The Cinque Terre
The skies and the sea, discovering Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
Perched between the land and the sea, the Cinque Terre consists of five ancient villages that extend throughout a suggestive part of the eastern Riviera Ligure (Liguria’s coastline), to the west there is Punta Mesco and to the east Punta di Montenero in the province of La Spezia. The Cinque Terre is a magical place, brimming with tradition and natural beauty and which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located inside of the Cinque Terre National Park and surrounded by a Protected natural marine area.
Getting there is quite easy. By train is the best form of transportation, but you can also get to the Cinque Terre by car or by boat. For those who love trekking there are extraordinary paths that connect one Terra (headland) to another.
You will be captivated by the typical small tower-shaped houses at the cliff’s edge, pastel colours, tight walkways and the dense terracing which cover the steep hills covered in grapevines and olive groves. The inlets with an intensely blue sea, tiny churches, porches and mini ports, dry-stone walls and walks and climbs all around.
These beautiful and fascinating landscapes left their mark on both the 1975 Nobel Price for Literature winner Eugenio Montale and the great Macchiaiolo period artist Telemaco Signorini. The typical local food is also a pleasant and tasty discovery. These towns, home to fishermen and farmers, are characterized by simple but delicious traditional dishes. Fried or stuffed anchovies from Monterosso are a must. Sea bream, octopus, bass, cuttlefish and squid dishes are to be found everywhere but one should also try the speciality savoury torte d’erbi (herb pie) and the delicious focaccia, excellent as a snack at any time of the day.
Thirst quenching fresh lemon juice granitas are wonderfully refreshing during muggy summer afternoons. Not to be missed are the exquisite local DOC white vines obtained from the vineyards in the surrounding terraced lands. What to combine with your dessert? Perfect is the Sciacchetrà wine, an excellent vino passito (raisin wine) produced in greatly reduced quantities.