Explore the Italian Riviera! The Cinque Terre is a collection of 5 colourful villages built in the Cliffside in the Italian Riviera. This time we're rebuilding medieval terraces, here on the most beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean coastline: Italy's Cinque Terre. Dont get me wrong, we love Riomaggiore, but we also fell in love with Dolceacqua, Apricale, Busana Vecchia, Sanremo, Santa Marghertia and on our recent trip this summer (2019) to Camogli, Finale Ligure, and Noli. But there's a low-key ambience where you're reminded we're all in this life together, so let's enjoy the moment. Warm water, colorful umbrellas, plenty of bodies soaking up that Mediterranean sun, and an inviting promenade. Then we hike to Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore before catching the boat to Monterosso al Mare. Mammoth waves can slam into this wall. Rick: Ciao! The old castle no longer says "stay away." Monica: And here I have my cousin, Sauro. One tradition that thrives oblivious to all the tourism is that special time when people are out, socializing…enjoying the cool of the early evening. Every one, want the people, have something like before. The traffic-free charm is a happy result of its natural isolation. Rick: Oh. At the windy end of town is a belvedere — a breathtaking lookout perched high above the sea. Since 1973, Rick Steves has spent about four months a year exploring Europe. Then the basil is added. On our Rick Steves Best of Europe in 21 Days tour, the meat of the itinerary is the middle week when we visit Venice, Florence, and Rome in rapid succession. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Here I have Massimo grandparents. Vino delle Cinque Terre. A community that I've been visiting since all of us were a lot younger. Fishing for anchovies, sipping wine out of rustic barrels, and savoring twinkling Mediterranean vistas, we enjoy the ultimate Riviera adventure. Sara is bringing us the house specialties, and making sure we know what we're eating. Series: Rick Steves' Europe European Travel Skills, Part II The second episode in this three-part mini-series distills Rick Steves' 30 years of travel experience into 30 minutes of practical advice on how to have a fun, affordable, and culturally broadening trip to Europe. For a sweet dessert wine, sip the local Sciacchetrà. The Cinque Terre takes great pride in its white wine. Here you'll find more restaurants, characteristic shops, and a world of colorful lanes. There's one main path, so you won't get lost. It has a personality. Miky's pasta is cooked with a unique twist — capped with pizza dough and finished in a wood-fired oven. All five villages are connected by scenic trails, much enjoyed by visitors. The Cinque Terre are tops: five idyllic hamlets along a rugged coastline, connected by scenic hiking trails and dotted with beaches. This couple chose a perch right above the piazza. They cook the concoction in a wood-fired oven to keep in the aroma, then flambé it at your table. Rick: Does this bench have her name on it? Like a breakwater keeps out the waves at the bottom of town, a gate stops traffic at the top. ... Castle Doria provides some great views in Vernazza; thanks to Rick Steves we learned that instead of paying the charge to go up to the top of the castle, we can grab dinner at the restaurant in the castle – Belforte. ▲▲ Santa Margherita Ligure Easygoing old-school resort town with an enjoyable urban bustle, a handful of sights, and close proximity to Portofino. Rick: Bellissima giornata. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Karel: OK! And each of the five villages actually retains a distinct dialect. From the beach resort half of Monterosso, a tunnel leads under the castle and into the old town. Rick Steves Pocket Italy's Cinque Terre contains Rick's complete Cinque Terre and Nearby Riviera Towns chapters, excerpted from his full-length Italy guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other Italian destinations. And my son, Andy, is joining us for the region's most elegant dining experience. Rick: Within one week. Rick: What's an example? Gradually the chef works it all into a rich green sauce. The village of Corniglia, perched on a ridge, sparkles in the distance. If you've always hated anchovies (the harsh, cured-in-salt American kind), try them here, fresh — and cooked in a variety of ways. Monica: Exactly. La Spezia Beachless transportation hub, with trains and boats to the Cinque Terre and buses and boats to Porto Venere. Sara: Buon appetito! Until the coming of the train and tourism, these towns were very remote, and heavily dependent upon the sea. