Cinque Terre, five small fishing villages hugging the rugged coastline of Italy in the province of Liguria. The villages, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Prior to his arrival, my brother in law had seen pictures of these distinctive colourful villages, asking if they were near Florence and could they possibly be a destination. Knowing the villages are not accessible by car, we took a full day Florence Walkabout Tour to the area. It turned out to be a great day. We started off by hiking from the top of the hillside to the first village, and thereafter traveled between them via train or boat. It was a great day.
The villages historically ( they date back to the 11th century ) were fishing villages, largely accessible only by boat. Train travel was introduced in the 19th century.
The homes are very colourful as you can see from the photos. They were painted in varied bright colours so that the fishermen could see their homes while offshore. Our guide Freddie informed us that the village councils today make the decision about the colour each home is to be painted.
The countryside surrounding the villlages are heavily terraced, indicative of the second source of income for the villages, the growing of grapes for wine and olives for olive oil.
Gelato in the village of Corniglia is made of local honey—that we did like.
Italy’s Ministry of the Environment established this incredible set of villages, and surrounding country and marine area as a protected natural environment Parco Nationale delle Cinque Terre.