WHAT TO SEE IN
CINQUE TERRE .
The largest and oldest village(1056) of the Cinque Terre, it extends into two settlements, the old town with its alleys called "caruggi" to the east, and Fegina, the new citadel to the west.
A promontory and a pedestrian tunnel divide the old town from the new citadel. On top of it stands the Aurora Tower(1600), and higher on the S. Cristoforo hill the Fieschi castle, the Capuchin monastery and the Church of San Francesco(1600) stands out.
This last church houses works of art of inestimable value, including paintings attributed to Van Dick, Cambiaso, Piola, and Guido Reni.
At the western end, the Fegina's beach and the famous Giant Statue made by the artist Arrigo Minerbi and the engineer Levaceri in the early 1900s. The statue, 14 meters high, which personifies Neptune, got severely damaged during WW2 and the intense storm of 1966. In the beginning, Neptune holds a giant seashell above his head.
Behind it, Villa Pástine and little further Villa Montale, the residence of the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Landmarks of Monterosso is the rock of Fegina beach often portrayed with paintings and photographs, positioned just before the promontory that divides the two settlements.
In the old village, we find the 14th-century Gothic church of San Giovanni Battista, the Mortis et Orationis chapel in Baroque style, and the remains of the Medieval Palazzo del Podestà.
On the heights, among the green of the trees, reachable by walking trails, you can see the Sanctuary of Madonna di Soviore(1200), the oldest sanctuary in Liguria.
Monterosso boasts a truly privileged position, deeply immersed into the A-Class Marine Protected Area and Cetacean Sanctuary, an international prowess area where whales are particularly present.
Set between rock and sea, Vernazza is perhaps the most suggestive village in the world UNESCO Heritage of Cinque Terre.
The elegant architecture testifies a thriving economic and social activity in the Middle Ages, proven today by the presence of churches, loggias, tower-houses, and arcades. The village presents a central alleyway intersected by small lateral pedestrian streets called "arpaie."
Reaching its cozy marina by sea, you will immediately notice the Church of Santa Margherita d 'Antiochia. Built on the 1200s in Romanesque style, was subsequently modified in Baroque style(1750), and then, through the last total restoration, return to its original version. This church, characterized by three large naves, and the octagonal tower had been erected in homage to the patron saint.
At the other end of the harbor, you will notice the Quadrangular Bastion Belforte, dominated by the remains of the "castrum," a series of medieval fortifications, with the Doria Castle and the cylindrical tower restored in 900s.
On the hill, you can glimpse the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Regio, built in the 11th century on the ruins of an old cult building. On whose wall is present the revered image of the face of the Black Madonna.
Vernazza was able to inspire the poet Eugenio Montale, who dedicated his verses to her.
Corniglia is the smallest of the Cinque Terre and is the only one that does not have a marina. Far away from the sea, you can see the colorful houses of the village with typical Ligurian inland shape; testimony of a culture more tied to the cultivation of the land instead of sea and fishing.
Despite its small size, we found a historical vibrant presence or churches: the Genovese Gothic-style church of San Pietro, and the chapel of flagellants of S. Caterina.
Higher above the town, reachable hiking on small trails, there is the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie(1800) built on the same place of the previous chapel at the end of the 15th century.
Manarola village is well-known for its typical colorful Genovese tower-houses, crowded one against the other. Some of them, directly built on the remains of the thirteenth-century bastion.
It was born from the migratory process from the river Vara Valley and the Roman settlement of Volastra, looking for resources from the sea.
Famous in Manarola are the Oratorio dei Disciplinanti, the bell tower, and the parish of San Lorenzo in the Genovese Gothic style.
In Volastra, instead, we find one of the famous sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre, the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Salute.
In Manarola, every 8 December, the biggest nativity scene in the world gets lit, which has contributed to making the Cinque Terre famous all over the world.
This village dates back to the XII century when, thanks to the consolidation of the Genovese domain, sea trade increase favored its establishment.
Arriving from the sea, in addition to the houses piled up with the typical Ligurian colors, you can notice the Castle once owned by the town.
Riomaggiore also hosts one of the five famous sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre: the Sanctuary of Montenero(1300). From its position, it is possible to admire the whole coast from Punta Mesco to Tino's island.
From Riomaggiore begins the path called "Via dell'Amore," currently closed due to landslides that made it unrunnable.