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Five star Liguria

Five picturesque coastal towns directly above the shimmering Ligurian sea.

Five star Liguria

Liguria's Cinque Terre groups together some of Italy's most stunning natural landscapes, scenery of such immense beauty that in 1997 the area was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.

With its ancient towns, olive groves, and vineyards, all clinging perilously to the cliffs directly above the sea, this is a magical place to be explored on foot, walking along centuries-old pathways, made in the constant company of breathtaking views of the sea.


We start in the East, in Riomaggiore, a town situated on the outskirts of the city of La Spezia. Apparently founded in the 13th century by Greek refugees, this picturesque town of colorful houses, narrow lanes, hidden alleyways, and incredibly steep flights of steps appears today just as it did in the works of the painter Telemaco Signorini.
From its commanding position on the hill of Cericò, the castle dominates the town.

From the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero take the pathway leading to the medieval village of Volastra


In order to reach Manarola, we follow the "via dell'amore". This impressive walkway, carved in to the rock face in the 1920's, gives the walker the sensation of being suspended directly above the sea, and is especially romantic in the early evening when the setting of the sun provides a truly magnificent display of color.

Manarola, with its Gothic Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, is perched on a rocky promontory just above the sea. A small harbour lies beneath the town, protected by two spurs of rock.


The "Via delle Trasparenze Marine" is the name of the road leading to Corniglia. A pathway through a dramatically beautiful landscape of Mediterranean shrub, overlooking the sea. Corniglia, situated a hundred meters above the sea, enjoys a wonderfully strategic position from where to admire the other four towns of the Cinque Terre.

Corniglia is famous for the production of an excellent white wine, the Bianco Doc Cinque Terre and the Sciacchetrà, Liguria's highly-prized fortified wine


The sight of the Torrione, Doria Castle, and the typical tower houses all reaching skywards above the olive groves, indicate our arrival in Vernazza. "U cantu de musse" (gossips corner) is the name of the town's main square. Overlooking the piazzetta there is the Moorish style Church of Santa Maria of Antiochia complete with octagonal plan and high bell-tower.

Turning our backs on the boat packed harbour of Vernazza, we make our way to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio, where the Black Virgin, apparently brought here at the time of the crusades, is venerated.


Our journey draws to a close in Monterosso. In the 16th century thirteen towers protected this ancient town. Today, only three remain: the Torre Aurora, the Torre del Castello, and the Torre Campanaria. The historic center is dominated by the castle.

In the Convent and in the Church of San Francesco visitors have the opportunity to admire masterpieces by Bernardo Strozzi, Van Dyck, and Luca Cambiaso

As if the picturesque streets of the center were not reason enough to visit the town, Monterosso also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole of the Liguria region.


Hotels in the area

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Grand Hotel Miramare

S. Margherita Ligure

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Villa Edera


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La Torretta


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Imperiale Palace Hotel

Santa Margherita Ligure

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Eremo di S. M. Maddalena

Monterosso al Mare

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Hotel Helvetia

Sestri Levante

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La Madonetta


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Hotel Miramare

Sestri Levante

Useful links
Cinque Terre Hotels
Levanto Hotels
Sestri Levante Hotels
Liguria (all hotels)