Liguria and the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre
Located on the
eastern end of the "Italian
Riviera", the Cinque Terre is a band of five scenic towns nestled along a hilly,
dramatic coast overlooking the Gulf of Genoa on the Ligurian Sea. The
uniqueness of the Cinque Terre is reflected in the fact that it is protected
both as a National Park of Italy and a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. The five towns of the Cinque Terre (Monterosso al
Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Rigmaggiore) are noted for the
harmony of their relationship with the surrounding environment and the
scenic beauty that surrounds them.
The towns are connected by
trails and a great way to experience the area is to hike between the towns.
Alternatively, a train connects the towns. In some locations you
can also catch a boat and cruise between the
Click our photo-guide to the Cinque Terre
for photographs and additional details to plan your visit to this
Please note that Vernazza and Monterosso were seriously damaged by
mud slides in October, 2011. Although much of the damage has been
repaired, some sections are still being rehabilitated.
Although we have given top
billing to visiting the Cinque Terre, other sections of the Ligurian coast
are also top
attractions and travel to Liguria is quite popular. The Ligurian Alps
deflect the cool, winter winds from the north and coastal Liguria benefits
with a delightful
climate most of the year.
Liguria, is known by most
vacationers as the home of the
The Riviera is an arc of shoreline broken into two main
Starting at the French border is
the Riviera di Ponente, which continues to the Genoa area. The Riviera di Ponente
is more developed from a tourism point of view
than the eastern section of Liguria and has much the same feel as the French Riviera.
The Riviera di Ponente
includes the popular resort towns of San Remo
as well as scenic, small villages.
San Remo carries on the
tradition of the Italian Riviera of turning quaint fishing villages
into spectacular resorts. Gardens, casinos, and an
interesting Old Town are part of the attraction of San Remo. If
you are looking for a place to "be seen", this is a good place to start.
Genoa, located in the central section of
the Ligurian coast, was one of the most powerful cities on the Mediterranean during the
Middle Ages. Genoa became known as a sea power after defeating both
the Republic of Pisa and the Republic of Venice in sea battles during the
13th century. Genoa is also known as the birthplace of
Today the city is a sprawling industrial area, but
tourists are attracted to its Old Town, which is one of the largest in Europe.
Genoa's Old Town has a
variety of architectural treasures and fine museums awaiting
your exploration. It also is a warren of narrow streets, so be sure to
have a good map or a great sense of direction.
Be sure to see the
which was the seat of power and the home of the Genoese Doge.
The palace still bears the look that resulted from renovations in the 16th
In addition, take time to tour the Porto Antico area, renovated for Expo
92. One of the most popular attractions in this area is the
Acquario di Genova, rated as one of the best aquariums in the
The eastern section of the
(Genoa to La Spezia
), is known as the Riviera Levante and is more rugged than the Riviera di Ponente
located to the west.
In addition to the Cinque Terre, the
Riviera Levante is known for the famous resort towns of Portonfino,
Santa Margherita Ligure and Rapallo, which are closely-nested on a scenic
peninsula to the east of Genoa. All three towns are very popular
with mariners and the area is a prime vacation destination. As
you might suspect, this is the place to have a boat
or to know someone who does.
Portofino is the top-rated town
of the three and its harbor is considered one of the
most beautiful in the world. Although Portofino is a scenic and elegant town, it
is, also, where the elite meet and is too expensive a place to stay for all
but a few luminaries. A quick walk around its scenic
harbor and a drink at one of the many harbor-side cafes is a pleasant
way to spend an hour or two.
For more information on Liguria,
visit the official website of the
Ligurian Tourism Agency.
About Liguria (not an official website) provides interesting
details about things to see and do in Liguria.
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
There are many pleasant sights along the Ligurian Coast
The Porto Antico area in Genoa
Santa Margherita Ligure is a nice alternative to Portifino