Cinque Terre in Pictures
Cinque Terre is one of those places you see in photos and wonder if it could ever truly exist. The image of perfection, the five towns of the Cinque Terre are vibrant clusters of colourful buildings perched one after the other, along the north-western coastline of Italy in an area called La Spezia. I'd heard about this place a few years back while visiting family in the south of Italy and ever since then I’d longed to see it with my own eyes.
While sitting at a bar watching the world cup in 2010, I came across a couple who’d been making their way through Italy during their travels. They excitedly divulged all the wonderful, envy-inducing details of their trip to date, and I eagerly took them all in. Of all the stunning, timeless and beautiful things they’d done and seen, it was when speaking of Cinque Terre that their voices dropped to hushed, revered tones.
'The most beautiful place I've ever seen' and 'No place in Italy more impressive’ were amongst some of the bolder statements they made about the colourful coastal towns.
Needless to say, I was more than a little intrigued and became increasingly anxious to visit myself. It was almost a year later to the day that I found myself disembarking from the train at Riomaggiore, the larger of the five towns, and finally setting foot on the revered soil of the Cinque Terre. Lying peacefully on the beach, walking down the cobbled paths, sailing alongside the five lands of the Cinque Terre, I took a great big bite of this place I'd heard so much about.
As with most places that receive accolades from passing tourists, Cinque Terre had become a tourist haven and it was more common to hear the English language, amongst visitors and locals alike, than the native Italian. But with an explosion of colour and traditional Italian beauty, the Cinque Terre is every bit as magical as it seems in the photos.