It is called Cinque Terre to a portion of coastline formed by five villages in the province of La Spezia, bathed by the Ligurian Sea in Liguria. The Cinque Terre extends from Punta Mesco to Punta di Montenero, and includes the towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
This region, thanks to its geographical characteristics, is one of the main attractions of the Ligure Riviera. Its origin is a very particular orographic context, which gives origin to a mountainous landscape constituted by different strata or "terraces" that descend towards the sea with a steep slope. The hand of man, over the centuries, has modeled the terrain without altering the delicate ecological balance, using those declining terraces to develop a particular agricultural technique designed to make the most of the disposition of the land.
In 1997, at the request of the Province of La Spezia, the Cinque Terre, together with Portovenere and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, were declared World Heritage Sites by Unesco.
Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost and most populated of the Five Lands. There are also the most extensive beaches in the region. Monterosso is located in the center of a small natural gulf, protected by a modest artificial breakwater.
Vernazza is situated on a small promontory and slopes towards the sea, and is only accessible by a road that descends from the provincial highway. Its small port guarantees a safe place, in a natural inlet that allows the berthing of small and medium boats.
Corniglia is located in the center of the Cinque Terre, and is the smallest of the five. It differs from the rest of the towns in the region in that it is the only one that does not connect directly with the sea, but is located on a promontory of about one hundred meters, surrounded by vineyards distributed in the characteristic terraces in the side that looks towards the sea. To access Corniglia it is necessary to ascend a long staircase known as Lardarina, consisting of 33 sections and a total of 382 steps, or go along the road that connects it to the train station. In addition, Corniglia is linked to Vernazza by a suggestive walk halfway between the sea and the mountain. Corniglia is the only one of the 5 villages from where you can see the other 4.
Manarola is located on a hill, the village of Manarola extends through the valley, enclosed between two rocky spurs, and descends towards the sea to harbor a small harbor. Manarola is the second smallest town of the Cinque Terre, after Corniglia.
Riomaggiore is the easternmost of the Five Lands. The historic center, whose original nucleus dates from the 13th century, is located in the valley of the Maggiore River.
The best way to get to know this place is by walking on the waterfront. However, it presents steep steps and slopes, which, accompanied by a magnificent scenery, make it the most adventurous option for the traveler. Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned, not everyone can make the journey in this way. For these people, it is recommended to travel by train or boat.
The travel time by train between the five villages of Cinque Terre:
Monterosso - Vernazza: 4 minutes
Vernazza - Corniglia: 4 minutes
Corniglia - Manarola: 5 minutes
Manarola - Riomaggiore: 6 minutes
Cinque Terre Footpaths
MONTEROSSO - VERNAZZA
Length: 3,5 km
Duration: 1,5 h
VERNAZZA - CORNIGLIA
Length: 4 km
Duration: 1,5h – 2h
CORNIGLIA - MANAROLA
Length: 3 km
Duration: 1 h
MANAROLA - RIOMAGGIORE
Length: 1,5 km
Duration: 30 minutes
*Location: 335 Km Southeast from Rome.
*Schedule: Train's schedule and Boats timetable.
*Duration: It can be done in a day, but at a very fast pace. We recommend you do it in 3 days.
*Best time: Autumn and Spring.
*Website: Cinque Terre.