"Cinque Terre" is the collective name for the five villages on the Riviera di Levante. These villages, Vernazza, Monterosso, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, are part of a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site and the scenery will take your breath away.
Located at the mouth of a river, Vernazza is a car-free village that has always been the only safe landing point for boats in the Cinque Terre, as its harbour is protected by a rocky promontory. Vernazza has a medieval castle, which was built in the 16th century to protect the village from pirates. Due to its strategic importance, Vernazza has always been a wealthy village - evident in the elegant streets and buildings.
Boasting a large beach, the town of Montoresso is the most northerly of the original 'villages' of the Cinque Terre. It is separated into two parts (the Old Town and New Town) by a road tunnel. The village is famous for white wine and olives, and is surrounded by lemon trees.
Corniglia is the only village of the Cinque Terre which doesn't touch the sea. Instead, it is located almost 100 metres above sea level, on a cliff-top promontory, surrounded by vineyards, terraces and the steep drop to the sea. The village is reached by climbing 377 brick steps.
Famous for wine-making and fishing, the village of Manarolo is thought to be the oldest of the Cinque Terre. It is connected to nearby Riomaggiore by the famous Via dell'Amore - the love trail.
Located at the southern end of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore has a small beach surrounded by tall houses. It is famous for its historic character and wine production.