Visit the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre National Park has chosen as its slogan: “The Park for Mankind.”
No other choice could have been more fitting – it captures the essence of these places perfectly.
Places difficult to live in, land difficult to cultivate – harsh, difficult, impractible, and lashed at by the wind.
For a long time almost isolated, the villages present themselves today almost exactly as they were at the end of the 1700s when they were ruled by the Republic of Genoa. Their architectural style is Genoese, with the narrow “caruggi” (narrow midieval streets) and the “creuze” (dialect meaning “the road that takes you from the sea to the mountains”) that climb up towards the vineyards
Levanto is very well connected with the villages of the Cinque Terre. You can get to them by train: Monterosso, the first village, is 5 minutes away; Riomaggiore, the last, 20 minutes. The trains depart frequently from Levanto – about every 30 minutes.
From April to October you can also take the ferry – departing twice daily – at 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and returning at 6:30 p.m..
Completely excluding the use of a car, as it makes no sense to use one here, there remains one other way of getting to the Cinque Terre – the one we like the most – the hiking trails.
The Green/Light Blue Trail starts off at the promenade in Levanto – beginning your climb you immediately discover the exclusive villas, built at the beginning of the last century, the castle and then the countryside with its olive groves. After about 40 minutes of walking uphill the trail levels off and the more “undeveloped” part of the trail begins – the forest with its maritime pinetrees and the cliffs descending to the sea are the environment that accompanies you.The hike lasts about 3 hours. After a couple of hours of hiking, before beginning the descent into Monterosso, a slight detour to the summit of Punta Mesco is a must. A few meters nearby stand the ruins of Sant’Antonio’s retreat. Right afterwards you’ll find the “Semaforo,” an old military facility from World War II, once used as a lookout point, but now, unfortunately, neglected. An intervention for restoration is urgent and necessary. Now, have a seat, relax and enjoy the view. Take out your “panini” and drinks and refresh yourself.
In front of you: the open sea – it seems like you’re on a ship’s very tall prow. Turn left and there are the five villages of the Cinque Terre, perfectly aligned.
and then …..
have a chat at Vernazza’s pier, an aperitif in Corniglia, spend an evening in Monterosso, take a ferry, even for a short stretch.
Hike the trails less travelled up to the Via dei Santuari (“Road of the Sanctuaries”), remain enchanted by Volastra, by the Santuario di Soviore (“Soviore Sanctuary”), and by the calm of the churchyard of the Madonna di Reggio.
What else can I say….take your time, don’t rush.
At this point, you just have to come visit them…