The Cinque Terre National Park
An Incredible Adventure!
The Cinque Terre, on the
beautiful Italian Riviera has gained the five
small Ligurian villages strong along the
most southerly part of the Riviera de
Lavante - the fabled Levant.
Truly, one of the most captivatingly
picturesque places in all of Italy, The Cinque Terre continues to retain its old
And that, of course, is a problem for
travelers who do not like to find
themselves amidst a horde of tourists.
The question is not whether to go, but
when. Our recommendations:
May or June; September or October.
It is still warm, but not as warm and
humid as the height of summer.
Modernity in all its dubious glory has
not managed to impinge itself too heavily
because The Cinque Terre is well off the
main highways and rail lines that give
life to modern industry and create the
usual activity that a growing population
demands. Not only that, but steps
have been taken to protect the natural -
and man-made - environment from over
The unique, rugged landscape of The
Cinque Terre, consisting of sharply
defined mountains, steep valleys,
daunting cliffs and narrow beaches, is
almost all within the
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre
and it has been declared a World
Heritage Site by
Moreover the local waters are a
protected marine area within Italy.
The Cinque Tere is a
World Heritage Site
There are a few cars within Cinque
Terre, and a small network of roads used
by local people, or by the drivers who
bring goods to the place, but for
travelers and tourists, it is mostly
inaccessible by car. Better to
take the train (or a coastal ferry) from
Spezia (south), or Levanto (north), and
take-in the sites on foot.
There are a number of well-worn paths in
The Cinque Terre, but the Via
Dell'Amore - the lover's walk -
strings all five villages, winding its
way along beaches, and through the many
olive orchards, vineyards and chestnut
woods on the terraced seaside slopes.
The easiest part of the route is from
but things get more difficult from
and very difficult from Vernazza to
as the hills become steeper and more
challenging. At some points you
will be 1000 feet above the level of the
During the summer months, along the
beaches one can take the sun at one of
several Lidos, or perhaps find a small
stretch of beach. If you want to
be more active, you can hire a boat,
swim in the azure waters of the
Tyrrhenian Sea, or go snorkeling or
scuba diving in the Riomaggiore area.
The local waters team with fish, so you
can hang a line from pier, rock or boat.
Strolling through the medieval villages
you will encounter many churches,
including the oldest in Manorola, whose
cornerstone dates to 1060 AD. When
you are hungry, and perhaps tired from
your wanderings, each of the villages
has its share of cafes and restaurants.
It will not surprise you that Ligurian
fare is heavily oriented to sea food
with pasta running a close second.
The the sauces, many of them based on
basil, pine nuts and other local
produce, are sensational. If you
are a lover of wines, then eat your meal
with one of the delicious local wines.
The Cinque Terre is situated on an
east-west axis, but still, there are
stunning views across the water to the
west where you will see blazing
Mediterranean sunsets you will be unable
to describe to your friends back home.
The Cinque Terre is the ultimate in the
paradox which confronts the veteran and
novice traveler alike: avoiding the most
heavily touristed places means not
seeing the places that are most heavily
touristed because of their profoundly
attractive virtues. In the case of
Cinque Terre - we suggest you submit
yourself to the experience.