The Cinque Terre
By Logan Marshall, 03/12/2012
Located along the Western coast of Northern Italy the Cinque Terre are five villages interconnected by several walking trails. The towns along the coast are well known and visited but most tourists aren't willing to put forth the effort to travel along the entire route.
The Sentierro Azzurro
From Riomaggiore to Manarola the trail is called Via dell'Amore, the way of the lovers, is considered the flattest portion of the hike.
Going from Manarola to Corniglia the trail is very similar to the first. Corniglia, however, is built on the cliff over the sea requiring more than 360 stairs to reach the top.
Corniglia to Vernazza is a downhill trip which is more adventurous. The path isn't always paved, it is narrow at times, and there are places where it borders cliffs without railings. The plus side is very good opportunities to take photos.
The final leg of the trip goes from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare. If you hadn't already seen the pattern the path gets rougher. But the chance for great photos is equally great.
Easy to follow the path is marked by red and white markers and takes about five hours to go from end to end.
The Sanctuary Trail
Like the rest of the Italian Peninsula the Cinque Terre each have their own shrines and churches. Connecting them is the Sanctuary Trail. Higher above the main trail this one offers more of a challenge but is less traveled but also not as well marked.
The High Trail
The High Trail offers a much greater challenge and stretches from Levanto to Portovenere requiring about six to ten hours along a trail that isn't marked all that well.
The trails are fairly easy to traverse but a quick stop at a tourist office will be able to provide you with a map and some directions.
For more information about the trails and the towns:
Rick Steves offers a good guide about the routes and the towns of the Cinque Terre. Click here.
The Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre is the body that maintains the trails and offers a good source of information for the trails.
Italylogue has an excellent guide.
Filed Under: Destinations