Cinque Terre ( or the 5 villages ) is a part of the north coast of Italy, Costa Ligure of Levante. Italian’s first National Park since 1999 , but Unesco World Heritage from 1997. Cinque Terre is the smallest national park with 4300 acres and 5000 permanent inhabitants.
Accessibility : From La Spezia ( the closest city ), there are trains to Cinque Terre , first stop Riomaggiore, then Manarola, Coriglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. It e recommended to go by train, the car is not allowed inside of National Park and you have to park on the main road. Cars are only allowed up near the main road and there is very limited parking available.
Trains are very often and usually crowded , but clean. One ticket from a station to another one is 4€, but Italy offers Cinque Terre Tourist Card for one day or 7, which allows you to travel between the villages without any restrictions.
Villages are famous for their isolation. Far away from the crowded city you’ll find another world where people know each other and work for their own business, treating visitors as their relatives. After admiring the breath taking views of the sea and walk on the colorful streets……look up! i’ll let you discover this one.
Many of us think that main activity in the village is fishing, but actually the only village that used fishing as its main industry was Monterosso, the mountainsides of the Cinque Terre are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives.
The name of the village comes from Rio Maior, an old river now covered. The main street is Via Colombo and also from here starts Via del Amore, the most famous part of Sentiero Azzurro, a footpath between villages ; it takes 20 minutes to reach Manarola.
For the moment Via del Amore is closed and expected to be open again in 2018.
Riomaggiore is the best place to book your accommodation. Is the most crowded place for visitors and inhabitants (1500 out of 5000 permanent inhabitants ).
Manarola is the calmest and magic village. The name comes from “Manium arula” a small altar dedicated to Mani, roman god of the house. Other sources say that it derives from the words “magna roea”, which means “a big mill wheel”. The population of Manarola, Italy is 398 according to the GeoNames geographical database.
For professional photos u have the Cemetery and Nessum Dorma ( a terase in lower front of the cemetery ). But also u can try the walking path of marina.
I wanted to explore a bit and I kept right from the Cemetery ; I ended up in the vineyard ..THE BEST SUNSET EVER !
Romantic view in the front , village on the left, green all over, sound of the waves.. . Imagine urself with the loved one and a bottle of Italian wine…ahh!
Are you ready for Corniglia? The train station is connected with the city center by “Lardarina”, a 377 steps footpath. Dont think is too much, the view will take all the money.
The name of Corniglia comes from the roman family owner of the place.
In the city center you’ll find the parish church dedicated to Saint Peter, which dominates the main square of Corniglia. Behind it there is Saint Mary’s Terrace , a panoramic view point where you can admire Manarola.
“This term was used also to indicate the wine vernaccia, produced by local peasants, and from here the current name of the village should be born.
First documents about Vernazza date back to the year 1080, when it was written a document which talked for the first time about a village called Castrum Vernatio.
This name witnesses that Vernazza was already a fortified town, and we know that Vernazza was one of the main port from where ships against pirates left.” http://www.vernazza.fr/en/history/
Second large village (aprox. 1000 inhabitants ) is , by my opinion, the most interesting village. There is a magic that makes you feel calm, you can look at the sea for hours and not be bored.
Monterosso al Mare
Montersosso has the largest beach from all the villages. It splits in two: the new part (Fegina) and the medieval. These two parts are linked by an underground tunnel.
The village is named Monterosso because the ruling family used to have red hair. “Monte dei rossi” means “Mountain of the ginger-haired”.