Nestled in the very heart of the Liguria region in Northern Italy, just west of the city of La Spezia, sits the legendary Cinque Terre or ‘five lands’. A destination that is visited by thousands of tourists annually. And it’s not hard to see why. So today, I thought I’d send a digital postcard from Cinque Terre!
Turquoise sea, brightly coloured houses that would look at home in Balamory tilled fields frame these picture perfect scenes; Cinque Terre is actually a collection of five villages. So beautifully and culturally important are these villages and their surroundings, which were first attested in the 11th Century, that they are now a National Park and UNESCO world heritage site.
The five villages are as follows; Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Three of these five villages are only accessible by paths, trains, and boats; it is really like stepping back in time (but with the reassurance of healthcare, world travel etc when you return to the real world). The best part is that there is little sign of modern fast food shops and outlets, forcing you to try local delicacies.
The quality of the anchovies from Monterosso al Mare is such that they have been given a special protected designation of origin title from the European Union. If fish isn’t really your thing, the Liguria region as a whole is home to some of the best focaccia and pesto in the world. Olives, grapes, and lemons are also grown in the region (so all the best foods really).
One of the best days in my travels so far was the day I purchased a day pass (€5-€7) and hiked between Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza. Although only 1.8 miles long, the summer heat coupled with a number of descents and ascents can mean it takes 2 hours to walk on average. However, the panoramic views are breathtaking and ensured that Cinque Terre has ended up on my Bucket List of places to return to!
So here’s A postcard from Cinque Terre (with love from Italy):