The Cinque Terre

Where: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso
Duration: About 8 hours
Type of service: Car rent with driver
Departure place: By choice
Number of participants: 1-8 persons

Riomaggiore is the most easterly point of the Cinque Terre and is set in the narrow valley of the River Maior, (now covered), which owing to its course determined the setting of the town. This town, in the last few decades, though maintaining its original agricultural-fishing industry, is now a favourite tourist spot, also because of its rapid connection with La Spezia.

From Manarola there is a pathway, highly suggestive, called the Way of Love. The path winds its way along the coast, a sheer drop above the sea. The walk to Manarola takes about 30 minutes.

Corniglia is situated on a rocky promontory right above the sea, on the edge of a depression given over to vineyards. Corniglia has stronger ties with the land than with the sea and this small centre presents a urban typology similar to that found in an in-land rural nucleus.

A delightful path, set between Mediterranean heath and partially abandoned cultivations, reaches the highest point during the walk and leads to Vernazza. Founded around the year 1.000, it acquired, with time, strong and deep-rooted sea-faring traditions. The presence of prestigious architectural elements, loggias, columns and door-ways, are a testimony that the standard of living was once economically and socially superior to that of the other Cinque Terre centres.

Monterosso al Mare nestles in front of hills covered in vineyards and olive groves. The vegetation embraces the town like a mantle; its wonderful beaches, the marvellous sheer cliffs and the crystal clear sea water render this little town the friendliest of all the towns on the Ligurian Riviera. The medieval tower, Aurora, situated above the Cappuccini hills, separates the ancient town from the modern. In the church of St. Francis works of notable importance can be seen including the crucifix which many have attributed to being the work of Van Dyck.

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