Monday, January 30, 2012

Cinque Terre

Location: Liguria, Italy

Wikitravel Link:

The Cinque Terre (CHINK-weh TAY-reh, which means "five lands") is a series of mall coastal villages (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) located in the Italian region of Liguria, clinging to a remote stretch of the Riviera coastline. The rugged villages of the Cinque Terre, founded by Dark Age locals hiding out from marauding pirates, were long cut off from the modern world. Today the villages, linked by a milk-run train, a ferry, and a spectacular trail (A walking trail, known as Sentiero Azzurro "Light Blue Trail", connects the five villages), draw hordes of hikers. Cars and motorbikes are not allowed in the villages, which are connected by train (each about five minutes apart, mostly through tunnels). In the villages, electric buses scale the sheer streets.


All the towns slope down to sea-level except for Corniglia, which is perched on top of a tall cliff. Four of the towns possess an old-world charm (from North-to-South: Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore). The northern-most town, Monterosso, is completely different. It is very beachy-resorty, with not much to see beyond the boardwalk apart from modern apartment blocks and hotels— nothing like the narrow, crooked streets of the other towns, lined with colorful old houses stacked haphazardly on top of each other.





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