UNESCO WORLD, ENVIRONMENTAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE.
The Cinque Terre with its five seaside villages, the crystal-clear sea and the mountains behind them have been included in the UNESCO world environmental and cultural heritage.
They are composed of the villages of Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The village of Riomaggiore rises perched on the sea between two steep hills that stretch steeply towards the sea. The peculiarity of the colorful houses on the edge is that it has a double entrance, one at the end of the alley the other at the back at the height of the upper road: a structure dating back to 1500 to allow the inhabitants a rapid escape in the event of Saracen raids. From Riomaggiore the famous Via dell’Amore starts, a magnificent route a little over a kilometer long overlooking the sea that leads up to Manarola.
Manarola is a delightful little town of colorful houses that hug like an embrace towards the sea. It is believed that the name Manarola is due to an ancient magna Roea, or magna rota, a large wheel of a water mill. In the lower part of the village you can appreciate the old mill or oil mill.
The church of San Lorenzo of 1338 in the Gothic-Ligurian style of the Masters Antelami, the Campanile Bianco, an ancient control tower and sighting, the historic Hospital of San Rocco and the fifteenth-century Oratory of the Disciplined of the Santissima Annunziata are worth a visit.
Corniglia is the only village in the Cinque Terre that the sea sees it from the height of its lush promontory. Its low and wide houses are more reminiscent of the hinterland than the typical coastal houses, testifying to the land’s vocation for the land. We advise you to enjoy a walk along the paths that connect it to the nearby Manarola and Vernazza: views and breathtaking views overlooking the sea.
Vernazza offers one of the most enchanting villages of the Cinque Terre: pastel-colored houses, the small port, the small square and a beach crescent. The term Vernazza derives from the Latin adjective “verna” whose meaning stands for “indigenous, of the place”. This name would then be passed to indicate the wine produced by local farmers. In front of the harbor you can admire the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia from the 13th century in Ligurian Gothic style with its octagonal bell tower with an ogival dome.
In Monterosso, the most western village, you will find a long sandy beach and a very picturesque town characterized by the contrast between the old town with its medieval churches and the new town with its bathing establishments and the statue of the giant that dominates the beach of Fegina. The Giant is a 14-meter sculpture depicting the Neptune which, although damaged by bombing and storm surges, is still great. In the village you will find examples of Ligurian Gothic, such as the Church of San Giovanni Battista, nineteenth century residences, such as Villa Montale, or religious buildings such as the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Soviore or the Hermitage of Sant’Antonio del Mesco.