Cinque Terre, translates into the ‘the five lands’ and refers to the cluster of small villages on the northern Italian coast. These five rustic villages include, Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola. Tall, narrow and painted in an array of pastel hues, these picturesque villages sit atop rocky ledges with dramatic drops into the deep blue Mediterranean Sea.

The Cinque Terre is so appealing because it does not display any modern developments in it architecture. Much of what remains in the villages today dates from the Middle Ages, including several castles and churches. The inhabitants rely mostly on fishing and cultivating wine by building vineyards into the sides of the mountains. No cars are allowed in the villages and rather series of interconnecting pathways allow visitors to take in the views of the meandering shoreline in the most authentic ways possible. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these magnificent villages prove to be a rewarding destination for hikers and nature lovers.

Although there is much to admire from the rugged coast hilltops, there is much more to see below the water’s surface. Cinque Terre is one of the best places to dive in the Mediterranean with plenty of opportunities for tourists to enjoy the marine environment. Diving allows visitors to discover the underwater richness of Cinque Terre, a world full of life and colour and home to an array of marine species that are unique to the area.

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