It's hard to believe you haven't seen these photos by now, but this is Cinque Terre. With nearly 2 million visitors per year, it has quickly become a popular destination for tourists, but I've always wondered why?
📍 Location: A coastal area within the province of Liguria, in northwest Italy
As we all know, Italy has a rich history that culminated in its unification in the mid-nineteenth century. Long before that, under the Roman Empire, Liguria's shoreline was vital to the region.
Here is the timeline after the Roman Empire rule:
9th Century: The Saracens, also known as Arabs or Moors, conquered the region and demolished the little villages, driving the residents inland.
11th Century: The Tuscan Obertengo dynasty took over from the Saracens. During this time, locals began returning and rebuilding the communities and area.
"The local tribes moved back down to the sea and raised their first houses. During those days, the new inhabitants started a heroic work that we still admire today. They turned the natural forests and rough, steep slopes into cultivated terraces, built dry stone walls and planted vine." - Cinque Terre Travel
12th Century: The region became part of the Republic of Genoa. They began forming relations with Genova as they are the closest, largest, port.
15th Century: Locals started to use the name "Cinque Terre".
16th Century: Pirates started appearing but with a strong defense, they managed to have commerce from the sea.
17th Century: A natural disaster killed all the crops and they reached out to Genoa, but locals began leaving the area.
19th Century: Wine production grew and the vines planted in Cinque Terre became a valuable asset. In the mid-19th century, Italy unified, and transport (trains) was built in Genoa and Rome connecting to Cinque Terre.
20th Century: In the mid-20th century, the railways were finished and are still used today. Travel bloggers in the late 1900s began visiting and writing about their experiences. Thus began the fascination with the 5 towns. Cinque Terre has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997 and National Park since 1999.
What are the names of the 5 villages?
3) Corniglia: Seen on the left-hand side of the photo the town is the only village that sits on a cliff 100 meters above sea level, rather than along the shore.
4) Monterosso al Mare:
🧠 Fun Fact: You can hike all five towns! Granted it will take you 5-6 hours with no stops along the way, but if you've already been, I'd recommend giving it a try!
I hope you enjoyed learning more about Cinque Terre! Post some of your photos below! 👇