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | ▲ Sestri Levante Charming town on a peninsula flanked by two crescent beaches. The people of these towns are proud of their heritage. Rick: So, from Libya, libeccio. It’s bella chaos, It's aperitivo time, and as everywhere in Italy right about now, families are out — kids and parents — children enlivening main squares. While most tourists are still in their rooms, villagers — some who've never set foot in a modern mall — do their shopping. Once our tour of the chapel was done, we were joined by our local guide Carla. Rick: In France! While nothing like past generations, small-scale fishermen still earn their living working their nets while the tourists play. Video: Watch Italy's Riviera: Cinque Terre, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. Historically, each family has its own small vineyard. Rick: Good for the tourists. Rick: It is nice. If I were ever to require a dessert, it would be their mixed sampler plate, dolce misto, which offers enough for two (closed Tue, reservations wise in summer, diners tend to dress up a bit — but it's not required). Rick Steves Italy 2019 [Rick Steves] on . Sure the place is now well-discovered. Giuseppe: Because we have now a wind from Syria, called scirocco. Rick: Sposato. Life here is subject to the dictates of the weather. And if you're married in Riomaggiore? Cliff diving for beginners is popular here. ▲ Portofino Yacht-harbor resort with grand scenery and easy connections (by boat, bus, or on foot) from Santa Margherita Ligure. And if you manage to get invited in…you'll enjoy an education…and, of course, a taste. Giuseppe: Yes, yes. 1/1. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is located on the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of Italy. Rick: This is your husband's grandparents. Each town is honeycombed with a range of rooms, apartments, and small hotels. The result: dramatically situated cemeteries high in the hills. Crumpled hills come with topographical lines: a terraced, green bouquet of cactus, grapevines, and olive trees blanketing the surrounding hills. Monica: Exactly. Built without mortar, they require almost regular maintenance. Someone — perhaps after drinking a bit too much of the local wine — calculated that the Cinque Terre has over 4,000 miles of dry-stone walls. I'm rolling! Both books are packed with hand-picked recommendations and Rick's travel advice and tips for saving time, money, and hassle. As the threat of pirates faded, the communities grew with economies based on fish, olives, and grapes. No, it's great! From the Mediterranean to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta: with Rick Steves on your side, Italy can be yours! But those “five lands” aren’t the only game on the Italian Riviera. Italian Riviera. Some of these tables snake around the castle, where you'll feel like you're eating all alone with the Mediterranean. I enjoyed revisiting the chapel by watching the video clip on the Rick Steves' Europe YouTube channel when we returned home. Le Cinque Terre was Steves's recommended substitute for Portofino. Like so many Italian dishes, virgin olive oil is mixed in. It's the easiest stretch of the hike, and a good place from which to savor your own private piece of Mediterranean coastline. Tonight, we're enjoying it on gnocchi. From Vernazza, the trail leads dramatically along the coast, and through the vineyards. Each rugged little town is a variation on the same theme: a well-whittled pastel jumble of homes filling its ravine. Tiny communities like this grew up in the protective shadows of their castles — their people ready to run for refuge at the first hint of a Turkish pirate raid. Postcards from Europe by Rick Steves Rather than being a formal guidebook listing where to eat, what to do, where to stay etc, this is a refreshing at times entertaining collection of experiential stories and people that Rick has met during his travels in Europe. Giuseppe: Una bellissima giornata. Stay drunk all the time! Italy bubbles with emotion, corruption, traffic jams, strikes, religious holidays and crowds. After a hike, it's fun to survey what you've explored. Since Roman times, Corniglia has been noted for its wine-making. There's Manarola…and Corniglia — safely on its hilltop — and from my boat I can almost see our apartment in Vernazza. Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on the Italian Riviera. A tower has stood guard here for a thousand years. And even today, when the church bells ring, the fishermen at sea and the grape pickers up in the hills look back at their village, and they know Italy is still Italy. 0187-812-296). Rick: So, do you have relatives here in this wall? From here you can scout the rest of your trek, and see your next stop: Manarola. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. As the area's a national park, you'll pay a nominal admission fee, and enjoy better-maintained trails and a more pristine countryside. Italian Riviera. Travel with Rick on this video guide to the Cinque Terre including Vernazza, Monterosso, and more. From the beaches to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, Italy has it all. Terms of Service | Privacy, In Italy’s Cinque Terre, Views to Die For, The Enchanting Cinque Terre: Fiat-Free Italy, Pleasures of Italian Cuisine It was carved out of these mountains just after the unification of Italy, back in the 1870s. She rent room, for the first time, to American people. It's served with biscotti…ideal for dunking. ▲▲ Manarola Mellow, hiking-focused waterfront village wrapped in vineyards and dotted with a picturesque mix of shops and cliff-climbing houses. And the craft survives to this day, with skilled artisans like Giuliano Basso. Irene: Uh, yes! The castle tower looks new because it was rebuilt after the British bombed it, chasing out the Germans (small fee, open daily). The Italian Riviera — the lowbrow, underappreciated alternative to the French Riviera — has a breezy beauty all its own. Manarola is connected to the next town by the Via dell'Amore, or Walkway of Love. Back in Vernazza, I'm enjoying the passeggiata with Irene. Ciao! The city was buried in an angry torrent of mud 10 feet deep. And that storm coming, come in from the sea. Hot out of the oven, the focaccia comes in several varieties, and is a local favorite for a quick snack to go. But I've never seen happier, more laid-back tourists. If you want the kind of beach scene that leaps to mind when you hear the word "Riviera," you'll find it here. Vernazza's castle, which is now a grassy park with great views (and nothing but stones), still guards the town. Minimize crowds and heat by hiking early or late. Guilano: Corniglia o Cinque Terre. Monica offers a free sciacchetrà or limoncello with biscotti if you have my guidebook (closed Wed and Nov–April, tel. Sure, it's touristy, and virtually every storefront caters to visitors' needs. With evocative photos and finely carved memorial reliefs, any are worth a visit. Rick: If you know the wind… Giuseppe: …in Cinque Terre, you don't need a weatherman! Savor the view and the unforgettable setting. Study the arrangement man and nature have carved out here over the last 15 centuries. The castle is nick-named Belforte, "the place of loud screams," for the warnings shouted from its tower back in pirating days. But this submarine-strength door hints that the weather's not always so calm. Beppe: Example, for talk about "married," in Vernazza is "sposato." These hillsides have been terraced for centuries. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Italy's Cinque Terre is an irresistible mix of nature, culture, and human activity — well-worn locals, sunburned travelers, and inviting family-friendly piazzas. Meanwhile, the mother and daughter help wait tables and charm their guests. Normally, the seas will be too rough. Riomaggiore, while bigger than the towns we've seen so far, is another cozy collection of homes nestled in a valley. See the Travel Details above for recommendations highlighted in bold, excerpted from Rick's guidebooks. Trails can be congested. While the Cinque Terre now endures the storms of the modern world, the region's charms are as endearing as its people are resilient. Today, the castle functions as a tourist lookout, a perch from which local daredevils dive…. Of the five towns, Vernazza has the closest thing to a natural harbor. But nearby towns to the north (Levanto, Sestri Levante, Santa Margherita Ligure, and Portofino) have more beaches; towns to the south offer a mix of marble (Carrara), train connections (La Spezia), and yachts (Porto Venere). Rick: And quanti litri qui? Rick: 54 liters — that's a lot. Rick: Buona sera! Basil, which loves this temperate Ligurian climate, awaits its fate in the mortar. In cemeteries like these, some are buried in a graveyard, while most are in niches called loculi. Irena: Ciao! Giuseppe: Yes. One of the essential Cinque Terre experiences is to get