#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes.

Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Hello friends, welcome back to #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS series. I’m back today to rub-in another, I mean, inspire you with another fantastic travel experience. During our stay in Florence in April, we took a little day trip to the world famous Cinque Terre. In the highly unlikely case you’re not familiar with what I’m taking about, Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is a string of five fishing villages perched high on the Italian Riviera. The area was recognised in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which should give you a pretty good idea of how incredibly awesome this place is.

Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre (Cinque Terre National Park) and Protected Marine Area is located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, Northern Italy. This it Italy’s smallest national park, but also the densest, with 5,000 permanent residents between the five towns – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Prized for it’s natural beauty and coastal hiking trails, Cinque Terre is a serious magnet for Touristico Fantasticos from all over the world. Try getting your head around this – between 3.5 and 5 million people visit in the month of August alone! In case maths isn’t your strong point, that translates to 1,000 tourists for every local resident in just one month. Blimey! While there is great concern for the environmental effects of such high numbers of visitors, tourism is essential to the region, having long replaced farming and fishing as the area’s chief economy.

Given that we were there for one short day, time only allowed us to visit three of the five medieval villages, so we ventured into Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. Excellent choice by us, if I say so myself. While the ancient system of footpaths that connects the villages is still one of the nicest ways to visit, we made use of the local rail given the limited time. All the villages are well connected by rail, with regular local trains from Genoa and La Spezia. If you chose to travel the same way we did, make sure you collect a train schedule from train station upon arrival, and time your stay in each town ahead of time.

 

Related Post: #YellowtraceTravels: Florence, Italy.
See all other #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS posts.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Vernazza, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Vernazza, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Vernazza, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

On 25 October 2011, Vernazza was struck by torrential rains, massive flooding, and mudslides that left the town buried in over 4 metres of mud and debris, causing huge monetary damage.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza / Photo © Nick Hughes

The port in Vernazza, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza / Photo © Nick Hughes

The port in Vernazza, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza / Photo © Nick Hughes

Vernazza’s medieval castle, Belforte, was built in the mid-1500′s, primarily to protect the village from pirates.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza / Photo © Nick Hughes

Vernazza, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza. Nick Hughes & Dana Tomic Hughes / Photo © Nick Hughes

Tourismandhotels aka Dana Tomic Hughes & Nick Hughes. Beyond excited about being at Vernazza. Photography © Nick Hughes & Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Vernazza / Photo © Nick Hughes

Details from Vernazza. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Our first stop was Vernazza – the fourth town heading north. Vernazza is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy – it is tiny, has no car traffic, and it remains as one of the truest “fishing villages” on the Italian Riviera. It’s little port is surrounded by subtle colourful pastels and it’s charming piazza is lined with many cafes and restaurants. The entire village is surrounded by famous olive groves which are said to produce some of the finest olive oil in Italy.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Manarola, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Manarola, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Manarola, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Manarola, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Manarola, Cinque Terre. Tourismandhotels being totes unprofesh. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Manarola / Photo © Nick Hughes

I KNOW! Manarola, Cinque Terre. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Our second stop was Manarola (Manaea in the local dialect) – the second smallest in Cinque Terre, and the town I like to call “The Money Shot”. You know – the one you’ve seen on all the postcards with bright and colourful houses perched up on the hill. Manarola is believed to be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area.

The town’s primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is particularly well known. One of the main tourist attractions in the region include the famous walking trail between Manarola and Riomaggiore known as “Via dell’Amore” (“Lover’s Lane”) – a 20min walking route.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre Italy / Photo © Nick Hughes

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore / Photo © Nick Hughes

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore / Photo © Nick Hughes

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore / Photo © Nick Hughes

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

#YellowtraceTravels to Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. Nick Hughes & Dana Tomic Hughes / Photo © Nick Hughes

Tourismandhotels at Riomaggiore. Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes & Nick Hughes / Yellowtrace.

 

Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the Cinque Terre, closest to La Spezia. It’s origins date back to the 8th Century, when the inhabitants of the Vara Valley moved towards the coast, searching for a milder climate to raise grapevines and olive-trees without the fear of pirate raids. The town climbs up along the ridges overlooking the sea and is characterised by typical stone houses with coloured façades and slate-roofs. Crazy beautiful stuff.

So there you have it. The history of the region, the rugged terrain and steep landscape sitting up on the cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean Sea, the breathtaking views of harbours far below the wild, the medieval fortresses, plentiful vinyards and olive-groves, the exhilaratingly joyous and vibrant colours of village houses – all these things together make Cinque Terre one helluva memorable destination. Turns out that millions of Touristico Fantasticos that visit each year aren’t too silly after all.

On a personal level, there is no way to describe how moved I was by the beauty and the profound charm of the Cinque Terre. There were many smiles, high-fives, bum-taps, but also quite a few tears during our visit – it struck me just just how beautiful and varied the world we live in truly is, and how fortunate I was to be able to travel and experience such things. And believe you me, this is not just some throwaway line. I felt this with all my heart, as I often do. Hence the good ol’ Dana cry-o-meter going in overdrive once again. Weirdo.

 

Related Post: #YellowtraceTravels: Florence, Italy.
See all other #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS posts.

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace. iPhone5 happy snaps by Dana Tomić Hughes/ Yellowtrace.]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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