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Cinque Terre

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"A magnet for the young Romantic poets."
Cinque Terre's pull is irresistible.
The Italian Riviera is markedly different from the French Riviera. Much of the Liguria region's rugged coastline is classed as the Riviera, but the most famous part of all is the Cinque Terre. Literally the "Five Lands," the Cinque Terre consists of five colorful fishing villages. There's not much in the way of wide sandy beaches as you would find along the French riviera. But there are plenty of hidden coves and caves that are only accessible by boat. This craggy coastline was a favorite of the poets Shelley and Byron. There's even a Bay of Poets and Byron's grotto you can visit. It should come as no surprise that the Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
All five villages sit within the Cinque Terre National Park. As such there is no road access directly into all of the villages. The easiest way to get around is by local train, which stops at each village. A ferry service connects the villages, although it occasionally skips stops if the seas are too rough. There are hiking paths between the villages too. But not all the routes are open, following landslides several years ago. Notably the Lover's Walk, the easiest of the paths which connected Riomaggiore and Manarola, has been closed for many years.
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