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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