I fell in love with the Cinque Terre (literally, five lands) on my first visit there and every time I go back I feel more passionate about these fascinating villages where time seems to have stopped and where the people there are intent on preserving their identity. Situated on the border between Liguria and Tuscany, the Cinque Terre are examples of human tenacity and natural beauty, delicious food and respect for the environment. We can only gaze silently at the mountains, almost all still cultivated in terraces, and enjoy the pesto, the wine called sciacchetrà and the local products taken from the rocks which dive into the clear, blue water.
Each village is beautiful and unique, each one with its own very individual personality.
When you walk along the Lovers’ Road, the Via dell'Amore from Riomaggiore to Manarola, you’ll get an idea of the upheaval of the rocks millions of years ago, the ruggedness of the land and the stubbornness of the people who built their villages on such hostile territory. The charming church on the shore in Vernazza is in the Ligurian style, with black and white bands, Corniglia is the the only one not to have a jetty, Monterosso is the biggest one with an old centre and a modern district where paying beaches are very close to each other. You can go from one village to another by boat or train.
I won't forget to take you to Portovenere. Here we’re no longer in the Cinque Terre but we must stop in this delightful village to complete our trip. We’ll see its headland, both strategic and romantic, its colourful tower-houses with two entrances, the charming little church of San Pietro built right on the sea, and Shelley’s cave.
- Lerici is a lovely, charming little town and tourist port further to the south, with a fortress and a panoramic view over Poets’ Bay and Portovenere. Portovenere is linked to Lerici by boat and you can spend half a day in each town.
Price: The Cinque Terre are part of a National Park and access to the Via dell’Amore is 3.50 euros per person for groups of more than 20, and 5 euros for individuals.
- The ferry that links all the villages and Portovenere operates from April to 1 November.
- At other times you, you can go by train on the La Spezia-Genova line.
- The 12-metre tourist buses make the road between Riomaggiore and Monterosso difficult.
- The Via dell’Amore is a very easy walk of 850 metres on flat ground while the other routes are for serious walkers only.
- The average time from one village to another by trekking is about two hours.
- For this excursion, you can come from La Spezia and travel by train or ferry.
If you prefer to be comfortably driven by a private chauffeur, please ask me for a free quotation.