Italy | Exploring the Colorful Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is the smallest national park in Italy, which was established after being listed as a World Heritage site 20 years ago. The colorful houses, stone walls, terraces, churches, watchtowers, cliffs, and reefs built along the mountains and the sea for generations all blend together, creating the iconic scenery of the Cinque Terre.

This enchanting area, made up of beautiful coastline, steep cliffs, and colorful charming villages, is a great place for beach walks and mountain hikes. Those who enjoy hiking can choose to visit in spring and autumn when the weather is cooler.
This is one of the towns in Cinque Terre, located at the southernmost end and the largest town. The office of the national park is located in this town. The pedestrian street along the coast is called the "Path of Love", which is about one kilometer long. The paved road is carved out of the cliff, with mountains on one side and the sea on the other. There is also a "modernist" kissing statue on the road, and the railing is covered with love locks. There is a short tunnel halfway, and the walls of the tunnel are filled with romantic or cheesy love words. If you want to reach the town on the mountain side from the train station, you need to pass through an underground passage. The mural on the passage depicts how the ancestors of Cinque Terre built this settlement. Walking out of the tunnel, you can see the steep main street, with various restaurants, shops and souvenir shops on both sides. On the other side of the train station is the small pier of Riomaggiore, often docked with fishing boats and yachts. The tall and short buildings on the cliffs on both sides of the pier are painted in various colors, adding a lovely atmosphere to the pier. If you walk a little further south, you can reach the Fossola small beach, where you can observe plants and seabirds, play and rent canoes and rafts.
Manarola is one of the five villages of Cinque Terre, located at the end of the Corniglia-Manarola path. This colorful little town is wonderfully built on rocks, with no harbor or beach, only a small landing platform. When the weather is good, many people sunbathe on the platform, which is also a scenic spot. Manarola is the town in Cinque Terre with the most vineyards, and the locally famous sciacchetrà sweet wine is a must-try. In addition, there are many medieval ruins in the town. On Via Discovolo in the north, there is a square called Piazzale Papa Innocenzo IV, whose bell tower was used as a watchtower in the past. Across from it, the Chiesa di San Lorenzo monastery was built in 1338, and has 15th-century multi-screen paintings inside. If you want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Manarola, you can take the Via Rollandi path, pass through vineyards and wineries, and go straight to the mountaintop. From there, you can overlook the town and the surrounding scenery. Every year from December 8th to early February, 300 lighted groups symbolizing the birth of Jesus are scattered in the terraced fields of Manarola. When night falls, all the patterns will be lit one by one. At this time, the colorful little town is even more vibrant, like a dazzling starry sky. This is the largest nativity scene in the world.

The road of love

The Path of Love is a narrow trail connecting Manarola and Riomaggiore, and it is the shortest and most comfortable hiking route among the five villages, taking only 20 minutes to complete. Although it is not long, the scenery is beautiful: on one side are huge cliffs and terraces, while on the other side are cliffs and the sound of the sea hitting the shore seems to be right next to your ear.