Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Cinque Terre of Liguria, Italy

The Cinque Terre are a group of five fishing villages located along an eleven mile stretch of steep coastline between Levanto and La Spezia, in Liguria, Italy. They are accessible by boat and train, the train passing mostly through tunnels excavated from the cliffs, and by mule trails which are now extremely popular as tourist hiking paths. The views along the coast and over the villages of the Cinque Terre from these walking paths are truly spectacular. Until twenty years ago, fishing, wine and olive oil were the main source of income to the villagers, but tourism is now extremely important to the local economy, to the extent that during parts of summer the number of tourists visting the Cinque Terre somewhat spoils the ambience. Nevertheless, the area is still well worth a visit and is easily accessible by train from Florence and other parts of Tuscany.

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