Are you looking for a European destination that’s beautiful but a bit off the beaten path? If so, consider the beautiful Cinque Terre region of the picturesque Italian Riviera. It’s widely recognized as one of the world’s most scenic spots.
Cinque Terre isn’t big, but it has a lot going for it. Among other things, the region is ruggedly exquisite, with rocky coastlines, towering promontories, and houses and castles perched on the sides of jagged coastal hills and cliffs. Its unique landscapes feature winding footpaths up and down the hills, handsome beaches, and verdant olive groves and vineyards (the local wines are delicious!). Above all else, though, the dramatic views of the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea from atop Cinque Terre’s cliffs are what lure visitors from around the world. Many of them book their trips through online sites like Northwest Airlines.
The name “Cinque Terre” means “Five Lands” in Italian. The name probably comes from the area’s five quaint hillside villages: Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, Manarola and Vernazza. These tiny villages aren’t as well-known as Sanremo, Portofino or Ventimiglia (other towns in the Italian Riviera), and they’re nowhere near as big or modern as nearby Genoa, but they’re full of rustic Italian charm. Plus, this fairly isolated region remains relatively untouched by modern technology, especially compared to other Mediterranean coastal areas. It’s a great opportunity to experience the traditional local culture while witnessing great natural beauty.
Despite being linked by a five-hour walking trail, each of the five villages has its own flavor. Corniglia, for example, perches atop a high promontory and offers views of the other four villages. The Church of San Francesco in Monterosso al Mare somewhat surprisingly displays a Van Dyck masterpiece, and its beaches are the best in the region. Vernazza dates from the Roman Empire and a number of old structures make it one of Cinque Terre’s most picturesque villages. Manarola also dates from ancient Roman times and has been famous for its wines for at least two thousand years. Riomaggiore is a relative newcomer (it dates from the 13th century, in the height of the Dark Ages), but its local wines are also well known.
That’s just scratching the surface. Many travelers believe this is one of the world’s most picturesque spots, so it’s no wonder that Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an Italian National Park. Let Airlines Northwest help you make your travel and hotel arrangements from the comfort of your home. It’s a glorious place and a trip you’ll never forget.Google+