The Cinque Terre National Park, included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List, offers
environmental and cultural features to safeguard and enhance: coasts overlooking the sea with bays and beaches, thousands miles of dry stone walls to mark the terraces for the cultivation of vine, the characteristic rustic, the medieval villages, the sanctuaries, the panoramic paths on the sea and on the slopes. If you add then the fine Ligurian wines, fresh fish, cooking and traditional crafts, you can appreciate the value of these places.
The Park of the men
In addition to the paths that connect the Cinque Terre villages, it is possible to make circle routes that start from one of them and climb up to the highest paths, which allow you to discover and appreciate the particularities of this part of the
Ligurian coast and the territory of the National Park. Surely the highest paths are much less frequented by the average tourist and certainly require a minimum of extra physical effort, due to the longer distances and greater gradients.
Walking through them, however, you can have an exact measure on what it meant, until a few decades ago, to move in these lands near the sea but with slopes typical of mountain places. Making a hike with departure and return to a village you can always take advantage of train comfort and you can also appreciate, especially in high
season, places certainly far from mass tourism and afterwords use the train for a visit to other villages. If otherwise you want to move by car (which in high season is sometimes paradoxically better because the trains are crowded) you can make beautiful trails starting from the inland, in the farther away part from the sea, of the Cinque Terre shore. The one
still hidden in the chestnut woods, first descending to the sea, then back up after passing through small villages and sanctuaries.
from E to EE
The starting point, "Colle del Telegrafo" is located just above the town of Biassa, easily reachable from La Spezia. Starting from this junction point, where different paths converge, we descend from the ridge that divides the coast from the inland towards the village of Riomaggiore. Leaving the chestnut woods, you can immerge yourself in
the classic landscape with terraces (in dialect "i cian"), scattered houses and small villages arriving to the splendid view of the coast from the Sanctuary of Montenero and finally arriving in Riomaggiore. After the visit to the village we will climb the slopes planted with vineyards and olive trees to return to the mixed forest of pines and chestnut
trees, along a particularly interesting ridge for the observation of birds of prey such as buzzard or kestrel, always present, or those passing through the migrations, such as the short-toed eagle or the honey buzzard.
This beautiful circle allows you to really appreciate all aspects of the National Park landscape: the rural part with the cultivations of olive trees, lemons, and vineyards on their dry stone walls, the inner valleys at the edge of the old
chestnut woods, the “Alta Via dei Santuari” path. Then you’ll see also a more natural part between pinewood and Mediterranean scrubland to get to the Promontory that arrives to Punta Mesco, to the ruins of the convent of Sant'Antonio. From here you’ll
descend to the Marina of the Gigante beach. This is an itinerary of different landscapes at each step, that you can conclude by taking the ferry to see the rest of the coast from the sea, or the train to stop at the other villages.