Not just on the sea, you can enjoy Liguria. The Cinque Terre villages on the coast and inland have much to offer, as stated by the 2016 Touring Club certification for four villages in the La Spezia area. This award considers the incoming offer’s sustainability, quality, and average level of hospitality. But also, the Association of Italian Municipalities assigns the certification Most Beautiful Villages of Italy to the villages that bear witness to the heritage of art, culture, environment, and traditions. In our area, there are six of them.
Even those who can reach these inland Cinque Terre villages on a trip out of town distance can see them with new eyes every time. So why not get to know them a bit closer?
THE ROUND HAMLET OF VARESE LIGURE, THE “CAPITAL” OF THE FIRST EUROPEAN BIODISTRICT.
Varese Ligure is in the heart of the first European biological district. Many of its gastronomic products are the reason for tasty Sunday excursions for many locals and quality shopping for meat, cheese, and honey. But if food is not the reason for your visit, the beauty and uniqueness of the round village aren’t less exciting. The quaint inhabited area, with a rounded shape, can be especially appreciated from an aerial view. Varese was built at the behest of the Fieschis in the fifteenth century and enclosed in a circular wall course. Take advantage of the district of Grecino, which extends beyond the scenic bridge of the same name built in 1516 above the Crovana stream.
BRUGNATO, HUB OF THE VAL DI VARA HISTORY.
Brugnato as well, seen from above, reveals the need to defend a great wealth at its center. The village proudly guards the history of the Val di Vara and has earned the orange flag for preserving the preciousness of its historic center. Brugnato was, in fact, the center of the Ligurian diocese in the Middle Ages together with Sarzana; the presence of the Church made it a vital cultural and artistic center for the Ligurian backcountry. Add to this the strategic position for the communication routes. Walking in Brugnato, you will find many aristocratic buildings with beautiful facades. St. Peter’s Square is the beating heart of the village, with the Church dating back – in its original form – to the 11th century.
FRAMURA, BEYOND THE KINGDOM’S BORDERS.
Locals know well, Framura is not part of the Cinque Terre. Still, the borders are weaker for those who visit us from the outside. The territory of the five boroughs expands to a broader area, defined chiefly in terms of beauty and stories.
Increasingly included in the international visitor flows, Framura allows one to explore the extraordinary history of its ancient aristocracy. It is composed of a group of fractions; Anzo, originally the western border of Etruria, to Costa, high on the hill, with a beautiful Carolingian bell tower.
MONTEMARCELLO, A EXCLUSIVE VIEW OF THE GULF OF THE POETS.
Montemarcello gives its name to one of the most important parks in the territory, stretched between the Val di Vara and the Val di Magra. It is, in fact, the capital of Montemarcello Park, overlooking the Gulf of the Poets with one of the most beautiful views. An ancient settlement, which probably owes its name to the Roman Consul Marcello, conquered the Ligurian Apuans, a notoriously hostile pre-roman population.
Today Montemarcello is a placid Borgo, one of the most beautiful in Italy, with colorful houses and cheerful squares, surrounded by olive trees and kissed by the sun for most of the year, thanks to its undivided location.
VERNAZZA MADE THE CINQUE TERRE GO VIRAL, WITH AN INSPIRING RE-BIRTH.
Vernazza is the best-known village in the Cinque Terre area for its iconic beauty but also for its recent, unfortunate history. It was the protagonist of the disastrous flood of 2011, which hit it and devastated the historic center. However, today Vernazza has been reborn thanks to its inhabitants’ determination.
The village is the oldest in the Cinque Terre area, and wealthy Genoese families of the past had properties in Vernazza, which became an important commercial center during the Middle Ages.
The village’s main street is a picturesque narrow street that describes a lively life, with an atmosphere populated by typical artisan shops and restaurants.
AT THE EASTERN END OF THE GULF OF POETS, TELLARO WAS RESCUED FROM AN OCTOPUS.
Located at the very end of the Gulf of the Poets, Tellaro overlooks the bay from a privileged position. In every corner of Tellaro, you hear the sound of the waves and live in a world of poetry, craftsmanship, and charm. So many poets in ancient and modern times lived in this quaint, very typical village with a fascinating story. In the middle age, it was a sort of sea outpost for the major inland towns of Barbazzano and Portsone. In these villages, all the area’s economic and social activities would occur when the coast was too exposed to develop a town life. That was until an octopus became a true hero of the Tellarese tradition, not only in the local cuisine with Polpo Telarese but for the very life of the Ligurian village.