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VISIT CINQUE TERRE

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MONTEROSSO AL MARE

Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is the westernmost of the Cinque Terre and is reached by walking along the most difficult part of the "Sentiero Azzurro" footpath. The village is protected by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves and is surrounded by vegetation. Its beautiful beaches, steep rugged cliffs and crystal-clear waters, make this one of the most charming resorts on the Ligurian Riviera of the east. The medieval tower Aurora, located on the hills of the Cappuccini, separates the ancient part of the village from the more modern part. In the church of Saint Francis "San Francesco" works of great importance such as the Crucifixion, believed by many to have been painted by Van Dyck, are preserved. The village's delightful hotels are popular for their warm and friendly atmosphere and the village's restaurants offer customers the chance to try the local Ligurian dishes accompanied with the famous Cinque Terre wine.

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VERNAZZA

Vernazza

A path with breathtaking views winding along Mediterranean groves and partly deserted fields and vineyards, reaches its peak on the route leading to Vernazza. This village, founded around the 1st Century, in time acquired deep-rooted maritime traditions. Some examples of excellent architecture, such as loggias, arcades and portals are evidence of a standard of living that was economically and socially superior to that of the other villages of the Cinque Terre.

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RIOMAGGIORE

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the easternmost of the Cinque Terre and is located in the narrow valley of the rio Maior, along whose course the village was born. Though maintaining its fishing and agricultural roots, tourism has become very important to the economic life of the village over the last few decades, partly due to its easy access from La Spezia. The birth of the village, according to tradition, dates back to the 8th Century, when it was founded by group of Greek refugees who escaped the religious persecution of the Byzantine Emperor, Leone III 'L'Isaurico'. The earliest historical information concerns its transfer from the hands of the Fieschi family to the Republic of Genova in 1276. The village has an urban layout made up of a series of footpaths which follow the outline of the land. These steep footpaths allow direct access to the upper floors of some of the houses, the oldest of which are tower-like and built vertically in parallel clusters. Overlooking the village is the parish church of Saint John the Baptist, "San Giovanni Battista", built in 1340 by the Bishop of Luni. In 1870, the facade began to crumble and was rebuilt in the Gothic style. Nearby is the house where Telemaco Signorini stayed on a number of occasions after 1870. Characteristic features of the village were portrayed in many of his paintings. Down below is the 16th Century "Oratory of the Disciplined" while high up on the opposite side of the village are the remarkable ruins of the 15-16th Century castle where the old cemetery was situated. There is a very beautiful footpath called the The Lovers' Pathway, "La Via dell'Amore", which starts in Riomaggiore.

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MANAROLA

Manarola

Starting from Manarola, there is a very beautiful footpath called the Lovers' Pathway, "La Via dell'Amore". This high winding footpath, The Lovers' Pathway, along the coast is a thirty-minute walk from Riomaggiore. This is a very ancient village, but it is difficult to give an accurate account of its history due to the lack of clear historical information. In a dominant position, overlooking the centre of the village, is the church built in a Gothic style in 1338. Sheltered in a deep gorge between two promontory rocks, is the little port.

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CORNIGLIA

Corniglia

Corniglia is located on the ridge of a rocky promontory at the foot of a terraced vineyard. More concentrated on agriculture than on fishing, this farming community is very similar architecturally to inland agricultural villages. The parish church of Saint Peter, "San Pietro", built in 1334 on the ruins of an old 11th century chapel, is one of the most beautiful, Gothic-Ligurian style monuments to be found in the Cinque Terre. It has been subsequently renovated but still retains a baroque overlay. Under the churchyard there is a black stone building with Gothic arches which is traditionally thought to be the ancient seat of the Fieschi family.

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