Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

The northwest of Italy is an exciting stretch of beautiful, rugged coast that rivals and beats other hotspots in the country. This is what Cinque Terre is all about, composed of five villages spreading more than 2 miles boasting of history as unfathomable as the Ligurian Sea itself. 

This article serves as your quick guide in discovering and exploring the five towns of the Cinque Terre:

1. Corniglia

The village of Corniglia dates as far back as Roman times, sitting atop a steep cliff with vineyards surrounding it. This is divided into four different sides, with one right above the coast and the remaining three overlooking the land. You can also see the rest of the four towns from this height.

Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

Being the only village that is inaccessible by boat, you need to climb the Lardarina staircase with its 337 steps and 33 flights to reach it. If the stairs are out of the question, you can ride a bus that travels through the road that will take you to this village. 

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2. Manarola

Out of Cinque Terre’s five towns, Manarola is probably the calmest, possibly because this was the last one discovered by tourists. You can find natural hiking paths here, such as the Via della Amore or The Lovers Path, a very easy and scenic path that will take you to Riomaggiore. 

Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

A small cove on the coast is also the perfect spot if you want to go swimming in the Mediterranean. The local Sciacchetra of Manarola was also lauded for its top quality during early Roman documents. 

3. Monterosso al Mare

The most resort-like and modern out of the five towns, Monterosso al Mare enjoys the unique protection of the olive groves and hills. The village managed to defend itself from the Vikings during the 16th century when they built 13 towers, three of which remain standing to this day. 

Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

One of these is none other than the Aurora Tower which separates the new and old parts of the village. You can also visit and explore some unique churches in the area such as the Abbey and Church of San Francesco. 

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4. Riomaggiore

Renowned for its wine produced by the local vineyards of the village, Riomaggiore has a rich history that dates back to the 13th century.

Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

The Castle of Riomaggiore originally constructed following Nicolo Fieschi’s dominion in 1260 still welcomes visitors to this day. Riomaggiore and Monterosso are the only two villages in Cinque Terre with diving available. 

5. Vernazza

Vernazza is among the truest fishing villages of Riviera in Italy and is a true gem with its streets free from car traffic. This coastal town also offers some sites to visit.

Italy: Visit the Five Towns of the Cinque Terre

Vernazza’s popular church Santa Margherita d’Antiochia was constructed in 1318 on a rock facing the sea. It is believed that the church was constructed since Saint Margaret’s bones were found on the beach in a box.

Each of the five towns of Cinque Terre is unique in its own rights, with a beauty and history worthy to share with the rest of the world.

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