Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre or simply Cinque Terre which stands for Five Lands.
There are five small, but phenomenal towns situated on the rocks - Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. By visiting these places, you can see a magnificent bay, beautiful beaches, rocky cliffs, and the amazing colors of the buildings, hills covered with olive groves, vineyards and terraces, lemon trees, and above all, the turquoise blue of the Ligurian Sea.
The park stretches from Punta Mesco, through Levanto, up to Punta Montenero, next to Portovenere (10 km east of La Spezia).
All cities are worth a visit.
Vernazza - here you can see the ruins of the castle and two ancient towers. From the tower you can enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
Riomaggiore - a village located in the cascade of hills. Your eyes are drawn by houses painted with its typical Ligurian colors. It is here wherethe famous Street of Love or "Via dell'Amore" originates - it can provide you with an unforgettable view of the sunset. The Street of Love is also passing through Vernazza.
Monterosso al Mare is the place where you can swim in the Mediterranean Sea. For children it's the ideal place for snorkeling and building sand castles. Monterosso is divided into two parts by the valley of Saint Christopher, which separates the ancient settlement, which is characterized by a large medieval center and the modern residential area, situated along the beach.
Manarola consists of the typical terraces of vineyards and mortar walls, while going down to the sea you can see the charming walkways and viewpoints.
Corniglia is a town completely different than the rest of the Cinque Terre. Perched on top of the cape (at around one hundred meters) and falls abruptly to the sea. The inhabited part extends itself along the main street - Fieschi. Houses on the one side go out to the street, the other - to the sea. To reach Corniglia you need to climb the "Ladrina" hill - and overcome stone stairs (377 steps and 33 storeys), or you can go the path leading from the train station.
During the visit to the Five Lands it's also worth to visit the charming town of Portovenere.
Good to know:
- the towns can be reached by road, train or ferry, which sails between the towns
- for children the walking can be quite cumbersome, due to the mountainous nature of the area
- it is the first national park in Italy (since 1999), since 1997 a UNESCO heritage site
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It is worth to buy the Cinque Terre Card, which allows the use of all means of transportation on the park grounds. The card can be purchased for 1, 3 or 7 days.