A pretty mixture of sharp hillsides, terraced vineyards, painted villages, tiny fishing harbors and medieval castles. This is the superb richness of Cinque Terre, a land renowned worldwide for its beauty. The area can easily be reached by the little trains that run along the coast, or with they tourist boats (from Easter to September) or through a dense web of hiking paths that range from the famous Lover’s Walk to the most challenging paths that will have you climbing straight up along steps simply cut into the earth.
The influence of fishing and the sea is readily evident in the small streets and piazzas of the Cinque Terre.
Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore – these are the names of the five most scenic villages in Liguria. Already populated in past times, these villages have developed their present look thanks to a persistent human work. Over centuries, people have wisely built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rocky, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the Sea. The wonderful views of harbors far below the wild but welcoming coastline along with the medieval fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colors make this a memorable place. Planning a holiday in Tuscany or central Italy we recommend in your busy plans to include a visit to this unique area – and enjoy it inside and out by organizing a hiking tour, a sailing trip or a personalized scuba dive off of the coast. The villages are still populated by locals, and you can also take the opportunity to rent a holiday home in one of them, to experience the true life still full of traditions and local uses.
The best way to explore this appealing coastal stretch is probably on foot, so that an amazing panorama will always accompany you. Numerous footpaths link Monterosso al Mare with the other villages of the Cinque Terre. The most attractive walk is the Sentiero Azzurro from Monterosso to Riomaggiore (Blue Walk, approx.. 12km).
A trip to the Cinque Terre may also represent your chance to live the Mediterranean Sea by boat. We recommend going sailing accompanied by a skipper (you will be able to admire some glimpse that you could never see from the land) but you should also try fishing with a local fisherman, on a fish boat. It may turn in a once in a life experience, that you will never forget!