Located along the Italian Riviera between Levanto and La Spezia is Cinque Terre - a series of five villages in close proximity from each other - where life is relaxed and traffic is absent. Between the five villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are hillsides tamed with vineyards and olive groves.
|Map of Cinque Terre|
When compared to the other Italian cities I had the pleasure of visiting (thanks to WhereMilan), Cinque Terra is a completely different animal. Where Manuta, Bologna, Bergamo, etc. were rich in history and museums, Cinque Terra thrives from its scenic views and outdoor activities.
Each town is laced together by a system of hiking trails. If you were to ask me, the views we saw from the trails were the best part of our journey. However, don't worry if you are unable to hike the trails because there is regional train operating between each village. At a cost of 12 Euros, you can buy a pass which gives you unlimited access to the rail, hiking paths, and several attractions in the region.
Of the five villages, Vernazza stole my heart. Maybe it was the ruins of the Doria castle and pirate lookout tower on the cliff, my first taste of the region's oily focacccia, or the pebbled beach; whatever it was, I am definitely not complaining.
Even though images don't do justice, here are some views of the five Cinque Terre villages:
|Riomaggiore (The southern most city of Cinque Terre)|
|The main street in Riomaggiore|
|Houses in Manarola on the Cliff|
|Manarola during the sunset|
|Church in Corniglia|
|This way to Vernazza!|
|View of Vernazza from the South|
|View of Vernazza from the North|
|Relaxing on the Beach|
|Monterosso the northern most village of Cinque Terre|
|Freezing in the Mediterranean Sea|