Pat Hyland - Aug 6, 2012
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Over the years, Cinque Terre has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. This is quite remarkable, given that it was at one time a coastline of quiet fishing villages.

Located in Italy's Liguria region, Cinque Terre is composed of five towns. This is in keeping with the meaning of the word Cinque Terre, which is translated as 'Five Lands'. The popularity of this destination derives from the uniqueness of the region. Unlike the majority of tourist hot spots, Cinque Terre has somehow managed to preserve its old-fashioned charm and simplicity.

Cinque Terre is made up of five towns namely; Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare, Riomaggiore and Vernazza. None of these have yielded to the lure of the corporate world, thus the traditional setting of the area has remained intact. This is apparent from its quaint, colorful buildings and small shops, allowing visitors of the Italian Riviera to experience its real life.

The area is also renowned for its uniquely flavored olives, grapes and pesto. This is due to the area's mild and warm climate, in addition to being sheltered from winds by the nearby mountains. One of the best ways to experience the area is by hiking from one town to another, a popular activity in the local towns.

The only setback in this idyllic destination were the floods which hit the cities of Monterosso and Vernazza in October 2011. Cities were buried under ten feet of mud, while the locals were left without electricity or water. Nevertheless, they have been working zealously to restore the area's original state, and are right on schedule with their work.

It is therefore possible to enjoy the splendor of the Italian Riviera in these two towns. Here, one can enjoy the Ligurian cuisine and wine, while also immersing oneself in the towns' traditions.

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