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Sightseeing Abroad: Cinque Terre, Italy

Most of us are familiar with Rome and Venice, but what about the other, less well-known parts of Italy?  Is there something we are missing?  The answer is yes, there certainly is, and that place is called Cinque Terre, or ‘Five Lands’.  An absolutely breathtaking part of the northwestern Italian coast, Cinque Terre is accessible only by boat, foot, or train.  Aptly named because of the five fishing villages that comprise it, you will find both locals and foreigners enjoying the scenery here.

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The island is a somewhat popular tourist destination, though it won’t be swamped like the cities or some other destinations, so it offers a unique tranquility rarely found in European travel.  The island is known for its wine, fresh seafood, and homes built on the side of the sea cliffs.

Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the towns with only a 1,500 residents, features a beautiful castle built by the Genoese, the church of St. John the Baptist built in 1282, and the Monterosso Giant.


Vernazza is the forth town heading north and has absolutely zero car traffic. and also features a church and castle built in the early 1300s.

Corniglia is the only village not directly adjacent to the sea, but is surrounded by terraces and vineyards.  To reach the town you must climb 382 steps, or 33 flights!

Manarola is a true fishing village, and also known for its winemaking, especially the Sciacchetra variety.

Last is Riomaggiore, the first town one comes to when traveling by train, of which the water and mountainside has been declared national park land.

Visit the official Cinque Terre page for more information.

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