- Cinque Terre means “Five Lands”
Well, if you’re studying Italian, you’ll know that little fact, but did you know that The Cinque Terre region is made up of five different towns – Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola, Corniglia and Riomaggiore? The oldest of the towns dates back to AD 643 ,and with little changes made throughout the years, you’ll experience a truly classical Italian beachfront village. For the past ten years, cars have been banned inside the center of each town, making a nice stroll through these colorful neighborhoods easy.
- The trails linking the towns have become a national park.
All towns are connected by the Sentiero Azzuro, meaning the “Light Blue Trail.” It allows you to walk from town to town while admiring the crystal clear waters beside you. It isn’t an easy stroll, and rather a hike, but it allows you to see the best views of every town. If you’re not up for the hike there are also train stations in every town making it easy to bounce around from one to another.
- Hungry? The seafood is some of the best in the world.
Anchovies are a common menu item in Cinque Terre. You won’t find the canned and salty version from home, but instead this little fisherman town will provide you any form you can think of – fried, with garlic, with tomato, in pasta and, of course, on pizza. If you’re a seafood lover, Riomaggiore will also fill your stomach with a delicious fried seafood cone to devour as you stroll through the village.
- Quench your thirst with Sciacchetràthat.
If all that seafood made you thirsty, try Cinque Terre’s local wine. The grapes are harvested up on the cliffs above the towns and produced into a sweet, honey-like white wine. It is typically a dessert wine that is delightful, sweet and goes great with biscotti.
- It’s the coast that almost disappeared.
In 2011, Cinque Terre had an excess span of rain for 4 hours, something uncommon in this area of Italy. This resulted in a flash flood that almost completely destroyed both Vernazza and Monterosso. It took the next two years to fully repair the damaged caused in Vernazza. The town is surviving and thriving now more than ever.