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CINQUE TERRE, ITALY

Cinque Terre (five villages) is located on the northwest corer of Italy's 'boot' in the province of Ligura, which forms an arc with one side facing the Tyrrhenian Sea and the other backing up against the Apennine Mountains. Better known as the Italian Riviera, LIgura is a continuous line of rugged cliffs dotted with long beaches and lovely pocket coves.  The capitol of this district, Genoa, divides Ligura into two parts: the Riviera di Ponente to the west with its famous beaches such as San Remo, and the Riviera di Levante to the east, where the Cinque Terre are located. Unlike San Remo and its touristy counterparts, the five villages of Cinque Terre (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) remain working villages where grapes, olives, lemons and basil are harvested from steep terraced hillsides, braced up by over 7000 kilometers (4200 miles) of stone walls built without any kind of cement. Although La Spezia is not one of the Cinque Terre villages, I include it here because, with limited accommodations available in the villages themselves, many, if not most, of the tourists visiting Cinque Terre stay in nearby La Spezia and avail themselves of the round-the-clock trains or daytime ferries that conveniently deliver them to Cinque Terre.

LA SPEZIA
La Spezia, Italy
La Spezia, Italy
La Spezia, Italy
The main street in La Spezia where all the hotels ad shops are located, midway between the ferry dock and the railroad station
La Spezia shop owners chat in the early morning hours
Street scene in La Spezia, with houses terraced up the sides of the foothills of the Apennines in the distance
La Spezia, Italy
La Spezia, Italy
Garabaldi Square in the center of La Spezia
An outdoor market in the center of La Spezia
Typical street scene - more colors here than in Tuscany
MONTEROSSO AL MARE, CINQUE TERRE
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso's long sandy beach, the only one in Cinque Terre, with its colorful umbrellas, is just steps from the train station
More colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's beach
Street that runs parallel to Monterosso's beach
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Street that runs parallel to Monterosso's beach
Winding my way up Monterosso's hilly streets
Monterosso houses
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso's Luogo Sacro Church
Monterosso's Luogo Sacro Church
Monterosso houses
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso street scene
Monterosso houses
Monterosso street scene
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso street scene
Monterosso street scene
Monterosso street scene
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso house
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso's long, sandy beach
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
The promenade above Monterosso's beach
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
Monterosso's beach with promenade above
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
Colorful umbrellas along Monterosso's long beach
The promenade above Monterosso's beach
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Path around the point, leading to the second part of Monterosso
Path around the point, leading to the second part of Monterosso
Path around the point, leading to the second part of Monterosso
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Main part of Monterosso as seen from the point
Rounding the point, with its ferry boat dock below
View of the second half of Monterosso from the point
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
Monterosso Al Mare, Cinque Terre, Italy
The railway station at Monterosso
Monterosso houses terraced up the mountainside
Looking back at Monterosso from the path
WALKING PATH BETWEEN MONTEROSSO AND VERNAZZA
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Vineyard terraces and stone walls along the path
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vineyards are terraced from mountaintop to sea
An offering of local wares along the path
Juicy blue and green grapes, almost ready for harvesting
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
First glimpse of Vernazza from the walking path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza
Walking path between Monterosso Al Mare & Vernazza
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Heading down into Vernazza
Heading down into Vernazza beneath vineyard terraces
Heading down into Vernazza beneath vineyard terraces
VERNAZZA, CINQUE TERRE
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza from the walking trail above town
Vernazza from the walking trail above town
Railroad tracks and boats coming into Vernazza
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza's harbor from the walking path above town
Coming into town from the walking path
The main square at Vernazza's pretty little harbor
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza houses
The main square at Vernazza's pretty little harbor
Vernazza shop
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
The main square at Vernazza's pretty little harbor
Vernazza's pretty little harbor and beach
Vernazza's pretty little harbor and beach
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Boats at Vernazza's pretty little harbor
Vernazza's pretty little harbor and beach
Boats at Vernazza's pretty little harbor
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza's pretty little harbor and beach
Vernazza's pretty little harbor and beach
Sunning on the rocks at Vernazza's harbor
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Sunning on the rocks at Vernazza's harbor
Sunning on the rocks at Vernazza's harbor
Vernazza street scene
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza shop and chapel on the main street
Children's playground in the center of town, with rail station in background
Heading out of town on the walking path, looking back at Vernazza
WALKING PATH BETWEEN VERNAZZA AND CORNIGLIA
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking path between Vernazza and Corniglia
Walking path between Vernazza and Corniglia
Walking path between Vernazza and Corniglia
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
A lone bar on the walking path, midway between Vernazza and Corniglia
First glimpse of Corniglia from the walking path, with Manarola in the far distance
Tiny little San Bernardo, located high on a mountain midway between Vernazza and Corniglia and accessible only on foot
CORNIGLIA, CINQUE TERRE
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Coming into Corniglia on the walking path
Corniglia sits regally on a hilltop, high above the sea
Corniglia's main square, see from above on the walking path
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Corniglia's main square
Local women gather in the square in the late afternoon
Corniglia's Saint Peter's Church
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking Path between Monterosso Al Mare and Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Corniglia's Saint Peter's Church
Houses in the square surrounding Saint Peter's Church
Heading down to Corniglia's rail station and beach
RIOMAGGIORE, CINQUE TERRE
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore's harbor, with the fishing boats pulled up onto the main street
Riomaggiore's harbor, with the fishing boats pulled up unto the main street
Riomaggiore's harbor, with the fishing boats pulled up unto the main street
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore houses, perched atop volcanic rock
Majestic Riomaggiore and its harbor
Majestic Riomaggiore and its harbor
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore street scene
Riomaggiore street scene
Riomaggiore street scene
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Boats tied up in the Riomaggiore harbor
Rounding the rocks to Riomaggiore's tiny shingle beach
Riomaggiore's tiny shingle beach, with railroad tunnel behind
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore houses
Riomaggiore houses
Riomaggiore castle high atop the town
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of Riomaggiore valley from the castle
View of Riomaggiore valley from the castle
View of Riomaggiore valley from the castle
WALKING THE VIA DELL' AMORE (PATH OF LOVE) BETWEEN RIOMAGGIORE AND MANAROLA
Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking the Via dell' Amore (Path of Love) between Riomaggiore and Manarola
Walking the Via dell' Amore (Path of Love) between Riomaggiore and Manarola
Walking the Via dell' Amore (Path of Love) between Riomaggiore and Manarola
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Tunnel through the mountain on the Via dell' Amore
Thousands of couples write their name on padlocks, attach them to the guard rail, and throw the keys into the sea, symbolizing love forever and the source of the name "Via del' Amore"
Tunnel through the mountain on the Via dell' Amore
MANAROLA, CINQUE TERRE
Walkng the Via Dell Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola in the distance, seen here from a cafe along the Via dell' Amore
Square overlooking the main street in Manarola
The main street in Manarola,, with fishing boats 'parked' along its sides
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Street scene in Manarola
Street scene in Manarola
Street scene in Manarola
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Shops in Manarola
Shops an Manarola
Shops an Manarola
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola and its harbor
Manarola and its harbor
Manarola and its harbor
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Sunbathers on the rocks surrounding Manarola's harbor
Fishing boats at Manarola's harbor
Sunbathers nd boats at Manarola's harbor
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Fishing boats at Manarola's harbor
The tunnel from the main town to the railroad station, located below town at the water's edge
Manarola's rail station, with the town seen high above in the background
WALKING PATH BETWEEN MANAROLA AND CORNIGLIA
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Walking path between Manarola and Corniglia
Walking path between Manarola and Corniglia
Walking path between Manarola and Corniglia
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