Bucket List item #001: Cinque Terre, Italy
Cinque Terre (Italian for ‘five lands’) is the name given to the five fishing villages located along the northwestern coast of Italy. These villages were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and have been a popular destination for travelers visiting the boot-shaped country.
Lonely Planet refers to Cinque Terre as ‘pastel-hued perfection,’ and from all the pictures I’ve seen, I couldn’t agree more. However, its aesthetics aren’t the only thing that these villages have to offer. In addition to the beauty, Cinque Terre also has rich history— much of the architecture dates back to the late High Middle Ages, including several castles and churches.
Hiking paths and trails connect the villages, but it is recommended you travel here by train. Some sources say that the villages are inaccessible by cars, but I’ve seen others say that arriving by car just means taking difficult, winding roads and shelling out for some seriously expensive parking. Take from that what you will, but I’d still prefer to walk from village to village and admire the incredible views! After all, I have to burn some calories hiking if I’m going to be indulging in fresh seafood in each village!
The hiking trail begins in Monterosso and ends in Riomaggiore, with each leg of the hike (between villages) taking around two hours to complete. Ideally I would spend three to four nights in Cinque Terre, getting to know my way around each village and coming to admire their individual little quirks. In addition, the hikes between the five villages would be much more manageable if they were spread out over the course of multiple days!
The Italian Riviera is home to many beautiful areas, but the architecture, the fresh seafood, and the storied history are what secured the villages of Cinque Terre a spot on my bucket list!
Note: Bucket list items will appear in no particular order! I want to visit/experience all places equally.
Featured Image of Vernazza courtesy of Wikipedia Italy.