Too crowded in the high season, the Cinque Terre still show their soul to those who want to find out. Here are three ways to do it.
Japanese photographers taking photos of the Germans with sandals, american blondes with squeaky white teeth, crowded trains. Many people who “have been there, done that” as they hear Cinque Terre, will first visualize these images. Yet, if tourism has changed the face of our coastline in recent years, there are still ways to visit Cinque Terre by touching its soul. A different tourism, 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 tourists shoot their selfies making the mark of victory.
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 have 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 retrieve these traditions and really understand how the dry stone walls stand? It is possible to spend half a day between the plateaus of Vernazza and Manarola – far from the narrow streets flooded by 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 and fixing a dry wall, picking the grapes, restoring a land you can understand what the real Cinque Terre is.
At the end of the morning, in the price of the tour organized by Arbaspaa, there is a lunch with a DOC Cinque Terre wine.
Voluntourism: the new toursm fronteer
The Cinque Terre that normal tourists do not see and often also the locals have forgotten: this is what one discovers with a volosturism day.
The tour organized by Arbaspaa aims to let you full live the beauty of the landscapes of the Cinque Terre.
From May to October a tour is organized every four days, to attend it is necessary to book.
Half-day prices include: local bilingual guide, water, snacks, lunch and DOC Cinque Terre wine, necessary equipment, gloves and insurance.
Example of the visit: visit the terraces with explanation, 1.-1h.30 in English, and then go to the cellar to drink, but without working (in a way less active, but still good to get to know more)
For any information you can check out this link.
3 – About Rocks and beauty: look at Liguria from the Muzzerone
There is this story about the rudeness of Liguria people Ligurians are rude, scarcely welcoming and do not offer anything to tourists; that’s what they say.
It may be all 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. (We know, it’s just out of the Cinque Terre, but it still explains many things.)
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 panorama.
For the experts, there are numerous paths drawn.
For info Scuola di Arrampicata Muzzerone
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)