Five Lands or in Italian Cinque Terre is one of very well-known and well-visited tourist attractions of Italy, but still unique and breathtaking. Lovely Mediterranean landscape, houses that seem like painted in all shades and hues of the colour spectrum and hovering in midair hanging off a cliff side, will offer a chance for sightseeing, a mouthwatering meal and even a romantic walk.
As the title suggests, this cumulative name stands for 5 beautiful towns (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore) on the western Italian coast, south-east of Genoa. The landscape is so unique that in 1998 it was listed as a world heritage site under the protection of UNESCO. Nobody will be left indifferent by the jaw dropping nature, flamboyant colors, houses perching on the cliffs and ledges and impressive engineering that allowed people to be economical on the space used and build their towns almost on the cliffs themselves. Apart from those five already mentioned, there are other towns that can be visited which are not in any way less amazing such as: Portovenere, Lerici, Fiascherino etc.
(!) Five Lands or Cinque Terre is a well-known tourist sight in Italy and is visited by a huge number of tourists over a year.
Monterosso al Mare
There seem to be two stories how this town got its name. According to the first one, on the hilltop there lived the lord of the castle, Marquise of the Oberteinghi, who had red hair and therefore it was named after him “u munte du russu”. More plausible a tale would be that the town got its name because of the reddish auburn glimmer and glow of the mountains at the sunset.
This village had a Latin name Vulnetia which eventually evolved to Vernezza. The villagers seem to have gained notoriety for them normally being highway men plundering the neighboring communities and the maritime traffic of the Republic of Pisa and Genoa. This led to the repeated punishment of Vernezza by Genoa, but because of their seafaring skills the citizens of Vernazza succeeded in gaining the favor of Genoa and the right for their representatives to sit in the Parliament.
Most probably even this village had Roman origins. Cornelius and his mother Cornelia are the first names associated to this territory, which was renowned for its wine in the Roman era. During the excavations of Pompeii, amphorae were found with the inscription thereon: “the wine of Cornelia and Cornelius”.
This village dates back to the 12th century, but before that the area was populated by Roman legionaries. The name most probably comes from Manum Arula, the temple dedicated to Manes (souls of the deceased). Manarola is connected to Riomaggiore by a path carved in the rock called Via dell’ Amore (Lovers’ Lane).
The town has recent origins having been founded in the 12th century, even though the first settlements were built by Greek immigrants and date back to the 7th century. Its name most probably comes from “Rivus Major”, the name of the larger of two streams that flow through the town. Here starts the famous Via dell’ Amore, and it will take you some twenty minutes on foot in order to reach Manorla.
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