The territory

The Cinque Terre

A strip of coastline, between the sea and the mountain ridge

The Cinque Terre is a stretch of rugged coastline about 15 kilometers long, lying between the sea and the mountains. Stretching from the western headland of Monterosso, the ‘Punta Mesco’, all the way to Portovenere in the east. Just beyond the Cinque Terre lies the Gulf of La Spezia, while The Vara Valley ‘Val di Vara’ lies just over the mountains.
The steep topography of this area (which dramatically descends 700-800 meters toward the sea in a short 3-4 km span) is terraced with the famous “dry-stone walls,” constructed without the aid of cement. In rocky fallow areas heather, broom and pines grow wild.

Between these mountainous ridges sloping down to the sea of the last offshoots of the Ligurian Apennines, between the inlets of its spurs, the villages of the Cinque Terre have, over time, huddled together: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso.

It is a strip of land and rock of a nature as marvellous as it is harsh and severe, where, for millennia, man has settled, accustomed to hardship and toil, always fighting, in a challenge of love with his environment.
The five villages that make up this incomparable glimpse of the Ligurian coast, bathed by a still crystal-clear and uncontaminated sea, are connected not only by a railway line, but also by small paths overlooking the sea, ideal for trekking, of which the best known is undoubtedly the famous 'Via dell'Amore'.

One of the best ways to visit the Cinque Terre is on foot, walking along the paths that link the five villages (with red and white markings) by means of pre-existing mule tracks and cobblestone steps.
Since 1999, the Cinque Terre National Park has been established, whose territory extends from the area of Tramonti in the municipality of La Spezia to the municipality of Monterosso.
The National Park was created as an instrument to protect and safeguard the territory of the Cinque Terre. One of its aims is in fact the protection of the terraces cultivated with vines and the dry-stone walls that support them. The National Park intends to recover and conserve this example of territorial architecture, with its historical, cultural, territorial and environmental values, and wants to do so through the maintenance of viticulture, the only human activity that can conserve this landscape, now a heritage of all humanity, and that guarantees the continuity of typical local production, such as the fragrant Sciacchetrà raisin wine.
The Protected Natural Marine Area of the Cinque Terre has been established facing the coast, which lies between Punta Mesco (Monterosso) and Capo di Montenero (Riomaggiore), areas that represent the sea areas of greatest value and variety and are subject to the greatest protection (zone A). The purpose of the reserve is to protect flora and fauna which, due to the rocky conformation of the coast, already at shallow depths present peculiarities uncommon in the rest of the Mediterranean. The sea area in front of the Cinque Terre has been included in the 'Cetacean Triangle', which runs from Cap d'Antibes in France to Cap Corse in Corsica, as it is rich in marine mammals and in particular dolphins and whales.

Discover the Cinque Terre

The Two Gulfs

Around La Spezia

The province of La Spezia is characterised by countless natural and artistic beauties to visit.
Just think of the renowned locations such as the Cinque Terre, Portovenere, Lerici, the islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto), Tellaro, Fiascherino.
Discover in detail the wonders of Lerici, Portovenere and Portofino.

Discover the surrounding area

The structure has obtained the MQA 2.0 - CETS phase II (European Charter for Sustainable Tourism) certification assigned by the Europarc Federation,
thus ensuring its commitment to promoting sustainable tourism compatible with the needs of protecting biodiversity in protected areas.