out and hike. His mission: to empower Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. (11:50), Landing at Malpensa airport from JFK and wishing to take a train into Lauterbrunnen. And, normally, we have after libeccio, the wind from the north, called tramontana. They brag that while big-time Riviera resorts nearby sold out, the Cinque Terre is still locally owned. Expert advice from Rick Steves on what's worth your time and money; Itineraries for one to four days in the top destinations in England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland; Rick's tips for beating the crowds, skipping lines, and avoiding tourist traps Like many towns built in a ravine, Vernazza paved over the stream that once divided the town in order to make this people-friendly main drag. Ever since Napoleon — who crowned himself king of Italy in the early 1800s — declared that cemeteries were health risks, people in these villages have buried their loved ones outside the towns. And Lina is waiting in the main road for someone arrive. If you keep climbing, eventually you'll pop out up at the top, near the castle — handy for fleeing attacks. And, as photos inside attest, winter storms can engulf the entire tower in waves. The tiny harbor, with its modern breakwater, does double duty — serving both fishermen and fun-seekers. Monica: My grandfather and my grandmother. I know everyone here. And it's main square has some of the region's finest restaurants. Acciughe or anchovies, a regional specialty — served the day they're caught. Click first photo in each group to enlarge entire gallery. 2020-12 ... YouTube TV. Monica: Yes, my family, my friends. Thanks for joining us. For simple fare and a special evening, reserve one of the dozen romantic cliff-side sea-view tables for two. Built with the same determined spirit that united Italy, this train line literally helped tie together the newborn country's diverse regions. For me, this is Italy at its most relaxed. Above: A road in Tuscany. Beppe: Every village have a different dialect. Andy: Looks delicious! Even today, traditions survive. There's one main street — it runs from its train station down to the sea. Rick Steves points out four worthwhile destinations, all within an hour from the ... Siena, the Italian Riviera, the Swiss Alps, Paris, and London, these episodes cover Rick's favorite 3,000-mile European loop while providing viewers with essential travel skills. In fact, in the mainstream tourism world, it’s almost quaint that Rick Steves readers are so fixated on the Cinque Terre. And the son, Eros, florist by day and opera singer by night, sells flowers with a dramatic flair. Each has a distinct personality — gently and steadily carving a good life out of the difficult terrain. [In Italian: He wants to know if this bench has your names on it!]. Hi, I'm Rick Steves, back with more of the Best of Europe. My Way Tour- where will our tour stay while in It Riviera. Click first photo in each group to enlarge entire gallery. The adjacent church bells chime through the day — but, thanks to an agreeable town priest, they're silent through the night. Giuseppe: Scirocco. Ciao. 1/1. Guilano: Cinquantaquattro. And the people of the Cinque Terre know the weather by the wind. Made famous by world traveler Rick Steves, Cinque Terre ("Five Lands") are five beautiful Italian Rivera hillside villages. The dry-stone-masons of the Cinque Terre are famed for their skill at artfully building and preserving the trails and terraces. Visitors climb to the top for the view and to imagine past raids. And, the fort's lowest deck is perfect for a romantic meal. The ingenious monorail wine train — called a trenino — carries workers high above the villages, where small family vineyards are tended with knowing care. In the south of Europe is Italy, and between Florence and Genoa lies the Cinque Terre. Ciao Maria! Rick: Each one is a little bit different. And they found Sauro in France. The shorter Rick Steves Best of Italy guidebook focuses on Italy's top destinations and sights, is in full color, and is updated every other year. …and a restaurant. So when you hear somebody, you know what village they live in. Giuseppe: In Cinque Terre, if you know the wind, you don't need the weatherman. Explosions of Mediterranean brightness hint at the wonders to come. Perched just below Vernazza's castle, this restaurant is run by gracious and English-speaking Monica, her husband Massimo, kind Mario, and the rest of her family. In the densest parts of town, these lanes became interior passages.