Walk to the 5 Terre

filled by Giulia

An experience that will remain etched in memory, an immersion in a different world that will fascinate you so much to spend for a few hours or days conception of time and space ... and the presence of foreign tourists, especially Germans and Americans, will help give you that sense of estrangement that will take you to the steps and paths, alleys and squares.
From La Spezia you meet them in succession along the coastline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Can also be reached from Lerici, via ferry service.
The ideal for them on foot, alongside the famous blue path that connects them.

The route starts and ends from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. It's a length of about 12 km and maximum altitude (200) up to Prevo, small but characteristic village of Vernazza. The path is composed mostly of trails (8 miles), cobbled mule paths and steps (2 km). The remainder is made up from the seafront of the Via dell'Amore and internal roads of the town. The entire route is marked by a blue and white stripe. If one excludes the Via dell'Amore, dating back to the thirties, it is a very ancient route known at the time of the Republic of Genoa, when Vernazza was the airport and the main market area.
It takes about five hours to cover the entire trail and reaching a height of 500 meters.
The time doubles if you make short visits to the villages. The ideal is to have at least a couple of days if not more, and split the journey in stages.
It’s easy to get around but you can find narrowing track, slippery stretches and ravines. In some places it is a real trail that winds waterfront connecting the five villages with each other.
This is the path in more detail:

Riomaggiore-Manarola: 1km. Journey time: 20 minutes
The trail starts from the square of the railway station for the Via dell’amore upto Manarola.
Manarola-Corniglia: 2.8 km. Journey time: 1 hour
From Manarola rises slightly and then levels off on the beautiful trail reaches the railway station of Carnelian and the town with its steep steps.
Corniglia-Vernazza 3.4 km. Journey time: 1 hour and a half
From Corniglia the path winds approximately the same altitude for a long stretch with some difficult points, down to Vernazza.
Vernazza-Monterosso: 3.8 km. Journey time: 2 hours
The pathway begins the longest and most difficult route, it is necessary to pay attention to the nature of the soil. The trail climbs up to 180 meters above sea level and in view of Monterosso goes down ending near the town.

And here is some information about each village ...

It's the first village you come to from La Spezia.
The landscape is typically vertical, presenting the typical terraced structure of villages located in torrential valleys, with steep walls and small valleys. Vertical are also roads, consisting of stairs and steps. Visions cartoon, fantasy places that hard to imagine. The main street is a channel covered: under Rivus Maior stream flows, which gave the village its name. The houses have the outline of the tower-houses, built vertically on three or floors no more than two rooms per floor, linked to each other in parallel rows. The building material is local: the stones for the masonry, slate for roofs on all sides ... and the typical colors of yellow and pink-painted plaster. To see, in particular: the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Oratorio dei disciplinati, the castelthe chapel of San Rocco and San Sebastiano.
You can walk in Montenero, Racchia, from the station to the marina. Passing through the Via dell’Amore, which dugged into the rock wall, leads to Manarola.
Curiosity: in such atmosphere, a bit 'of modern technology: the teletext of the town, the cameras "park guards" and underwater cameras.
Do not miss a taste for sweets, cakes and the delicious pies Mare e Monti, Via Signorini 48, you can find on the street to the left of the main church, the one located above the center of the town

A Perched on a craggy promontory of dark rock, with its small port enclosed by two rocky boulders, Manarola is also a village of ancient origin characterized by the tower-houses. Narrow stone-paved alleys lead towards the houses on the sides of the headland and gardens. Upstream is a square where the religious buildings are concentrated. The pyramid of concrete, painted white, emerges among the tallest houses, is a trigonometric signal for sailors.
To see: the Church of San Lorenzo, the square bell tower, the oratory of the governed, the remains of an ancient fortress.
You can walk along the "road", go to the area equipped Bonfiglio top or along the path of the transparent sea. Do not miss the Way of Love, the path carved into the rock wall that leads to Riomaggiore.
Do not miss the crib Mario (from 18 December to the end of January), The procession of San Lorenzo (10 August) The festival of artists, the festival organ (July-August).

The village of Corniglia differs significantly from the other villages of the Cinque Terre to its elevated position above the sea.
The promontory on which stands a hundred yards is high and falls steeply to the sea and inaccessible. To reach it you have to climb the "Landarina", a long brick staircase: 33 flights with 337 steps. (There is also a road that leads to the village by the railway).
The houses are smaller, more similar to those of the inland villages. The town developed along the main street, Via Fieschi, the houses on one side facing the street, the other overlooking the sea.
To see: the Church of San. Pietro, the Oratory of Santa Caterina disciplined, the ruins of a fortress dating back to 1556, on a cliff overlooking the sea ...
You can walk in San Bernardino, in Guvano, the Spiaggione.

It’s the only natural harbor in the Cinque Terre. The village of Vernazza is developed along the creek Vernazzola (now covered) goes back to the slopes of a rocky outcrop that hides the village for those coming from the sea. Steep and narrow paths run down the main road that leads to a small square in front of the marina.
Alongside typical tower houses are added architectural elements such as balconies, porches, portals, evidence of the prosperity that this little town had during the Genoese domination.
To see: Santa Margherita of Antiochia, the Convent of Padri Minori Riformati of San Francesco, the Palazzo porticato, the Castello Belforte and the tower..
You can walk in Reggio (not Emilia!) Or reach the chapel on Mount Santa Croce

The village is protected by hills covered with vineyards and olive groves. The vegetation surrounding the village, hugging it. The ancient original core of Monterosso is on the hill of San Cristoforo, which separates the two present-day town, this part of town, Monterosso Vecchio, has remained virtually intact and has the same features as the other villages. The expansive beaches, the beautiful cliffs and crystal clear waters of the sea make the village Monterosso cozier on the Ligurian Riviera di Levante. Numerous hotels and restaurants offer the possibility to stay comfortably, and enjoy the typical dishes of the Ligurian cuisine accompanied by the famous Cinque Terre wine.
To see: the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Oratory of Death, the Oratory of the Holy Cross, the Capuchin Convent, the castle and the walls, the Aurora Tower, the Giant (1910 a sculpture of concrete, high 14 meters to 1700 quintals depicting Neptune)
You can walk along the promenade, go to Masco, Cenobio degli Olivetani to Soviore.
Do not miss a walk on the beach and the Infiorata festival