Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 6-8
Next stop: Milan Previous stop: The Monferrato and the Langhe Return to full itinerary »

The Cinque Terre (literally the "five lands") offers a rare combination of charm and breathtaking splendor. Five tiny fishing villages cling to improbably to cascading cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean. The area has been designated a national park, which helps maintain its remote character and essentially car-free status.

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture

Experiences

  • Walking the trails between the villages is one of the main activities here. The trails vary in difficulty; you can stroll for an hour or have a full day of vigorous hiking.
  • From the main trail there are paths leading down to secluded beaches and grottos where you can take in the sun and sea.
  • The most remote village is the one in the middle, Corniglia, which, unlike its neighbors, sits on top of a cliff instead of at the water's edge. The views are well worth the climb.
  • Because this is Italy, even these precipitous hills are planted with vineyards and olive groves; you'll be surrounded by opportunities to indulge in good wine and olive oil.

Festivals

  • Monterosso has the most festivals of any town in the Cinque Terre, including the Lemon Feast and Flower Festival of Corpus Christi, as well as the Salted Anchovy and Olive Oil Festival in September.

Side Trips

  • For a taste of the jet set, visit the resort town of Portofino a few miles to the west.

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