The name Cinque Terre means "five lands" and refers to five fishing villages on the coast southeast of Genoa;  Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. We took the train from Genoa to Vernazza, the second of the five villages, where I strolled along the narrow footpaths that make up much of the town, looking for a place to stay.  We found a room not far from the train station and settled in.

The Cinque Terre are old fishing villages but my impression is that not much fishing goes on these days; it has been laregly replaced by tourism.  The hillsides are also covered with grape vines, and there are private monorail cars used to get the grapes off the hillsides.

But the main event here, at least in my opinion, is the coastal trail connecting the five villages. It is not very strenuous, and provides many marvelous views along the coast.  I walked as much of it as I could (most of the section between Corniglia and Mianarola was closed for repairs) and took lots of pictures. Rita joined me for the Via dell'Amore (Lovers Lane) section between Manarola and Riomaggiore.

CTMap.jpg (23485 bytes)

A portion of the map published by Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre and given to each purchaser of a "Cinque Terre Card" which provides use of the park trails, and unlimited train rides between the 5 villages.

I've divided the 8 mile hike into its four sections:

Monterosso to Vernazza

Vernassa to Corniglia

Corniglia to Manarola

Manarola to Riomaggiore

We enjoyed our stay in Vernazza so much that we extended our stay for a 2nd night.  We had a half day Monday and a full day Tuesday to explore the town and the trails.  Wednesday morning we jumped on the train to our next destination; Pisa.


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Page last updated May 02, 2004