The Cinque Terre, on the Riviera di Levante in Liguria, is a group of five charming villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) nested on a coast where steep cliffs and hills drop precipitously into the Medditerranean. The form and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the landscape surrounding them, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep and broken terrain, graphically encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium. There is no car traffic in the villages, since access by road is difficult and cars must be parked at the entrances anyways. The distances between them is small enough that it is feasible to hike from one village to the next. A 12km long (7 miles) spectacular coastal path link the five villages, which can also be reached by train or frequently scheduled boat. The Cinque Terre is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site which also include Portovenere and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto).
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