Cinque Terre – “Touch” into the fairy dream

I call that place the “fairy dream” of my life. There, centuries have passed, but the colorful village still gently sings the love song on the blue bay, so that the traveler ‘s heart will stay on the path and not want to return …


“Cinque Terre”, Photo: Harald Landsrath

In Italian, “Cinque Terre” means “five lands”, consisting of five ancient villages: Monterosso del Mare, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola are covered with bright colors that lie on the hillsides, rapids close to the Mediterranean coast. Many years ago, in a time of wandering the internet, my heart was beating when I saw Cinque Terre – a color paradise on the blue sea. And a brilliant summer day, I and my partner made a trip to that fairy region.

Cinque Terre is located in Liguria, northwestern Italy. People here mainly work in fishing, growing grapes and olives. It took just over an hour by train from Pisa, we arrived in the dreamland. Over the centuries, the Cinque Terre retains its unspoiled and unique architecture along the 42km coastline. The common point of 5 picturesque villages is that they all lie on cliffs.

Corniglia Village, Photo: Gianni Crestani

Legend has it that their ancestors built houses on the cliffs to escape the invaders and the Greeks seeking new life. Life here kept calmly until the first color photographs appeared in travel magazines and UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1997.

In order to protect the heritage, from 2016, the Italian government limits the number of visitors to the village to no more than 1.5 million people per year. Therefore, visitors who want to watch the Cinque Terre must order tickets in advance. The roads leading to the five villages were installed with a guest counting system, when the notification machine reached a certain number of days, Cinque Terre would immediately “close”. We were lucky to book in advance so we quickly “check-in” the Cinque Terre from early morning and go for a walk, sightseeing.

Currently, the most convenient way to travel through 5 villages is through the mountain railway system. It’s easy to explore the fairytale villages of Cinque Terre provided at La Spezia central station and information booths. This is really a place where you can enjoy a slow, peaceful life in the wonderful nature so even if you only have one day or have 3 days to explore … all will never be enough.


Riomaggiore Village, Photo: djedj

The first village in our journey was Riomaggiore, beautiful and peaceful as a picture. From the road leading to the sea, I fully collected the view of the winding staircase connecting each house that was tinted with time and led directly to the blue sea. Following each alley, we went to the ancient church of San Giovanni Battista and collected all the vast Mediterranean views, enjoying the wonderful scent soon!

Old church San Giovanni Battista, Photo: Matilde Civitillo

The town is also known to tourists for its historic buildings, large vineyards and, of course, the main wine producer in Cinque Terre. There, we found the beautiful “Via dell’amore” love road, connecting the two cliffs of Riomaggiore and Manarola along the cliff. Just like many couples in love, we hang locks into the barrier and together throw the keys into the deep sea as a promise for everlasting love.


Photo: djedj

And on the other side of the road, my heart was in a bit of a rhythm when I arrived at the oldest Manarola village, one of the 8 most beautiful villages in Italy. Strolling on narrow streets like labyrinths, the camera seems to be “overloaded” when constantly recording the towering houses, San Lorenzo church from 1338, green vineyards or boats Long lines of fishing … beautiful like a fairy dream!

San Lorenzo Church, Photo: reddit

We have dinner at one of the best Cinque Terre restaurants. Fresh seafood caught in the day, wine cooked from mountain grapes, dishes prepared according to traditional family recipes … what is better? A delicious meal with fresh fried deep-fried anchovies, red salmon watered with olive oil, seafood pasta, fried breaded seafood and medium-fat, light-tiramisu desserts … now think again.

And when night falls, the bright sun slowly releases the strips of peach silk on brilliant houses, beautiful scenery as a poem. The children chase each other in the church yard, cool old grandparents on the stone bench or somewhere that echoes Italian folk songs among the windy space … It all remains in me beautiful memories that cannot be forgotten.


Photo: Gianni Crestani

The next day, we explore the 3 remaining villages of the Cinque Terre “fairy dream”: Monterosso del Mare, Vernazza and Corniglia. Monterosso al Mare has the most beautiful and clear beaches of Cinque Terre. The small fishing village of Vernazza is famous for its beautiful harbor, the colorful little villages lying on the white cliffs erase themselves to the Mediterranean. Corniglia is calm and charming with narrow streets, ancient buildings. Watch the Mediterranean sunset and enjoy a glass of white wine that will enthrall you for not wanting to return.

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