Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre form one of the most unspoilt areas of the Mediterranean and one of the most extended areas in Liguria. They are a kingdom of nature and wild scents maintained as in the past.
Visiting the Cinque Terre means to visit five villages suspended between sea and earth, clinging on to cliffs and surrounded by green hills; it means to know the history of whom, for centuries, has fought against difficult land but it also means to taste the results of this millenarian struggle and in particular wine and produce.
Visiting these villages means to learn about the culture of the dry-stone walls and of the vineyard, of the fishermen and of their fishing nets, of the steep valleys and of their paths.
Who visits Cinque Terre can choose between a dive in the sea or a hike on the hills, between a walk in the narrow alleys called "carruggi" or a boat trip, a pilgrimage to a sanctuary or a seafood lunch.
It is a landscape unique in the world in which man and nature live together in harmony since the beginning of time.

Monterosso: Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost of the Cinque Terre and is reached by walking along the most difficult part of the "Sentiero Azzurro" footpath.
The village is protected by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves and is surrounded by vegetation. Its beautiful beaches, steep rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, make this one of the most charming resorts on the Ligurian Riviera of the east.
The medieval tower "Aurora", located on the hills of the Cappuccini, separates the ancient part of the village from the more modern part. In the church of Saint Francis "San Francesco" works of great importance such as the Crucifixion, believed by many to have been painted by Van Dyck, are preserved.

Vernazza: A path with breathtaking views winding along Mediterranean groves and partly deserted fields and vineyards, reaches its peak on the route leading to Vernazza.
This village, founded around the 1st Century, in time acquired deep-rooted maritime traditions. Some examples of excellent architecture, such as loggias, arcades and portals are evidence of a standard of living that was economically and socially superior to that of the other villages of the Cinque Terre.

Corniglia: A rocky promontory at the foot of a terraced vineyard. More concentrated on agriculture than on fishing, this farming community is very similar architecturally to inland agricultural villages. The parish church of Saint Peter, 'San Pietro', built in 1334 on the ruins of an old 11th century chapel, is one of the most beautiful, Gothic-Ligurian style monuments to be found in the Cinque Terre. It has been subsequently renovated but still retains a baroque overlay. Under the churchyard there is a black stone building with Gothic arches which is traditionally thought to be the ancient seat of the Fieschi family.

Da Manarola: There is a very beautiful footpath called the Lovers' Pathway, "La Via dell'Amore", which starts in Manarola. This high winding footpath, The Lovers' Pathway, along the coast is a thirty-minute walk from Riomaggiore. This is a very ancient village, but it is difficult to give an accurate account of its history due to the lack of clear historical information. In a dominant position, overlooking the centre of the village, is the church built in a Gothic style in 1338. Sheltered in a deep gorge between two promontory rocks, is the little port.

Riomaggiore: Riomaggiore is the easternmost of the Cinque Terre and is located in the narrow valley of the "rio Maior", along whose course the village was born. Though maintaining its fishing and agricultural roots, tourism has become very important to the economic life of the village over the last few decades, partly due to its easy access from La Spezia
The birth of the village, according to tradition, dates back to the 8th Century, when it was founded by group of Greek refugees who escaped the religious persecution of the Byzantine Emperor, Leone III 'L'Isaurico'. The earliest historical information concerns its transfer from the hands of the Fieschi family to the Republic of Genova in 1276. The village has an urban layout made up of a series of footpaths which follow the outline of the land. These steep footpaths allow direct access to the upper floors of some of the houses, the oldest of which are tower-like and built vertically in parallel clusters. Overlooking the village is the parish church of Saint John the Baptist, 'San Giovanni Battista', built in 1340 by the Bishop of Luni. In 1870, the facade began to crumble and was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Nearby is the house where Telemaco Signorini stayed on a number of occasions after 1870. Characteristic features of the village were portrayed in many of his paintings. Down below is the 16th Century "Oratory of the Disciplined" while high up on the opposite side of the village are the remarkable ruins of the 15-16th Century castle where the old cemetery was situated. There is a very beautiful footpath called the The Lovers' Pathway, "La Via dell'Amore", which starts in Riomaggiore.

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