The enchanting beauty of the Cinque Terre – a rocky segment of coastline on the Italian Riviera, in the Liguria region which, in Italian, means the “Five lands” – has always been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for poets, writers and artists in general.
The Italian Nobel Prize in Literature, Eugenio Montale, kept on writing about the charms of his native land and Dante Alighieri conjured up this unique portion of coast in its “Divine Comedy”. The Italian Renaissance humanist, Boccaccio, evoked it in the Tenth Day of the second novel in the Decameron, and the very versatile and hedonist artist Gabriele D’Annunzio often praised the Cinque Terre’s amazing natural products, such as, for example, its white wines.
Much later but with the same enthusiasm, cinema also took advantage of this land’s beauties. In 2013, the Cinque Terre became one of the perfect settings for Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
A LOST PARADISE FACING THE SEA
West of the Italian city of La Spezia, the Cinque Terre comprises five worldwide known villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Those six miles of coast are so packed of matchless beauty that these five villages along with their coast and the surrounding hillsides are, today, all part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Small sandy or pebbly beaches nestled in small coves, harmonious hills and abrupt cliffs, generous vineyards, olive trees, perfumed lemon groves face a perfectly blue sea constantly dotted with fishing boats.
Visitors are mesmerized by the scenery but also, amazingly, also feel easily at home at the Cinque Terre, thanks to the welcoming nature of its inhabitants, the local restaurants offering amazing specialties (ex. the “Pansotti”, a sort of stuffed raviolis covered with a walnut sauce), and the lively seafront promenades filled with children, flowers, pizza and gelato stands.
The Cinque Terre also offer hundreds of miles of hiking trails. The “La Via dell’Amore” (“The Path of Love”), linking the villages Riomaggiore and Manarola, is, for example, both accessible and not to be missed….and is most cherished by tourists.
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