Italy's seven best hikes: majestic mountains, dramatic coastlines and smouldering volcanoes
While Italy's natural wonders are well documented, it isn't until you strike out into the wild mountains and trek along its vertiginous coastlines that you realise how bella this country really is...
Places in Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre's easternmost village, Riomaggiore is the largest of the five and acts as its unofficial HQ (the main park office is based here). Its peeling pastel buildings march down a steep ravine to a tiny harbour – the region's favourite postcard view – and glow romantically at sunset.
Bequeathed with more grapevines than any other Cinque Terre village, Manarola is famous for its sweet Sciacchetrà wine. It's also awash with priceless medieval relics, supporting claims that it is the oldest of the five. The spirited locals here speak an esoteric local dialect known as Manarolese.
Vernazza's small harbour – the only secure landing point on the Cinque Terre coast – guards what is perhaps the quaintest of the five villages. Lined with little cafes, a main cobbled street, Via Roma, links seaside Piazza Marconi with the train station. Side streets lead to the village's trademark Genoa-style caruggi (narrow lanes), where sea views pop at every turn.
The most accessible village by car and the only Cinque Terre settlement to sport a proper beach, Monterosso is the furthest west and least quintessential of the quintet. The village, known for its lemon trees and anchovies, is split in two, its new and old halves linked by an underground tunnel burrowed beneath the blustery San Cristoforo promontory.
Tours and activities
Tips and articles
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