THE CHARM OF THE LAND
The towns of the Cinque Terre
Boat trips, mountain trail hikes, food and wine experiences, picturesque towns featuring tiny intertwining alleys, the scent of lemons and focaccia… all of this is Cinque Terre!
A place that can surprise and captivate anyone, regardless of their idea of a holiday.
Bellevue Rooms & Suites is situated in a strategic position to visit the Cinque Terre in Levanto, a 10-minute walk from the train station. Levanto is also known as the “doorway to the Cinque Terre” because of its location: tranquil but right on the heels of the Cinque Terre, just a few minutes away by train.
THE MOST POPULATED
«From here, the vineyards illuminated by the benevolent eye of the sun and so cherished by Bacchus overlook Monte Rosso and the crests of Corniglia,celebrated everywhere for the sweet wine.» Francesco Petrarca – Africa
The most populated of the Cinque Terre, and chosen by Nobel Prize-winning author Eugenio Montale as his “buen retiro” (resting place), this town is located in a natural gulf, protected by an artificial reef.
The old town area is full of “caruggi,” classic Ligurian narrow alleyways, which are a true delight to the palate: in fact, moseying down the tiny streets, you can pop into a vast variety of wine bars, focaccia shops, ice cream shops, delicatessens…
“From the port of Vernazza, the lights were intermittently extinguished by the growing waves, invisible in the dead of night” “The Occasions” – E. Montale
Truly a gem between sea and stone, Vernazza features expanses overlooking the sea, arcades, alleyways, pastel-coloured houses, and its quaint little harbour.
We recommend visiting the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, right near the sea with its Ligurian Gothic style, the Convent of the Reformed Fathers of St. Francis, and the Doria castle, which sits atop a rocky spur dominating the town. Its irregular shape adapts to the rock it was built upon. At its feet, you can admire the “Belforte,” a quadrangular bastion built on the rocks at the entrance to the harbour.
Another must is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio, which you can get to on foot.
THE LEAST EXPLORED TOWN
One of the most unexplored villages of the Cinque Terre, it is the only one that doesn’t directly overlook the sea. You need to walk up the 377 steps of the brick Lardarina staircase to get there. There is a stunning view at the top, especially from the Santa Maria Terrace.
Boccaccio mentioned Corniglia in The Decameron as the birthplace of Vernaccia, the world-renowned wine.
BETWEEN SEA AND SKY
“Between sea and sky” is the perfect way to describe Manarola, a town nestled on a high rock, featuring colourful houses that seem suspended between the blue of the sky and the blue of its clear waters.
Along with Vernazza, it is the most popular of the Cinque Terre, given its exquisite shape, depicted in numerous works of art and adverts by famous brands.
The entire town is built overlooking the sea, truly a village in miniature. The main road takes you to the top, where you will find a white pyramid, used to guide ships at sea and which gives the area a unique touch.
There are many things to see and stunning views to photograph, starting from Via Belvedere, a real terrace with a sea view.
The emblem of the Cinque Terre’s beauty, where the Mediterranean vegetation blends into the colours of the sea and hosts colourful houses overlooking the sea.
The Via Dell’Amore (Road of Love) is a must-see, a romantic pedestrian path carved into the rock overlooking the sea that connects Riomaggiore and Manarola to fully immerse yourself in exquisite natural beauty.
Another must is the castle of Riomaggiore, situated on a mountain spur that offers a stunning view and splits the town in half: the old town on one side, the modern part on the other.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE
«To those arriving by sea, the port of Venere appears on the waterfront and here in the hills adorned by olive trees, it is known that even Minerva, for such sweetness, forgot Athens, her homeland…» (Francesco Petrarca, 1338)
This little town, along with the Cinque Terre, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be captivated by its colours, its quaint alleyways, and its architecture. Doria Castle is an absolute must, as it rises from a rocky hill overlooking the entire village. Another must-see is the San Pietro Church, overlooking the sea and mentioned by Eugenio Montale in his poems.
Below the church, you can visit the Grotta Arpaia, also known as Byron’s Grotto, in honour of Lord Byron who loved to meditate there and find inspiration for his poetry.
Golfo dei Poeti
At the easternmost end of Liguria, between Levanto and Portovenere, is the Gulf of La Spezia, also known as the “Gulf of Poets,” thanks to comedy writer Sem Benelli, who gave a eulogy for poet Paolo Mantegazza in 1910, saying, “Lucky are you, O Poet of science, to rest in peace in the Gulf of Poets. Lucky are you, inhabitants of this Gulf, to have found a man worthy to welcome the shadows of great visitors.”
Over the course of the years, many poets lived in and described this place, from Dante to Virginia Woolf to Charles Dickens. Among the towns that are part of the Gulf, we’ll find Lerici, famous for its exquisite colours and sandy beaches, and Tellaro, selected as one of Italy’s most beautiful villages.
Visiting the Cinque Terre means losing yourself in a true natural wonder, where the harmonious sea water interlaces with the multi-coloured houses and vegetation, all the way up to the mountainous vegetation, perfect for hiking.