Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre

 

Cinque Terre, Italy

The Cinque Terre are five small villages on the “Costa Ligure of Levante”. The villages from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Since 1926 the Cinque Terre towns have been part of the province of La Spezia. This territory was long isolated and the characteristic Ligurian culture has been conserved.

The five villages were only reached by the outside world about one hundred years ago, when the railway line was built.

The chain of mountains that surrounds these villages runs parallel to the “Appennino
Mountains” and creates small insenature, steep valleys where the towns are situated. This makes for a unique landscape, different from the rest of the coast. The result of this geography is the typical houses Liguria, the narrow bands and the knoll in terrace built on the rocks.
The Cinque Terre is a National Park and territory protected by UNESCO.
This zone is characterized by the presence of typical steep slopes cultivated with vines thanks to terraces, unique witness of the transformation of the territory carried out by mans hard work.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso al Mare - Cinque Terre, Italy Monterosso al Mare is the most western town of the Cinque Terre and is protected by hills with vineyard and olive groves. The area is also famous for its lemon trees.
Over the centuries the village was accessible only by sea or by mule paths. Now these paths are used by hikers and provide fantastic views.
The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town.
Aurora tower, situated on the hill of San Cristoforo, divides the old medieval hamlet, from the new part of the village, developed along the Fegina beach. Old town is dominated by ruins of the Castle. The church of San Francesco has a painting of the Cambiaso and a “Crucifixion” attributed to Van Dyck.
Monterosso beach is the biggest of the Cinque Terre.
Aurora Tower, Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza - Cinque Terre, Italy Vernazza was founded around the year Thousand. The word “Vernazza” should come, according to some scholars, from the Latin adjective “verna”, whose meaning is “local, native”. This term was used also to indicate the wine “vernaccia”, produced by local residents, and from here the current name of the village should be born.
Beautiful architectural elements as arcades and portals are conserved in the historical centre, side streets are connected by steep stairs, small restaurants and cafes provide places for relax. In fact the main activities in Vernazza are nowadays connected with tourism, even if fishing and wine and olive tree growing are still present, as testimony of the strength of a centuries-old tradition.

Corniglia
To reach Corniglia, it is necessary to climb the Lardarina, a long brick flight of steps composed of 33 flights with 377 steps. The name of Corniglia comes from Roman family “Gens Cornelia” - owner of the place.

Corniglia - Cinque Terre, Italy Corniglia - Cinque Terre, Italy

All houses have one side facing the  road and the other facing the sea. The village is characterized by narrow roads and a terrace obtained in the rock. The old village develops along Via Fieschi. Nearby the parish church in Gothic style, dedicated to San Pietro, the remains of the old sighting tower are still visible.

Manarola was founded by the inhabitants of the probably Roman settlement of Volastra. Its name derives from the Latin “Manium arula”, that means a small altar dedicated to the “Mani”, Roman gods of the house.
Manarola is maybe the oldest town in Cinque Terre. 
Manarola - Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore - Cinque Terre, Italy Riomaggiore dates back to the VIII century, when a group of Greek fugitives from the persecution of Leone III Isaurico, found shelter here. The village is known for Riomaggiore wine, which can be tasted in local wineries and restaurants.

Riomaggiore could be reached by train, boat or car. The tiny harbor is scattered by many colorful fishing boats.

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Map of Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy

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