THE BEST THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CINQUE TERRE
HISTORY OF CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre are five ancient fishing villages located along the Italian coastline. First historical documents that describes it are dated back to the 11th century. Monterosso and Vernazza was the first two villages, while the other were born later, under the military and political influence of Genoa. In the 16th century, to counter the attacks of the Turks, the inhabitants strengthened the old fortifications and built new defense towers. From the 17th century the Cinque Terre experienced a decline that was reversed only in the 19th century, thanks to the construction of the military arsenal of La Spezia and the construction of the railway line. In fact, the railway made them escape from their isolation, but also led to the abandonment of traditional activities. The consequence was an increase in poverty that led many to emigration abroad, at least until the 1960s, when the development of tourism brought well-being back.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL IN CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre are so fascinating and attractive, visitors from all over the world come here to see this beautiful land. I can say from my experiences that this is a really safe place to travel. You can walk alone in the streets even in the evening without any problem. In the restaurants they always treat you kindly, there are no pickpockets, no after party drunk people and other negative things. The only negative note that you will have to pay attention is on the hill trails. Sometimes there are landslides due to heavy rains. So do not venture on the trails without sufficient preparations and knowledge.
BUDGET TRAVEL IN CINQUE TERRE PER DAY
In Cinque Terre you have the possibility to buy a special card that allows you to visit the main attractions. It will cost you 7,50 euros per day without the train inclusion. The one who includes trains cost 16 euros. This card in addition to major attractions allows you to use buses, to have access to the Sentiero Azzuro path which connects all the villages, free access to some museums, free wifi and other minor things. The Restaurant prices range from 20 to 50 euros each for a dinner. Hotels start with price from a minimum of 70 euros per night for a two person room, they are quite expensive. So it turns out that the minimum daily budget in Cinque Terre is around 65 euros per day. A lot depends also on the season you choose. During summer it’s obviously, that all the things are more expensive.
BEST HOTELS IN CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre has a lot of hotels with a beautiful view on the sea, here below you can find more informations about hotels which for my opinion are the best.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN CINQUE TERRE
Take a few steps and get away from the crowdy tourist area of Vernazza to bump into the Ristoriamo restaurant. From the outside seems apparently anonymous but inside it contains all the authenticity of a Italian cuisine. Simple and typical products of the area, especially the fish that is always fresh will convince you that you made the right choice. I suggest you to try the mussels and the mixed fried meats, the ones you will not regret the next day.
There are not a lot of seat places so it’s better to book.
A CANTINA DE MANANAN
A Cantina De Mananan is an tipical old style italian inn. A small room, stone walls, decorated with old tools and wicker baskets hanging from the ceiling. An essential menu, which varies with the availability of ingredients that comes from the sea. A home cooking, with the Ligurian tradition. In addition to wine there is also a crafted beer from the La Spezia. Due to the reduced space is better to book with a little advance.
TRATTORIA DA BILLY
The Trattoria da Billy looks like a mirage at the end of the path that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola. The restaurant is located in the upper part of the village and consists of two internal rooms and a terrace. Here you can experience the appetizer of the sea, 12 courses some hot other cold, enriched with aromatic herbs that come from the market and that contain all the flavors of the Cinque Terre. The homemade pasta is always fresh as the fish that accompanies it. Specialty of the house are the noodles with crab or with squid ink.
For a dinner overlooking the sea of Riomaggiore, from which the fish are fished and then served fresh on the table. You must book at the Rio Bistrot, a modern tavern, in furniture and in the kitchen. The touch of the chef Luca Tonelli can be felt and seen. The dishes take inspiration from tradition and then get rich with aromatic herbs from all over the world. The flavors of raw materials always stand out. The menu changes every two or three days, bread and pasta are homemade. You need absolutely to try the one of burnt wheat or turmeric with the “muscoli”, the mussels, of Spezia. International wine list with good selection of local wines.
NIGHT LIFE IN CINQUE TERRE
There are no disco clubs in the small villages of the Cinque Terre. Only in Monterosso you can find some pubs open until late and tourists sometimes find themselves in Vernazza on spring and summer evenings. Although in the Cinque Terre there is no real night life, you can go to the largest cities of Liguria, there is movement every night. Therefore, the lovers of the small hours, can lodge or reach for the evening the cities near the Cinque Terre.
TOP SIGHTS OF CINQUE TERRE
Considered by many as the most evocative of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is documented for the first time in 1080. The remarkable economic and social level reached by the village in the Middle Ages is still evidenced by the urban conformation and by the presence of architectural elements of great value, such as lodges, churches, houses-towers and arcades. The village is dominated by the remains of the “castrum”, a series of medieval fortifications dating back to the eleventh century, with a castle and a cylindrical tower. The inhabited area consists of houses separated by a single central street and, perpendicularly, by steep stairways called “arpaie”. The most important historical monument is Santa Margherita di Antiochia, a Romanesque-Genoese style church, whose construction dates back to the XIII century, and in which a medieval and a Renaissance body can be recognized.
Manarola is an urban jewel, rich of typical Genoese-tower houses. Founded during the twelfth century, the village probably derives its name from an ancient “Magna roea”. This was a large mill wheel in the village. The main monument of the village is the church of San Lorenzo. This construction dates back to 1338. The plan has three naves, while the facade is embellished with a rosette of twelve columns.
Corniglia is the only village of the Cinque Terre not in contact with the sea. Its houses, look more like those of the hinterland than the typical coastal dwellings. Evidence that the traditional vocation of the country has always been more directed to the land than to the coast. The most important monument of the village is the Church of San Pietro. Gothic-Genoese style, built around 1350 on the ruins of a previous building. Also interesting is the Oratory of Disciplinati, dating back to the eighteenth century. It offers a breathtaking view of the sea. You must visit also Taragio, the small main square of Corniglia, the real heart of the village.
W had the first news of Riomaggiore only in 1251. Between the 13th and 14th centuries, the inhabitants of these settlements decided to go to the sea and give life to the town. A shift that was favored by the consolidation of the Genoese domain. This allowed more peaceful access to the sea where they develop fast and safe trades. Riomaggiore boasts monuments of great interest, including St. John the Baptist and the Oratory of Santa Maria
MONTEROSSO AL MARE
Monterosso al Mare is the largest village of the Cinque Terre and also the first documented. Composed of two settlements, the old village, and Fegina. Here you can see the church of San Giovanni Battista and the church dedicated to St. Francis. It contains works of art of inestimable value. Paintings attributed to Van Dyck, Cambiaso, Piola and Reni.