Friday, February 18, 2011

La Cinque Terre.

The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore and over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible "modern" development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars aren't able to reach it from the outside. It is a very popular tourist destination in Summer, but as I was there in off season many of the shops, restaurants and hotels were closed for winter and there were very few people around.

Unfortunately the walking paths were all “closed” due to landslides, but everyone appeared to be ignoring them and walking anyway as there were no fences, just a sign to say it was closed. Between Manarola and Corniglia there was a fence, and naturally I jumped it thinking they were being overly cautious, but I had to turn back after around 20 minutes because a landslide had wiped out a whole section of the path, making it impossible to cross. I managed to walk between all the other towns, and the views were utterly spectacular. I recommend getting to see this beautiful stretch of coast before it erodes into the sea!

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