Once a coastline of sleepy fishing villages, the Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” has become a popular destination for tourism over the recent years. What makes this Italian destination different from most tourist hot spots, however, is that it has somehow managed to retain its old-world charm and simple style.
Located in the Liguria region of Italy, the five towns that compose the Cinque Terre include Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The area hasn’t succumbed to the corporate world, as terraced hills of colorful buildings and small shops allow visitors to experience real life on the Italian Riviera. Moreover, the area is well known for its grapes, olives and pesto, which have unique flavors due to the mild, warm climate and shelter from winds by nearby mountains. Hiking from town to town is a popular activity, and a great way to experience each area while seeing as much as possible.
In October 2011, the towns of Vernazza and Monterosso experienced devastating floods, burying the cities under 10 feet of mud and leaving the people without water or electricity. Locals have been working feverishly to get the area back to its original state, and have done an excellent job of staying on schedule with the rebuilding. One great way to experience the beauty of the Italian Riviera is to stay in the towns of Vernazza and Monterosso. There, you can drink Ligurian wine, enjoy the cuisine and immerse yourself in the towns’ traditional cultures. It’s a unique time to go, as there is a feeling of renewed joy in the air. Moreover, you’ll be one of the first to experience the old town with its new vitality.
For a more visual idea of the Cinque Terre, check out the gallery below.
[Images via Big Stock]