The Cinque Terre, Italy – UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cinque Terre, Italy – UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cinque Terre (the Five Lands) is a very beautiful National Park in Italy attracting millions of tourists
every year. It is in the region Liguria, in the northwest of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia, and
comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The
coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park
and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Situated within a national park, it’s characterized by terraced agricultural land and colorful towns that
appear to rise from the Mediterranean Sea. The area is home to some 4,000 inhabitants, but attracts 2.4
million tourists per year, many of whom arrive by cruise ships at one of two nearby ports. The principle
attraction is the beautiful but rugged landscape.

Over the 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 corporate development. Paths, trains
and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside.

The first historical documents on Cinque Terre date back to the 11th century. Monterosso and Vernazza
sprang up first, while the other villages grew later, under military and political supremacy of the Republic
of Genoa. In the 16th century, to oppose the attacks by the Turks, the inhabitants reinforced the old forts
and built new defense towers. From the year 1600, Cinque Terre experienced a decline which reversed
only in the 19th century, thanks to the construction of the Military Arsenal of La Spezia and to the
building of the railway line between Genoa and La Spezia.

The railway allowed the inhabitants to escape their isolation, but also brought about abandonment of
traditional activities. The consequence was an increase in poverty which pushed many to emigrate
abroad, at least up to the 1970s, when the development of tourism brought back wealth.
An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit the five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza,
Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people
have carefully built terraces to cultivate grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the
cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea.

The breathtaking views of harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval
fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colors make this a memorable holiday. The Cinque Terre,
recognized in 1997 by the Unesco Mankind’s World Heritage, are today a National Park and Protected
Marine Area with the aim of protecting this great cultural heritage and natural environment.

Main tourist attractions:
– Five very beautiful, vividly colored villages located on cliffs overlooking the sea.

– Hundreds of walking trails passing through the virgin landscape with very beautiful nature and breath-
taking scenery.

– Old castles, walls and other ancient structures.
– Plenty of small beaches that fit every taste, including wild and secluded ones.

An ancient system of footpaths is still the best way to visit the five villages: Monterosso, Vernazza,
Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The Cinque Terre is noted for its beauty. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces to cultivate
grapes and olives on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean
Sea.

The breathtaking views of harbours far below the wild but hospitable coastline along with the medieval
fortresses and plentiful vines and vibrant colours make this a memorable holiday.

The Cinque Terre, recognized in 1997 by the Unesco Mankind’s World Heritage, are today a National
Park and Protected Marine Area with the aim of protecting this great cultural heritage and natural
environment.

 

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