Le Cinque Terre had been recommended as a must-see by several of our friends. We spent a long day on the train from Florence, riding on a ferry and then hiking. The five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.(Wikipedia) The towns are surrounded by very steep 600 year old terraced vineyards, which produce the region’s famous Sciachetra’ wine. Fishing boats were stored in the streets above the beaches, as well as on the beach and in the small marinas. Steep climbs in four of the five towns took us to high vistas. We followed a walking trail, Via dell’Amore walkway from Manarola to Riomaggiore, along cliffs over the Mediterranean Sea.
We visited on October 24, 2011, the day before torrential rains caused floods and mudslides, killing nine people and damaging the villages.