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Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Like stepping back in time, World Heritage Sites are a portal into the real lives of ancient people. While traveling, go beyond tourist hot spots and discover the cultural riches of an area through its art, architecture, and ancient sites. Not surprisingly, Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites in the world, with over 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Of course, everyone knows Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples, and Siena. But, among others, Italy is also home to the unique region of Cinque Terre.

Cinque Terre

cinque terre
Cinque Terre is a string of centuries-old seaside villages of coral, sage, and egg-plant colored buildings, cliffs mirrored on the Tyrrhenian Sea, vineyards planted on perilously steep slopes, and breaking waves scattering a fine mist over. Cinque Terre reflects the harmonious interaction between man and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional quality that moves the heart like few places in the world. The region of Cinque Terre is composed of five main villages including Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.


Monterosso is the biggest and the oldest of Cinque Terre’s villages, dominated by the ruins of the castle and characterized by typical narrow, medieval streets, with multi-colored terraced houses, and lined with an extensive sand beach. While in Monterosso, you can fill your time by visiting some of the city’s historical buildings and statues such as the Church of St. John, the “Giant Statue”, Aurora Tower, or Sanctuary Soviore. If you are visiting during the summer months, you can also enjoy the sun and take a dip in the water at Cinque Terre’s best beach. Afterward, enjoy the lively nightlife with some of the ample activities offered within the area.


Vernazza is perhaps the most beautiful and steepest villages of Cinque Terre.  Visitors can stroll the scenic waterfront, snap photos of the charming pastel-colored buildings, and explore a medieval castle before heading down to the sandy beach for a refreshing swim in the sea.


Corniglia is the highest and smallest of the Cinque Terre villages. Visitors can step back into time by visiting some of the area’s religious attractions such as the Church of St. Peter, the Chapel of Saint Catherine, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Graces. Those who are looking for a more laid back, local feel, will love the quietness that Corniglia offers.


Wine enthusiasts will love Manarola, as grapevines flourish in this Cinque Terre village.  The village is known for its Sciacchetrà, a sweet wine typically paired with desserts or cheese. Not only can visitors discover the beautiful vineyards of Manarola, however, they can also view the rocky harbors and historical monuments that the village has to offer. 


Riomaggiore is the largest of the five Cinque Terre villages and offers stunning views of pastel buildings, a steep ravine, and a tiny harbor. The beautiful town of Riomaggiore rises in between two almost broken hills that slope right into the water. There was once a river that ran through the valley which was “Riomaggiore,” hence the name. The place is very famous to start a trek but has its roots in history with some places of must visit.

Regardless of which villages you decide to visit while in Cinque Terre, you are sure to discover the ample beauty of this unique area from the colorful buildings, scenic cliffs and harbors, and ample vineyards the region has to offer. If you need help planning your village visits we can help at Celtic Tours!