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Cinque Terre: Italy’s Fabulous Five

“The Italian Riviera is not short of rugged coastline or romantic towns and villages, but the five fishing communities of the Cinque Terre are its most iconic highlight.”

Traveling has always been one of my passions. Even if the epidemic has temporarily halted my travels, I’m constantly thinking about my previous journeys. And my trip to Italy has always been a thrilling experience that I would like to share with your guys.

In terms of reasons for visiting Italy, I’m pretty sure I could come up with at least a hundred different reasons why one should visit Italy. For instance, ancient ruins, assorted museums, soaring mountains, great beaches, and beautiful natural scenery. People might immediately think of Rome when they want to explore history and culture. However, what places come to mind when talking about natural landscapes? Cinque Terre, in my mind, should be at the top of the list.

If you‘ve read Lonely Planet, travelers’ guidance, you will see that this is how they describe the Cinque Terre: “Set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet, these five ingeniously constructed fishing villages can bolster the most jaded of spirits. “

From five Italian fishing villages to one of the most famous coastal landscapes in the world – the Cinque Terre has been through a few changes over the years, but it still looks every bit as gorgeous as you’d imagine. When I first visited the Cinque Terre, I was also struck by the beauty of the scenery before me.

Introducing Cinque Terre’s five villages

1. Monterosso

I only remembered Monterosso boasts a stretch of beach. The beaches were full of people exercising, promenading, taking their dogs for walks, or sunbathing. The village, known for its lemon trees and anchovies, is delightful. And you must try gelato here, Italian ice creams! No trip to Italy is complete without copious amounts of gelato, and all gelato is not created equal.

2.Vernazza

Vernazza is a small harbor. The tiny port is surrounded by subtle colorful pastels and the charming piazza is lined with good restaurants and bars. And you can climb to the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia on the top of the mountain (not that steep at all), overlooking the panoramic view of the sea.

3.Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the Cinque Terre. The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town’s vineyards. The most famous attraction there, I believe, is the Via dell’Amore, lover’s lane, a path along the Cinque Terre coastline known for its romantic atmosphere. Unfortunately, this path was shut down due to a landslide and will reopen again in 2024 probably, so I had no chance to take a romantic stroll there in 2019.

4.Corniglia

Corniglia is the “quiet” middle village that sits atop a 330ft-high rocky promontory surrounded by vineyards. And I strongly recommend you to climb to the summit of the mountain to have a better look. Even though climbing 377 steps might be time-consuming, it is still worth visiting.

5.Manarola

I believe most of your guys have already seen this postcard view before. Manarola is one of the most charming and romantic of the Cinque Terre village and is also my favorite one. The tiny harbor features a boat ramp, picturesque multicolored houses facing the sea, a tiny piazza with seafood restaurants. And these pastel buildings will glow gorgeously at sunset, which is the best image in my mind.

I still remembered that day: I sat on the stone bench beside the cliff, surrounded by the accompanying crowd, with the pleasant sound of music in my ears. At that time, I felt that I should have found someone I loved most to be with me. I simply felt that the world’s beauty was breathtaking, but I could only appreciate it alone. There was an indescribable sense of loneliness. That night, I sat silently by the sea, resisted the impulse of tears, and wasted my time in this beautiful place.

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