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Best Weekend Getaway: Cinque Terre

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For a lovely getaway from Genoa, look no further than Cinque Terre. These five colorful villages, each hundreds of years old and perched on rocky outcroppings, are connected by gorgeous hiking paths, boats, and a straightforward train system. Come to drink wonderful wine, hike along the stunning coastline, and sun on the beautiful (and sometimes hidden!) beaches.
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Via Guidoni, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
Any meal served in an eleventh century castle overlooking the sea has to be good. But dinner at Belforte in Vernazza (Cinque Terre) is an experience to be rivaled by few others. Daniele can tell you about the most recent catch, the housemade...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
The five villages that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Ligurian coast are some of the most picturesque in the world -- and totally worth the hike! Grab your shoes and take a water bottle in the heat of the summer -- and make sure to visit the...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
A few times a year, join hang-gliders from around the world as they soar over the breathtaking vistas of the Cinque Terra section of the Ligurian coast! Fly over abandoned World War 2 bunkers, weaving cobblestone village streets, and gorgeous...
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19016 Monterosso al Mare, SP, Italy
If you think you've reached the end of Monterosso Al Mare after passing the last boardwalk gelateria, you're sorely mistaken. Just keep going --- and find this massive Atlas carved into the rock outcropping at the end of the beach! If you are...
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Piazza Rio Finale, 8, 19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
One of the highlights of my trip to Italy was walking Cinque Terre. I would travel back to Italy just to do this walk again. My favorite part was the Via dell'Amore, or Walk of Love that went from Riomaggiore to Manarola. This is a picture of one...
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Via Renato Birolli, 92, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy
While Vernazza and Monteroso were nearly devastated by the floods and mudslides of October 2011, Manarola luckily fared much better. Only now nearly back to normal, the villages welcome visitors to enjoy the bounty of her waters --- especially...
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Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Made from chickpea (ceci) flour, olive oil, water, and salt, this delicious 'flat bread' is a specialty of the entire Ligurian coast. Find these warm breads topped with rosemary, garlic, and/or other more traditional pizza toppings. Enjoy straight...
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19017 Riomaggiore SP, Italy
Sometimes it's nice to get off the beaten path. You can take the normal pathways around Cinque Terre (and they are spectacular in their own right) but you can also veer a bit off the normal journey and take the 'high road' to catch a glimpse of...
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Parco nazionale delle Cinque Terre, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
Climbing the Sentiero Azzurro (or the Blue Path, given the gorgeous ocean views you get from almost every bend) you traipse by countless terraced vineyards producing the Vermentino and Sciacchetrà that this region is so famous for. And keep your...