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Between Nice, France and Florence, Italy, a small tourist treasure, is offered to the visitors : the Cinque Terre. Located near Genoa on the Italian Riviera, in Liguria, the five villages, classified as a UNESCO heritage site, are related geographically between them as the five fingers of the hand.
From west to east, balancing on a narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean sea and a high mountain ridge, Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore are hung on the precipitous cliffs, forming about twenty kilometres in a spectacular combination with all of these pastel-colored houses. Here are seven good reasons to go there :
1 – A photographers paradise
Boats in the fishing village of Vernazza.
With their ports of fishing in recessed coves, the Cinque Terre are a fantastic site for lovers of photography, especially with the turquoise blue sea all around. If you have little time to devote to the photo, the village of Manarola is a nice original site with its magnificent gothic church. And Vernazza, with its colorful houses stuck to the mountain, is surely the most beautiful with its castle for your album of memories.
2 – A village where we have fun
A former fishing village, Riomaggiore, with its many seafood restaurants is the most animated. They are bored not really. It is divided into three parts : the train station, from where the famous path Via dell’amore, the old village and the jetty where arriving boats with its small beach. It is absolutely necessary to go there, because the view is breathtaking, but beware of the crowds rather compact especially in the peak tourist season in July.
3 – The train rides or boat
Between each village, there are trains every twenty minutes during the day. And if you linger in a good restaurant in the evening, you say that the last passage is at 1 am in the morning. Good alternative to rail transport, boat trips linking each village are a good choice. And the landscape, from the sea, is a delight. This is where we have the most beautiful views of the Cinque Terre. Several companies offer a reasonable rate and there are several departures per day.
4 – The trekking through the villages : a must
Several trails are the delight of hikers.
For lovers of hiking, the Cinque Terre is a delight, because everything is organized to allow you to attach each village according to the time you have and appreciate the many scenic points on the trail, divided into five main sections.
First, the Red path length of about 7 km between Levanto and Monterosso, three hours of walking easy. And then the trails Blue long 12 km, divided into four sections.
It is the most popular route, with its unique landscape. If you have a little bit of time, we recommend this course.
Attention, however, it is a trail fee and very, very busy. It is best to go outside of the months of July and August and be early to avoid the strong midday sun.
5 – The regional gastronomy
The very fertile lands of the region, bathed in sun and moisture for the marine air, allow an excellent mediterranean gastronomy, where the importance of the olive, grape, lemon, pesto and arugula is outstanding in all the regional dishes. Without forgetting the seafood is ubiquitous. Some good restaurants : The Cavour Trattoria in Levanto, La Scogliera in Manarola and Miky in Monterosso. Each has its regional particularities that you must try.
6 – nice hotels
The beach of Monterosso.
Reside in the villages of the Cinque Terre is a feat, because reservations must be made well in advance given the popularity of this site. Three good choices, if you’re lucky : The Stella Maris, a chic boutique hotel in Levanto ; the family-run hotel Ca d Andrean to Manarola ; the Porta Roca, with its fantastic view of the sea in Monterosso.
7 – The nearby cities
Is stay not far from Cinque Terre to Genoa or La Spezia, two large cities connected easily by train several times per day, are an excellent solution for an extended stay. In addition, there is a lot to visit on-site and the night time activities abound.