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Riomaggiore

Image took from the small ferry that links Lerici to Monterosso, with stops at Portovenere and the other 4 villages of the Cinque Terre.
I think that is one of the most beautiful boat/ferry trip of the whole world.
Lerici, Portovenere, Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Manarola....are all colorful village located on dramatic landscapes, with a fantastic sky and sea all around.
The small restaurant and bakeries have fantastic food and breads (and the famous Focaccia Ligure), good wines.
The only big problems is the mass of tourists.
The only months were is possible to walk around are the winter ones or the spring beginnings.
In all the rest of the years there are thousands and thousands tourist that crowded that small villages.
W e have friends that have houses in the Cinque Terre villages, and they went there during few week ends in the good hot season for the too higher number of tourists.
In the last years the majors of the villages have proposed a maximum number of tourist per day, as was proposed for Venezia many years ago.
Nothing is changed at this moment.

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The Cinque Terre are five coastal villages in the province of La Spezia in Italy. Its are a main touristal attraction for North Italians from many decades, but its was "discovered" by the rest of Italy and foreigners only in the late 20th century;
they have come to be among the most touristed areas of Italy; they can be reached by train via the line from La Spezia to Genoa.

The coast line, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all encapsulated in a national park of the same name.
There are nominal fees to use the more popular trails, but the less frequently travelled (and most arduous) are free of charge.

The best times to visit are in April-May, before the summer crowd comes, or after August, when all the crowds have left.

The five villages (in order from LaSpezia) are: (from East to West): Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.

A local train connects all the five villages from La Spezia. In addition, there are well-laid out walking trails connecting each village to its neighbors. The path from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell'Amore (or roughly "Lovers Walk").
This winds along the shore, is very picturesque and is very easy to hike. The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is also easy to hike although the main trail into Corniglia finishes with a climb of over 400 stairs.

The train connecting the five villages runs in what is mainly a tunnel for the full distance between Riomaggiore and Monterosso, emerging from the rock infrequently for quick glimpses of the Mediterranean down the hill.
In addition to the train there is a passenger ferry service running between the five villages.

From Wikipedia

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Additional Photos by Paolo Motta (Paolo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3781 W: 144 N: 8843] (41222)
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