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Thursday, 31 August 2006

Le Cinque Terre - Page 4

Written by Sally Alfis
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Want to visit Florence and Tuscany, but are afraid of the damage to your wallet?  For a beautiful side trip from crowded and expensive Firenze, take a little detour past Pisa, and hit the gorgeous seaside villages known as Le Cinque Terre – the five lands.  This is an area in the province of Liguria, on the Italian Riviera, which consists of five villages along the coastline that are connected to each other only by footpaths and train tracks – no cars allowed



On our final day, we left Manarola by way of the Via dell'Amore (Lover's Lane) to the final town of Le Cinque Terre – Riomaggiore.  Riomaggiore is also built on a hill, so be sure to carry light when you plan on exploring this village.  The most beautiful site is the harbor, which can be very easy to miss if the village isn’t explored enough.  There is a small beach at Riomaggiore, but it pales greatly in comparison to that of Monterosso.


My days spent in Le Cinque Terre were my favorite days of my entire 3-week stay in Florence and Tuscany.  My first visit in 2005 introduced me to the area and I returned in 2006 to the vibrancy and warmth of the villages which still feel like they’re with me.



Photo by Steve Atkins

Some tips for traveling in Le Cinque Terre:



Once in the village of your choice, you may continue to other villages via ferry, train (least scenic), or on foot along the beautiful pathways of Il Parco Nazionale (National Park of the Cinque Terre).  And whether you choose to hike all of the villages, some of the villages, or none of them, be sure to pack light.  The reason the towns offer such amazing scenery is because they are built into the sides of cliffs along the coastline.  With all of the stairs and hills,locals and visitors, alike,get plenty of exercise.


Once settled into your accommodations in Le Cinque Terre, it may be best to start exploring from the northernmost village, Monterosso al Mare.  The intensity of hiking trails from village to village decreases as you move further south, so it is sensible to start with the hardest.  If you do not plan on hiking (which is unheard of if you are in Le Cinque Terre), the order doesn’t matter.


With the rocky coastline, lush forests, and terraced olive and lemon groves, the hiking trails of Le Cinque Terre offer views of the Riviera that are unseen to those who visit just the villages.  The hardest trail (Monterosso to Vernazza) takes the longest, at about 2½ hours at a slow-to-moderate speed.  The final trail (Manarola to Riomaggiore) takes only about 25 minutes, and is completely paved.  This hike is known as the Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Lane), and certainly offers an easygoing setting for a romantic stroll.

cliff jumping
Cliff Jumping





Vernazza - Camere Elisabetta
Via Carattino 62
Tel. + 39 0185 458437
Mobile 347 4511834 - 333 4221245
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Manarola: Arpaui
Via Belvedere n. 196
Manarola 19010 (SP) Italy
Tel. +39 340 6879732
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



©Sally Alfis

Pictures ©Steve Atkins, Tara O'Conner, and Sally Alfis


(Page 4 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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