Located on a rocky section of coastline, in the Northwest region of Italy, sits the beautiful area known as Cinque Terre, a UNESCO world heritage site. Made up of 5 towns, this area is a popular tourist destination, and for good reason.
Built on a rocky cliffside, overlooking the Ligurian Sea, Cinqueterre area is full of things to do and beautiful sights to see. Old world charm, medieval castles and ancient history have helped to form the villages of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Here, visitors will find walking trails weaving their way through the hillside and connecting the adjoining towns. Local shops and artisans will attract the avid shoppers and outdoor markets will offer fresh produce and traditional baked goods.
Travelling around this area by car can be more of a hindrance than a help and up until fairly recently this area was only reachable by boat. Even today, it is recommended to take a ferry or train ride here and to explore the villages by foot or by bicycle.
There are numerous beaches surrounding this coastal region which provide the perfect getaway for those looking to kick back and soak in the Mediterranean sun. Some beaches are popular tourist destinations while others are less well known and more secluded. All of these beaches offer beautiful views of the Sea with warm summer temperatures and a milder, comfortable climate in the winter.
The entire Cinqueterre region in situated within a national park which makes it the perfect destination for those who love spending time outdoors and enjoying all of the best that nature has to offer. Hiking trails are a must for those looking to experience the true beauty of Cinque Terre Italy.
Monterosso al Mare: One of the most popular sites to see here is the Torre Aurora; a medieval watchtower, located on a rocky cliff, looking out over the sea. This tower was built to help protect the town from pirate attacks.
Vernazza: Most tourists visit this tiny town simply for the beautiful views it offers. Brightly coloured houses, in every shade of the rainbow, are a sight that can’t be seen anywhere else.
Corniglia: Best known for its steep stairway, of over 300 steps, leading up into the town, Corniglia is set high above sea level. This town offers beautiful views of the water and a great workout for anyone looking to add some physical activity to their trip!
Manarola: During tourist season, this town offers the best of what Cinque Terre has to offer; beautiful views, excellent food and culturally rich environment. During the Christmas season, however, it offers something a little more unique. Tens of thousands of lights illuminate the hillsides creating the world’s largest nativity scene.
Riomaggiore: This village is one of the easiest to reach and is therefore one of the busiest. It has a population of just over 1,500 people and is best known for its wine, produced from the grapes of its own vineyards.
Visiting the Cinque Terre region of Italy is a marvellous way to immerse yourself in the Italian culture and take some time to slow down and get away from the busy tourist centres and attractions. This region is renowned for its breathtaking views, rich heritage, fresh seafood and rich wines. No trip to Italy is complete without a stop in Cinque Terre!