THE MAGIC OF CINQUE TERRE
Your holidays in Riomaggiore
- The Cinque Terre
The coastal belt who has the name of Cinque Terre is made by the towns of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, it stretches along about 15 Km and represents one of the largest and most unspoiled natural and semi-natural Mediterranean areas in Liguria. Human activities, especially wine-growing, contributed to create a unique landscape where the development of the typical “dry walls”, product of the Century-long hard work of Men, reaches in total the one of the famous Chinese Wall. Crystal-clear waters, one of the richest and more complete net of footpaths and a mild climate make the Cinque Terre one of the best tourist resorts. The climate let Olives, Lemons and Grapevines grow, and the UNESCO in 1997 declared this area “World Human Heritage”, insuring the production of the scented passito wine “Sciacchetrà”, known all over the world.
- The national Park and the Marine Reserve
First protected area and then Regional Park, the cinque Terre became 1999 a National Park, the instrument to protect an unique environment, made by coast overhanging the sea with bays and small beaches, thousands Kilometres of dry walls to mark the terraces for the wine-growing, typical houses, medieval towns, sanctuaries, panoramic footpaths overlooking the sea. The territory looking onto the coast of the five villages between the Point of Punta Mesco in the west and the Point of Montenero in the east, was declared Protected Marine Area in 1999 to protect the numerous sea fans and Posidonias forming deep grasslands that give shelter to innumerable organisms and rare species. Moreover, for the presence of Whales and Dolphins these waters are part of the Whales’ sanctuary.
Riomaggiore c/o Riomaggiore Railway Station Tel. 0187 760091
Corniglia c/o Corniglia Railway Station Tel. 0187 812523
Vernazza c/o Vernazza Railway Station Tel. 0187 812533
Monterosso c/o Monterosso Railway Station Tel. 0187 817059
Each town of the Cinque Terre has something magic ...
From Riomaggiore leaves the wonderful “Via dell’Amore” (Lovers’ street) that, carved into the rock, stretches along the coast overlooking the sea and arrives until the ancient sea town of Manarola, whose suggestive harbour is sheltered by a golf closed by two crags.
Clung onto a rocky point overlooking the sea there is Corniglia, while Monterosso, divided into two parts by the medieval Aurora Tower, is surrounded by the vegetation like an embrace and its wonderful beaches, the marvellous cliffs make it one of the cosiest villages of the Riviera di Levante A particular corner is Vernazza, where the presence of architectural elements like loggias, arcades and portals demonstrate that the level of living in the past was economically and socially higher than the other centres in the cinque Terre.
- Food and Wine
When the Vineyards cover the hills, the wine on the table cannot miss: dry white table wine D.O.C., called simply Cinque Terre, the “Sciacchetrà”, rare and valuable syrupy wine made from raisins, the “limoncino”, liqueur made from lemons, with them during Whit the village of Monterosso is decorated during the festival of the lemon. The food of Cinque Terre preserves almost intact the characteristics of the ancient times. Do not miss: trofie made by corn or chestnut flour with Pesto-sauce, the vegetable quiches made with borage, beets, artichokes, zucchini, potatoes and leeks, tagliatelle with mushrooms. For fish lovers, fried anchovies, whitebait-fry, cuttlefishes, sardines, octopuses and shanks. With the fish we have not to forget the oregano, the herb used by the inhabitants to scent tomatoes.
- Sport and other
Who arrives in the Cinque Terre can choose among having a dip into the sea, making a climb on the hills, having a walk into the “carruggi” or doing a mountain-bike or a boat trip, a pilgrimage to a sanctuary, a dive, having a fish-lunch, or spending the afternoon on a windsurf.
- THE TRAIL OF THE SANCTUARIES
This trail connect all the sanctuaries of Cinque Terre. They are a little bit heavy but they do not require a big training. Mark trail: white-red.
How to get there: From la Spezia, reach Biassa and then the Telegrafo hill, from Monterosso, follow the trail Pignone-Levanto until Termine, where you enter in the trail:
- Riomaggiore-Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Montenero
Km 3,5 - 1 Hour.
The departure is located nearby the car park where the path begins. At the beginning and for a long part the path follows the canal of Riomaggiore, then the road begins uphill among the vineyards until you reach the sanctuary. Near the square there is the path leading to Portovenere.
- Manarola- Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute
Departure from the car park in Manarola; at the exit there is a mule-track reaching 268 metres from where the trail begins. Take the road on the left and continue until Volastra. From here going on the left you reach the sanctuary in a short time.
- Corniglia- Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie
1 Hour 30 Minutes
Take the road from Corniglia to Vernazza. Arrive in Prevo, then turn right and after that you meet the carriageable road you have to follow for 300 metres direction Corniglia, until you find a steep mule-track leading to the sanctuary.
- Vernazza- Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Reggio
Km 1,2 - About 45 Minutes
Leave from the railway station and take the road to the cemetery. Turn around it and continue along the ridge eastwards. The footpath is paved and corresponds to the Via Crucis leading to the square of the sanctuary surrounded by century-old trees.
- Monterosso- Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Soviore
Km 2.5 - 1Hour 30 Minutes’
Leave from the last part of Via Roma, where the mule-track begins to climb among olive-trees and vineyards. Cross the wood until you meet the coast road you have to cross. The mule-track passes by a pinewood from where you can see some small Via Crucis chapels. After 200 metres you arrive to the sanctuary surrounded by century-old holm-oak trees.