The Cinque Terre is a series of five historic and colourful fishing villages along the Italian Riviera. In fact this is another UNESCO World Heritage Area since 1997. If you don’t have a map handy, imagine looking at the “boot” of Italy where Venice is on the top right hand side of the boot. Across to the west on the Mediterranean coast at the top left hand side of the boot, just south of Milan, you will find these five wonderful fishing villages. Random cliff jumper included at no extra charge.
Cars are not allowed into the villages, and I would guess that parking is very limited at the edges of each one. There are trains that link the villages together or you can go by ferry or private boat. In some areas you can hike the coastal path from one village to the next.
We took the train down from our campsite which was slightly north of the Cinque Terre. Our plan was to go the the furthest village of Riomaggiore, shown here, and walk the coastal path to the next village, and then take the train back in the evening. We had read that the path from Riomaggiore to the next village had been closed for repairs but we were hoping it was back in operation. Not so, and may not be anytime soon due to the deterioration. However we found a great alternative at a prime table for lunch with our view shown below.
Dau Cila was the name of the restaurant with their own private label vino. We had the seafood appetiser which came with a variety of dishes for 15 euros per person, and could not have been a better choice. The view alone was enough and the food was delicious too.
The blue, blue sea and looking up the coast where the other villages are located.
Tall, narrow, brightly painted houses are packed in along the harbour where fishing boats are parked when not out at sea.
As you can imagine with homes and buildings built on the steep terrain, there are a lot of winding steps and narrow alleys weaving in and out like a maze of discoveries to be made.
Cute little shops along the main walk from the train to the harbour front.
From these pictures it may look like quiet little scenes, and at one time that was true. But now these villages are becoming so popular and very crowded as a tourist destination that in the future the number of visitors into the Cinque Terra may be limited each day. It can be crowded, but also it is pretty spectacular too. I think if you were to stay overnight in one of the local B and B’s or apartments you would see a quieter side of village life in the morning and late at night.
Another view looking back from the waterfront. More villages to come in future posts.