The Cinque Terre (Five Terraces) is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera (region Liguria) which until recently were linked only by mule tracks and accessible only by rail or water.
The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook
the Mediterranean Sea.
The breath taking views of the harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colours make this a memorable place to visit. Cinque Terre, 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.
Jewel of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is the biggest of the two streams which flow across the village. Along the charming road you will find the typical colorful houses, which seem to cling to one another.
The harbour is formed by a terraced promenade with boats hanging at the foot of a handful of coloured houses. Above on the hills you’ll find the terraces of vines.
The village to the southward, but strong winds due to the sea has caused a number of landslides of the hill. This is now a long cliff, connected with the village by 365 steps, numbered like the days of the year.
It is possible to admire the ancient “valley of mills ” which is now intensively cultivated.
Go to the Guvano beach for a wonderful swim.
The Vernazza ’s web of “carrugi ” (narrow lanes) and steep stairways converges in the main square overlooking the sea.
This is the centre of the village, where stands the church dedicated to Saint Margaret of Antiochia (1318) with its foundations in the sea. On the opposite side you have the Castle, once a strategic defence necessary to prevent pirates’ attacks.
While walking along Monterosso centre, you can linger for a while to drink a glass of “Sciacchetrà” dessert wine or go as far as the “Convent of the “Cappuccini” from where you can admire an incredible landscape.
Descending on the opposite side, you will reach the end of the village, dominated by an impressive sculpture of Neptune (1910), known as the “Giant ”.
HOW TO REACH CINQUE TERRE
To visit the fascinating Cinque Terre you need to drive up to La Spezia
At La Spezia you have two options:
you can catch a boat at the local harbor, where during high season (from April until October included) you can find special ferry boats for Cinque Terre;
or catch a special Cinque Terre express train at the train station. (Regional train from La Spezia to Sestri Levante).
For more detailed information regarding ferry boats time schedules, visit the website:
For the Cinque Terre express train time schedules, visit the website: here