The Cinque Terre are one of the places in Italy that can truly leave fortunate visitors speechless.
The Cinque Terre ( literally "Five Lands") are one of the places in Italy that can genuinely leave lucky visitors speechless. They are in Liguria, more precisely in the province of the city of La Spezia. They result from an intense fusion of historical architecture of unique charm, breathtaking environments behind the sea and a wonderful hinterland rich in culture, history and typical gastronomic products of the area. Those who visit these places cannot help but fall in love: nature and harmony with man. In 1997, UNESCO declared these five villages a World Heritage Site and the nearby town of Portovenere and the islands of La Spezia's archipelago: especially Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto.
Monterosso a Mare
Monterosso a Mare is a small town overlooking the blue waters of the Ligurian Sea. The village is situated right in a cove between the mountains and seems to almost climb between them to try to enjoy a spectacular view of the bay.
Even the Enlish Poet Lord Byron was fascinated and wrote a series of verses dedicated to these places. The arrival at the station of Monterosso gives a pleasant view of the sea and of the beach of Fegina. The village is not far away and is characterized by ancient narrow streets, stone architecture and fish restaurants. The seventeenth-century convent of the Cappuccini, rich in paintings and sculptures of the sixteenth century, overlooks the village like a postcard.
Going down along the coast towards east, we meet Vernazza, the second village immersed in the National Park of the Cinque Terre, characterized by rocky beaches and a deep blue coast.
Its hook shape generates a small beach more sheltered from the wind that at sunset (and not only) offers unique colors and emotions. So we find ourselves in the colorful square dedicated to Guglielmo Marconi, where buildings, umbrellas and brightly colored boats make the full aesthetic of the picturesque.
To visit the medieval remains of the Doria Castle (or also castle of Vernazza), which with its Cylindrical Tower preserves and defends the timeless history of this place.
Moving again along the coast in the direction of La Spezia, we arrive in Corniglia, the only town that does not have direct access to the sea, but that in compensation can offer a series of unique and rare views and panoramas even for an incredible territory like Italy.
The walks in the open air that can be done in these parts, even if slightly tiring, are worth the price of the ticket, especially on sunny, mild and windy days.
A little further down you will arrive to the village of Manarola, with its typical brightly colored architecture, painted in pink and orange, built overlooking the sea, between sky and sea, immersed in a context of terraces and huge Italian vineyards from which is produced the DOC wine Sciachetrà (or sciacchetrà) with its characteristic honey aroma. Spectacular views and trails await you, some overlooking the sea others completely immersed in the green.
Beautiful but delicate territory, there is to report the partial reopening of the so-called "Via dell'amore" (litterally "Love Road") after a landslide occurred several years ago.
Last village of this path of wonders, Riomaggiore, which constitutes the most southern part of the Cinque Terre. It is characterized by a tangle of medieval streets, surmounted by the homonymous castle, built in 1260 as a defense against Saracen attacks.
Noteworthy are also the marina and the church of San Giovanni Battista, patron saint of the town. Just during the patronal celebrations (June 24) is eaten the typical "salted rice cake", a traditional dish of these places, dating back to the sixteenth century and designed to be substantial, tasty and cheap at the same time.
Beyond the Cinque Terre: Porto Venere and the islands of the archipelago
In addition to the historic villages that make up the Cinque Terre, the islands of the Spezzino Archipelago and the town of Porto Venere add considerable value to this area of the province of La Spezia. Just the islands are of an exceptional naturalistic level and are characterized by rocky and jagged coasts and by an intense blue sea, streaked by an emerald green trend. Numerous are the beaches, the inlets and the caves where it is possible to make excursions, snorkeling and other underwater sports.
You can not fail to yield to the charm of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto and the city of Byzantine origin of Porto Venere surmounted by the Castle of Doria, visible from all over the city and considered one of the most important architectures of the ancient Maritime Republic of Genoa.