Cinque Terre (Five Lands)

Sky, sea, vineyards, mountains built with dry-stone walls, charming landscapes. These are the consituent elements of the Cinqueterre (Five Lands), an environment built by men and unique in the world. A territory declared by UNESCO, in 1997, World Mankind’s Heritage and become, in 1999, a National Park.

- Riomaggiore
- Manarola
- Corniglia
- Vernazza
- Monterosso



A very little town where the local government is settled, leading the sorrounding villages of Manarola, Volastra and Groppo. Typical structure on many levels, with the houses one on the other, the most ancient built vertically (3-4 floors), with one-two rooms each floor. The parish church, built around 1300, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. On the hill overhanging the houses, the first of the five sanctuaries consecrated to Our Lady of Montenero (Black Mountain). Riomaggiore is linked to Manarola, not only through the railway, but also through the famous path called "Via dell’amore" (Lovers’ path). Striking the sea-scape, painted also – among many other painters – by Telemaco Signorini who used to live here. Torna all'inizio


In the ancient times, called "Little Seashore", it was built by the villagers of Volastra on a dark rocky promontory. The bridge, that is the coverage of a small stream which splits the village, has become the main street linking the seashore to the square where the church dedicated to St. Laurence stays; on its side an imposing oratory that testifies the existence of a very efficient brotherhood. At the beginning of the bridge, near the sea, small boats rest; from there the path to the small port of call, Palaedo, and to Corniglia. Going up the railway, on the main road, you will find small buses linking Manarola to the more ancient villages nearby: Groppo and Volastra. In the latter, you will find the second of the Cinqueterre sanctuaries consecrated to Our Lady of the Safety. Torna all'inizio


It is told that the name comes from Cornelius, a Roman landowner of vineyards. Also this village has been built on a terrace (one hundred metres on the sea level). The little square is hemmed in on all sides, with ancient fortifications vertically on the sea and the sorrounding houses. The seashore, backwards, stays alone, separated by more than one hundred steps. The road, along which it is possible to drive, is however narrow and meandering; before reaching Volastra it reaches St. Bernardino, the small village where the third of the Cinqueterre sanctuaries is located. By walk, it is possible to reach Vernazza, that is also the main village of this municipality. A very interesting fourteenth century church, dedicated to St. Peter. Torna all'inizio


almost impossible to be reached by car, with its "patrolling" towers testifying the villagers’ prosperity and weight in the old times of Genoa as a Republic. The buildings are mostly settled on a strict rock over the sea, almost resembling to a forecastle. The Vernazzola stream, now covered, has become the main street to the parish church square and to the harbour. A small seashore, with the thinnest sand, invites – as an approach to the sea – even swimming beginners. All around, fortifications, arcades and narrow carugi (alleys). The church, re/built around the Fourtheenth century, upon one already existent, with its foundations straight from the seaside, so that it looks like an embankment, is dedicated to St. Margareth from Antioch. On the contrary, the fourth sanctuary to Our Lady is three hundred metres high on the sea level and dominates Vernazza, deep in the woods and consecrated to Our Lady of Reggio. Torna all'inizio

Split into two sections, on one side there is the ancient village, founded by the Soviore villagers and, maybe, enlarged by refugees from the nearby Albareto village; on the other side, there is the new section, grown up in the Fegina creek, close to Punta Mesco promontory, which marks the last boundary of the Cinqueterre territory. It is the only place in Cinqueterre with a sandy beach, even if – to our opinion – the finest one, unfortunately difficult to reach, is Guvano, halfway from Corniglia and Vernazza. The parish church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is a remarkable example of Ligurian Gothic Thirteenth century building. Very interesting also the Oratory and the Capuchins’ friary with the church dedicated to St. Francis. Here, for the young Eugenio Montale (later one of the major Italian poets), it was the starting point for writing his collection of poems "Ossi di seppia" (Cuttle-fish bones). The last of the santuaries, the fifth, above Monterosso, is consecrated to Our Lady of Soviore, believed by most of the people (and with reason) the most important in the La Spezia district. Torna all'inizio