Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) *
UNESCO World Heritage Site
A view of the National Park of the Cinque Terre with Riomaggiore, one of the five coastal villages, directly below.
Country Italy
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv, v
Reference 826
Region ** List of World Heritage Sites in Europe
Inscription history
Inscription 1997 (21st Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO

The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre is a very popular tourist destination.

The villages of the Cinque Terre were severely affected by torrential rains which caused floods and mudslides on October 25, 2011. Nine people have been confirmed killed by the floods, and damage to the villages, particularly Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare, is extensive.


Transportation and tourism

Local trains from La Spezia to Genoa and the rest of the region's network connect the "five lands". Intercity trains also connect the Cinque Terre to Milan, Rome, Turin and Tuscany. The tracks run most of the distance in tunnels between Riomaggiore and Monterosso.

A passenger ferry runs between the five villages, except Corniglia. The ferry enters Cinque Terre from Genoa's Old Harbour and La Spezia, Lerici or Porto Venere.

A walking trail, known as Sentiero Azzurro ("Light Blue Trail"), connects the five villages. The trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell'Amore ("Love Walk") and is wheelchair-friendly. The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is the easiest to hike, although the main trail into Corniglia finishes with a climb of 368 stairs.

Food and wine


Given its location on the Mediterranean, seafood is plentiful in the local cuisine. Anchovies of Monterosso are a local specialty designated with a Protected Designation of Origin status from the European Union. The mountainsides of the Cinque Terre are heavily terraced and are used to cultivate grapes and olives. This area, and the region of Liguria, as a whole, is known for pesto — a sauce made from basil leaves, garlic, salt, olive oil, pine nuts and pecorino cheese. Focaccia is a particularly common locally baked bread product. Farinata is also a typical snack found in bakeries and pizzerias- essentially it is a savoury and crunchy pancake made from a base of chick-pea flour. The town of Corniglia is particularly popular for "miele di Corniglia," gelato, made from local honey. [1]

The grapes of the Cinque Terre are used to produce two locally made wines. The eponymous Cinque Terre and the Sciachetrà are both made using Bosco, Albarola, and Vermentino grapes. Both wines are produced by the Cooperative Agricoltura di Cinque Terre (“Cinque Terre Agricultural Cooperative”), located between Manarola and Volastra. Other DOC producers are Forlini-Capellini, Walter de Batté, Buranco, Arrigoni.

In addition to wines, other popular local drinks include grappa, a brandy made with the pomace left from winemaking, and limoncello, a sweet liqueur flavored with lemons.


In 1998 the Italian Ministry for the Environment set up the Protected natural marine area Cinque Terre to protect the natural environment and to promote socio-economical development compatible with the natural landscape of the area.[2] In 1999 the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre was set up to conserve the ecological balance, protect the landscape, and safeguard the anthropological values of the location.[3] Nevertheless, the dwindling interest in cultivation and maintenance of the terrace walls posed a long-term threat to the site, which was for this reason included in the 2000 and 2002 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund.[4] The organization secured grants from American Express to support a study of the conservation of Cinque Terre. Following the study, a site management plan was created.

Cinque Terre Documentary

In 2011, the feature length documentary film "Land of Sciacchetra" was shot about the people of Cinque Terre, by American film director and Executive Producer, Larry A Burns Jr. and Associate Producer, Christopher Dearborn.

Synopsis: 90 Mins.

This documentary film is a cinematic, heartfelt glimpse at the passion of a people that have cultivated the steep mountainous land of a small region of the Italian, Ligurian coastline called Le Cinque Terre, to produce a little known, but culturally important specialty dessert wine called Sciacchetra’ (Shock – eh – tra). Sadly enough, the production of Sciacchetra' is a rapidly vanishing age old tradition. With under twenty independent Sciacchetra' producers left, most are being maintained by an aging generation whose heirs are unwilling and uninterested in receiving the torch that has been passed down by nearly 25 generations. The slogan of the film is, “Passion, Culture, Legacy and Life” because it is the Passion that builds our Culture, which leaves the Legacy of our Life. Le Cinque Terre translates to "Five Lands", named after the five villages that adorn 15 kilometers of the Ligurian coastline; Monterosso Al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each has its own unique personality, but the one commonality that binds them together, is a specialty dessert wine called Sciacchetra’. This work, cultivating and harvesting the grapes in Cinque Terre is long hours and treacherous physical labor, climbing up narrow, stone steps, set into eight to sixteen foot tall terraces, carrying fifteen to twenty kilos of grapes in a large tub or basket, carried upon their shoulders. They climb terrace after terrace risking their lives for something that so many of us take for granted by simply purchasing what we need at the supermarket; grapes. They don't do this for the money, because there's not much money in it. They do this for the passion of keeping up this tradition that has been looked after by their forefathers. As one local resident, Giuliano Basso, (the unofficial mayor of Vernazza), who has cultivated Sciacchetra’ as well as his father and grandfather, commented, “The younger generation just want to rent out rooms and work in the bars because cultivating grapes is too much work.” As if times for these producers weren't difficult enough, living under the rules of the decade-old National Park, "Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre", and relying upon the park for assistance has made things challenging. In September of 2010 the National park president, Franco Bonanini, both the mayor and the chief of police of Riomaggiore and nine other park officials were arrested in a wave of charges ranging from fraud against the state and embezzlement to domestic violence. Over 900 pages of charges were drawn up. This arrest sent Cinque Terre into shock. It sparked fighting, bickering and division amongst the residents; some in favor of Franco Bonanini, the one they called "The Pharaoh", and others against him, claiming to have been victims of his bullying, abuse and coercion.

As the viewer is lead through the film, they are brought into a virtually hidden micro-culture, and transported back in time as it may seem. The people of Cinque Terre have proven their resilience over the centuries. Will the computer age, modern conveniences and crumbling local government be the death of the family legacy or will the production of this magical family tradition known as Sciacchetra’, and the family pride that it instills, go on?

View the "Land of Sciacchetra" trailer:

Other towns near the Cinque Terre


Sister cities

See also

  • Liguria wine


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cinque Terre — Portovenere, Cinque Terre et les îles (Palmaria, Tino et Tinetto) * …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cinque Terre — Portovenere, Cinque Terre, y las islas (Palmaria, Tino y Tinetto) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cinque Terre — Monterosso al Mare Corniglia …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cinque Terre — Cinque Tẹrre   [ tʃiȖkve , italienisch], die fünf Orte Monterosso al Mare (Hauptort), Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola und Riomaggiore an der malerischen, klimabegünstigten Steilküste der italienischen Riviera, in Ligurien nördlich von La Spezia,… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cinque Terre DOC — Cinque Terre is a small DOC white wine region in Liguria, North Italy. The DOC was granted in 1973 and production is limited to the coastal areas of the Cinque Terre in the Province of La Spezia, and specifically to the territories of the… …   Wikipedia

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  • Cinque Terre Da Levanto — (Леванто,Италия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Via Case Sparse Ridarolo, 19015 Ле …   Каталог отелей

  • Cinque Terre Resort — (Thong Pha Phum,Таиланд) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: 266/99 Thaka …   Каталог отелей

  • Cinque Terre (Italy) — Hotels: La Villa Degli Argentieri Monterosso Al Mare (Monterosso al Mare) Villa Margherita By The Sea Levanto (Levanto) …   International hotels

  • Parc national des Cinque Terre — Catégorie UICN II (parc national) Identifiant 178784 Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

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