Flooded by tourists in the high season, the Cinque Terre away from the crowd still show its genuine soul to those who want to find it. Here are three ways to do it.
Japanese photographers taking photos of the Germans with sandals, american blondes with squeaky white teeth, packed trains. Many people who “have been there, have done that” as they hear “Cinque Terre”, will first visualize these images. Yet, if tourism has changed the face of the Cinque Terre Riviera in recent years, there are still ways to explore the most genuine nature of the area.
With a different tourism, walking crossroads to throw a different look on the coast.
1 – The sea path: a 700 meters swim
The port of Vernazza is certainly one of the most photographed and trendy areas of the Cinque Terre. Think of how cool it is to get there in swimsuit and slippers, while other tourists take selfies with a v sign.
Right there, near the Mava cliff, the Cinque Terre swim trail begins: seven hundred meters of sea – bordered and protected by buoys – reserved for swimmers, snorkelling and kayak hikers.
This is a great opportunity for those who want to admire the imposing coast of the Cinque Terre in the most natural way possible from a perspective usually reserved to those who have a boat.
The sea lane is bordered by 14 numbered buoys, so swimmers can easily calculate the swim distance. Halfway through, a more visible buoy than the others indicates the presence of the praying Madonna: an underwater panoramic point absolutely not to be missed.
2 – A day between dry stone walls and wine tastings
Cinque Terre, sea villages. Who said that? Overlooking the sea, the Cinque Terre villages show their well-planted roots in the land they cling to.
The story of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso is also – if not above all – a peasant history, made of plateaus, vines and fatigue.
Do you want to be sure to catch these traditions and really understand how the centernary dry stone walls stand still against time? It is possible to spend half a day between the plateaux of Vernazza and Manarola – far from the narrow streets packed with tourists – working between the vines. A young guide from Vernazza will take you to work between vineyards and olive groves enjoying a breathtaking view. The best way to get in touch with the local culture is to live it, fixing a dry wall, picking the grapes, restoring a land you can understand what the real Cinque Terre territory is.
VolunTourism: the new tourism fronteer
The Cinque Terre that usually tourists don’t see and often also the locals have forgotten: this is what one discovers with a VolonTurism day.
Voluntourism Projects in the Cinque Terre connect travelers to locals to fix vineyards, re-build stonewalls, and harvest grapes. You can join one of the local projects for a once-in-a-lifetime experience to meet locals, hike in the Cinque Terre hills, help saving the unique landscape of the world heritage site and enjoy nice and genuine food. All this in Cinque Terre away from the crowds.
3 – About Rocks and beauty: look at Liguria from the Muzzerone
There is this story about the rudeness of Ligurians, scarcely welcoming and not offering anything to tourists; that’s what they say.
It may be right, but first it would be good to try to take a different look on Liguria and try to understand. From Muzzerone, for example, you can do it well.
The majestic rock wall between Portovenere and the Cinque Terre, the Muzzerone is a real rock temple and a privileged observation point to make sense of the Ligurian nature.
Trying some of the trails on the various mountain walls (unfortunately, the central wall is closed) or just watching the stones sinking in the waves you will be able to understand Liguria much more than the jokes can tell.
Between sea and sky: climbing on dreams
Muzzerone’s wall offers rock climbing enthusiasts a unique and unrepeatable view.
For the experts, there are numerous paths drawn.
This post is also available in: Italiano