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The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the region Liguria, in the northwest of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia, and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre area is a very popular tourist destination”, indicates Wikipedia.
Accommodation in the Cinque Terre is expensive, oversubscribed and often unremarkable, so it pays to seek out something special and book well in advance. According to Wikipedia “the villages of Cinque Terre were severely affected by torrential rains which caused floods and mudslides on October 25, 2011. Nine people were confirmed killed by the floods, and damage to the villages, particularly Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, was extensive”.
Riomaggiore is the first stop on many Cinque Terre visits. It is the most southern village of the five Cinque Terre, all connected by trail. The water and mountainside have been declared national parks.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338.
Unlike the other localities of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 meters high.
Vernazza’s name is derived from the Latin adjective verna, meaning “native”. The aptly named indigenous wine, vernaccia (“local” or “ours”), helped give birth to the village’s moniker.
Monterosso is the only village that has a proper strip of beach. Known for its lemon trees and plump anchovies served right off the boat, it’s the furthest north of the villages. The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is well used by tourists and locals.
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