The Ligurian Sea—the liquid azure arm of the Mediterranean caressing the northwestern rocky coastline of bella Italia. Its reach extends from the French/Italian border southeastward towards La Spezia, Pisa, and Livorno and forms a triangle to the northern tip of Corsica.
Just north of La Spezia are a string of little towns collectively known as the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands). From north to south: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia (the only hill town of the five), Manarola, and Rio Maggiore.
Here at Monterosso (pop. ~1470), the timelessness of the sea meets historic old-town charm and new-town beach life. Hiking trails tempt you to explore the lives of others with coastal vineyards, sweeping views of the sea and the town, a 16th-century watchtower, a monastic church, and a delicate, poignant cemetery honoring decades of the beloved residents of this humble town.
When your palette needs tempting, you have your option of traditional focaccia, savory pesto-drenched pasta, simple chickpea flatbread called “ceci”, a sea-full of seafood, and wine to wash it all down.
Even knowing how busy this part of the Ligurian Coast can be in high season, when I think of the Cinque Terre, my mind equates it with rest, respite, and calm. It’s where I recharge. It’s where I can get away to find myself again. It’s where I can take a deep breath of salty sea air and feel revived.
Tell us about your Cinque Terre memories: your favorite eateries, the best places to stay, the activities you do, and the special moments that linger with you.
Have questions about the 5T? Ask away! And feel free to help each other out. Let’s engage with each other and keep this dialogue lively!