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Cinque Terre

Photo: Don't miss the gorgeous Cinque Terre town of Vernazza. 

Stretching from the French Riviera coastline in the east, through Genoa, and La Spieza in the south, the Italian Riviera is known for its marvelous resorts located along its picturesque coastline. And along its stretch in Liguria, you will find one of the most idyllic places in this area called the Cinque Terre.

The Cinque Terre is named after the five villages that are in this area. These five villages — Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso, Manarola — offer beautiful and scenic delights which are definitely worth a visit. Just take a train ride to one of the villages and start walking from there.

Closest to the town of La Spieza is Riomagiorre. It is here where the famous romantic path or 'Love Way' is located. It is a steep path starting above the sea, which connects to the next village of Manarola. Older than Riomaggiore, Manarola dates from early 13th century. The village is named after the small temple built during the Roman age in this area.

The houses here project out over the sea, and are located atop a wave-beaten cliff. Another attraction in Manarola is the human-sized Nativity scene, composed of 300 figures. And one should not miss seeing the Shrine of Our Lady of Health just above the village.

The next destination is the village of Corniglia. Mostly agricultural, houses here are low and are similar to those in the mainland. What should not be missed are the beautiful terraced vineyards and the church of St. Peter built in the 1300's.

Perhaps the most scenic among the five villages, is Vernazza with its uniquely shaped port. This is where the church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia, the towers of Belforte and Torrione, as well as the Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio are located.

Monterosso, is the most modern and residential village among the five. However, it is here where an iron and cement sculpture of the Gigante stands.

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