their names are:
Monterosso al Mare
Each one is different and I have tried to summarize my impressions of them in the "Things to do" Tips. You might also want to check out the more precise individual pages for more information.
Fondest memory: The view from our terrace in Vernazza
The Cinque Terre Card
Favorite thing: The Cinque Terre Card is your entrance card for the hiking path #2 from Monterosso al Mare to Riomaggiore (and/or vice versa). It also includes all trainrides between La Spezia and Levanto for the period of validity, which is either 1, 3 or 7 days.
In 2006 the rates were as follows:
- Eur 5.20 (1 day )
- Eur 12.40 (3 days)
- Eur 19.50 (7 days)
The tickets can be obtained at the entrances of the hiking paths or at the local tourist offices or train stations. You get some very useful information along with it!
Golfo dei Poeti
Favorite thing: The part of the Mediterranean Sea that flanks the Cinque Terre is called the Golfo dei Poeti, which means the Gulf of Poets. It is called so, because many poets have lived and worked there, amongst them Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, D'Annunzio, Marinetti, Pavese, Montale, Dickens, Ruskin and Woolf, just to name a few.
The Gulf stretches from La Spezia on even farther than Cinque Terre.
Since Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage, part of the coastal region (I think it is 2 km) is under protection as well.
Fondest memory: Celebrating my husband's birthday with him!
Romantic and Enriching
Favorite thing: Allan and I went shopping seperately in the town of Levento because we were purchasing gifts for each other. We ran into each other and kind of hid what we were doing....it was a sweet moment.
In the summer for my birthday, we went to an Italian restarurant back home, and Allan gave me a lovely diamond necklace from a Jewelery Store in Levanto (he purchased that day ). It is so special to me.
Fondest memory: A long, romantic walk that Allan and I took after a three-hour meal the last night in Italy in Levante (Levanto). It was a beautiful night, and we had explored the Cinque Terre, gone to the beach at Levante (Levanto), gone to the romantic ristorante, and then this lovely walk.
Ah, yes.....Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Hike of the Cinque Terre
Favorite thing: Hiking all of the Cinque Tterre - it may be long and hard going at times but the views are fantastic. We parked the car at Riomaggiore and took the train to Monterosso and walked back to the car.
The levels parts meandering through the olive groves help your legs to recover from the uphill bits - more pics in the travelogueRelated to:
- Hiking and Walking
All villages are built in terraces
Favorite thing: Some of the villages and towns along the ligurian coast are built into the slopes of the hills of the coastline and every little spot was used to build houses, small gardens or stairs to walk up and down.
Even the beach-promenade is built in different levels, as you may see on my picture, that shows the beach-boulevard of Camogli.
On "groundfloor" you will see the beach and the changing-cabins
On the " 1st floor " - where you see the umbrellas of the gardenrestaurants, you have the boulevard to take a walk and enjoy the lovely sceneryRelated to:
- Road Trip
Discover your roots
Favorite thing: Wherever your ancestors may be from, it is a great thing to go and find your roots. The picture is of fellow VT member leostarico standing on the street named for his great-grandfather. He was exhilarated!
Favorite thing: In the westermost area of the Ligurian Riviera are the beautiful Cinque Terre fishing villages clinging to the hill slopes and hiding in picturesque inlets. They once were only accessible by boat but are now linked by train. The best way to see them though is to hike along the old mule track linking the five villages.
In the mountains
Fondest memory: Visit the little places in the mountains. It's really beautiful there, great landscape, beautiful places l, friendly people ....Related to:
- Family Travel
The hotel is nice, quiet position, very nice rooms... polite personnel-the majority of them. The...more
Via Santuario 114, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, 19017, Italy
Good for: Business
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Business
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