Monterosso

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Corniglia

Corniglia - Cinque terre - view

Unlike the other towns in the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not on the coast but rather on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, its position granting it a stunning view of the area. Around are vineyards and natural terraces that provide the town with wine and grain. To reach Corniglia, visitors can take a bus from the train station or brave the Lardarina, a brick staircase with nearly 400 steps.

Things to see

The first settlements of Corniglia date back to the Roman Age, the village expanding during the Middle Ages until it became what we see today. Narrow streets are lined with colorful houses, and remnants of Genovese fortifications that once protected the town from pirate raids can still be seen, most notably the tower near Piazza Fosso. Some other particular sights in Corniglia include the Church of San Pietro, built in the 14th century in the Gothic style but its interior decorated in the Baroque style. From the terrace of Santa Maria, it is possible to view the Marina di Corniglia, a little naturally occurring gulf filled with turquoise waters.

Vernazza

Vernazza - Cinque Terre - boats
Vernazza - Cinque Terre - view

Located along the coast of La Spezia is the gorgeous Vernazza, one of the five Cinque Terre towns.

This tiny fortified fishing village dates as far back as the 1st century A.D.. Vernazza was used as a naval base tasked with protecting the coast from pirate attacks, taking advantage of the natural moor created by the cliff arching into the sea.

The name Vernazza derived from a local grape variety: the Vernaccia.

Like the other towns in the Cinque Terre area, Vernazza experienced a sharp economic decline between the 17th and the 19th century. However thanks to the construction of the Genova–La Spezia rail line the town isolation ended and it started to prosper again. Vernazza returned to fishing, wine and olive oil making as main industries, remaining much the same as it has been all these centuries. It has no cars and it is still considered among the truest fisherman villages of the Riviera.

in 1997 the UNESCO named the Cinque Terre a World Heritage Site; a couple of years later the National Park of the Cinque Terre was created.

Things to see

Among the historical sights to see is the gorgeous Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, a 13th century Romanesque church near the edge of the water. It is worth a visit also the Doria Castle, built in the 15th century as a lookout tower to warn and protect the village from approaching pirates. It goes without saying that the natural sights are just as, if not more, breathtaking than the colorful town itself.

Manarola

Manarola - Cinque Terre - view
Manarola - Cinque Terre - day panoramaManarola - Cinque Terre - housesManarola - Cinque Terre - day view

The tiny lovely village of Manarola was built on the cliffs overlooking the Ligure Sea; it is the oldest of the five famous Cinque Terre towns.

Manarola traditional industries have always been wine-making and fishing; however in the last few decades tourism as grown exponentially especially during the summer time.

Visitors are welcome to stroll through the small medieval streets between brightly colored buildings, or to climb to the top of the hills to enjoy breathtaking views of the town and the sea. Near the city centre is located the beautiful Church of San Lorenzo, built during the 14th century, while in the lower part of the village tourists will find an ancient mill wheel that lies at the origin of Manarola’s name, in dialect it means literally “large wheel”.

Things to see

For the tourists who enjoy long romantic walks, there is the Via dell’Amore, a path approximately one kilometer long which runs along the coast and connects Manarola to Riomaggiore. Others interested in hiking will find trails and tours that lead to the hills and vineyards above the town.

Cinque Terre

Manarola - Cinque Terre - view
Vernazza - Cinque Terre - viewVernazza - Cinque Terre - boatsManarola - Cinque Terre - housesRiomaggiore - Cinque Terre - sea viewCorniglia - Cinque terre - viewRiomaggiore - Cinque Terre - sea

A large area located on the Italian Riviera in Liguria, the Cinque Terre spreads over lush hills and the turquoise coast, and encompasses the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The land, coast and villages are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The only ways to reach or explore Cinque Terre is by way of trains, ferries and hiking trails. Part of the appeal of the area is its relatively untouched and urbanization-free appearance, the villages having retained their rural charm throughout the centuries.

Things to see

Monterosso and Vernazza are the oldest villages, having been built during the 11th century. The others appeared later due to strong influences from the Republic of Genoa. These villages were relatively small, relying on fishing as their main industry, then later wine. During the 16th century, several forts and towers were built or renovated to defend against Turkish raids, a number of these structures still standing today.

The Cinque Terre area experienced a sharp decline during the 17th century, in part due to the villages’ isolation from the rest of the country. This did not change until the mid-1900s, when tourism developed and grew; today, the Cinque Terre National Park is one of the most popular attractions in Northern Italy, capitalizing on ecotourism and food & wine tourism