Explore the beauties of Ligurian Coast
Strung along 18km of serrated cliffs between Levanto and La Spezia, the Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s treasures. These five higgledy-piggledy villages – Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore – are cut off by mountains choked with olive groves and dry-stone-walled vineyards, where farmers have eked out a living over the centuries.
The Cinque Terre became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997, which includes a protected marine area, and became a national park, known as the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, in 1999. Wine growers still use monorail mechanisms to ferry themselves up and the grapes down these unique lands, and in some cases have to harvest by boat. If the terraced hillsides are not cultivated, they will quite literally slide into the sea. This atmospheric place is not to be missed.