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Cinque Terre

villages suspended between sea and sky

The Cinque Terre is one of the most uncontaminated areas in the Mediterranean Sea. Five miles of rocky coast among two promontories, thousands of kilometres of dry-laid stone walls, five small towns castled up on stone spurs in minuscule creeks. For their history and their position, the Cinque Terre have not suffered a massive expansion. The vineyards, typical of this area, have contributed to create a unique landscape with dry-laid stone walls, winding paths, enchanting beaches between cliffs and clear waters.

Thanks to the boattrips that go daily to the five fishing villages and Portovenere, throughout the year you can visit the Cinque Terre and the Gulf of the Poets in different ways. The best way is with the Consorzio Marittimo "5 Terre Golfo dei Poeti" which offer excursions to the islands (l'isola Pamaria, l'Isola del Tino, l'Isola del Tinetto, La Grotta di Byron), or directly to one of Cinque Terre. You can also easily visit the Cinque Terre by train, which stops at each of the Cinque Terre. You can park your car for example in La Spezia and start from there by train.

The Cinque Terre are declared Unesco World Patrimony Sites.

The castle of Riomaggiore
The castle of Riomaggiore dates back to the XIII century. It dominates the village from the hill of Cerricò, just above the church of St. Giovanni Battista. It was built in 1260 by the marquises Turcotti, lords of Ripalta and was completed by the Genoese in the XV-XVI century after the dominion of Nicolò Fieschi. It has a quadrilateral base, its walls are surmounted by two big circular towers. In the XIX century it was turned to a cemetery and then successively restored. Today it welcomes didactic and cultural activities.

The Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre
The Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre includes the coastal stretch that runs from Tramonti, right after Portovenere, and Monterosso to the west. Its purpose is to protect and safeguard the territory of the Cinque Terre, deeply modified by man's hard work, where the original vegetation was replaced by terraces planted with vines, supported by a network of dry stone walls of about 6729 kilometers. ?The most serious threat of the Cinque Terre is the abandonment to which they are subjected, due to emigration and the decline of the vines. The National Park aims to recover this example of local architecture through the maintenance of viticulture, the only human activity that can preserve this landscape. ?The landscape is made up of rocks of different origin and age, marked by lack of flat sections and a high, jagged coastline, poorly recorded by inlets and headlands. The mountains shelter the coast from northern winds, while warm and humid current from the sea climbs to the spurs causing the condensation of water vapor and precipitation on the ridge at high altitude. ?The vegetation is very diverse. The original oak forests were partly replaced by terraces or other cultivated plants such as Maritime pine, Aleppo pine, cork and chestnut trees. Along the coast grow the samphire and the caper, while in rural areas stand out the dusty miller and the rue. Among the rocks is easy to see the tree euphorbia. Throughout the area are common shrubs such as rosemary, thyme, everlasting and lavandula and you can also admire arbutus, mastic, spiny broom, myrtle, oak, juniper and red phillyrea, asparagus, sarsaparilla, etruscan and marine honeysuckle. ?In terms of wildlife, the park hosts many species. Among mammals we find dormouses, moles, weasels, marten, foxes, badgers and wild boar. Among birds stand herring gull, peregrine falcon and raven. Wooded areas meet reptiles such as the wall lizard, the lizard, the rat snake, the grass snake and the snake of Aesculapius and near streams live frogs and salamanders.