Travel to the Past at Cinque Terre
It is almost impossible to believe there are still people in the 21st century living peaceful lives in a relaxed atmosphere, far away from the whirlwind of civilization. Cinque Terre is one of these fairytale places.
Spreading across a small portion of the rocky coast of the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is the place where man chose to build five settlements, away from the sometimes chaotic civilized world, but just steps away from the restless sea. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list for its breathtaking beauty, but especially for its tenacity in the battle against modern trends.
Each of the five villages of Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare) maintains its old charm through classic architecture and charming inhabitants that welcome visitors with open arms. The locals always look like they are patiently waiting for something to happen, as they stand in front of their houses, contemplating the sights. Only this is the way they live their lives, calmly enjoying the peace and beauty that surrounds them. Watching the tourists stroll through their narrow streets and alleys is most definitely their favorite past time.
Of the five villages of Cinque Terre, Vernazza is by far the most spectacular and the touristsâ€™ favorite. As soon as you approach, youâ€™re able to see a barrier that lets you know you wonâ€™t be able to drive your car into the village. Itâ€™s only lifted on Tuesday mornings to allow supply trucks to enter. Other than that Vernazza is a forbidden land for modern transportation. Locals have used small boats to get around ever since medieval times and they do the same today, making Vernazza seem like a small, rustic Venice.
Apart from a ruined castle on the village outskirts, a somewhat interesting church at its center and the grapevine terraces that stretch around the neighboring hills, there are no special attractions in Vernazza. Still, surprisingly for some, it remains one of the most popular destinations on the Italian Riviera and, like the sea, tourists arrive here in waves. There isnâ€™t even a proper beach, for sunbathing, but brave tourists venture among the coast cliffs and leap into the waves. The truth is most travelers come to this time-forgotten paradise to get away from their busy lives, if only just for a few days. They walk around the village, observing and enjoying the simple life of Cinque Terre.
Since there is no way of reaching Cinque Terre by car, the Italian authorities advise tourists to leave their vehicles in the town of La Spezia and from there, to take the train to any of the famous five villages. Scientists time-machines havenâ€™t yet been invented, but they are so wrong, the railroad manages to take people back to the past every time it enters Cinque Terre.
So if you fancy a trip back to a time when life was a lot simpler, leave your worries behind, jump on a plane to Italy, take a ride on one of their magical time-traveling trains and come to Cinque Terre.