Liguria is a coastal region of north-western Italy; its capital is Genoa. The region is popular with tourists for its beaches, towns and cuisine. Liguria is bordered by France (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur) to the west, Piedmont to the north, and Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany to the east. It lies on the Ligurian Sea. The narrow strip of land is bordered by the sea, the Alps and the Apennines mountains. Some mountains rise above 2,000 m; the watershed line runs at an average altitude of about 1,000 m. The highest point of the region is the summit of Monte Saccarello (2,201 m). The winding arched extension goes from Ventimiglia to La Spezia. Of this, 3,524.08 square kilometres (1,360.65 sq mi) are mountainous (65% of the total) and 891.95 square kilometres (344.38 sq mi) are hills (35% of the total). Liguria's natural reserves cover 12% of the entire region, or 60,000 hectares of land. They are made up of one national reserve, six large parks, two smaller parks and three nature reserves. The continental shelf is very narrow, and so steep it descends almost immediately to considerable marine depths along its 350-km coastline. Except for the Portovenere and Portofino promontories, it is generally not very jagged, and is often high. At the mouths of the biggest watercourses there are small beaches, but there are no deep bays and natural harbours except for those of Genoa and La Spezia. The ring of hills lying immediately beyond the coast together with the sea account for a mild climate year-round. Average winter temperatures are 7 to 10 °C (45 to 50 °F) and summer temperatures are 23 to 24 °C (73 to 75 °F), which make for a pleasant stay even in the dead of winter. Rainfall can be abundant at times, as mountains very close to the coast create an orographic effect. Genoa and La Spezia can see up to 2,000 mm (79 in) of rain in a year; other areas instead show the normal Mediterranean rainfall of 500 to 800 mm (20 to 31 in) annually.

Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre National Park is a protected area inducted as Italy's first national park in 1999. Located in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, northern Italy, it is the smallest national park in Italy at 4,300 acres, but also the densest with 5,000 permanent inhabitants among the five towns. In addition to the territory of the towns of Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare), the Cinque Terre National Park encompasses parts of the communes of Levanto (Punta Mesco) and La Spezia (Campiglia Sunsets). Cinque Terre was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The collection of five cliff-side towns on the Ligurian Coast linked by a series of trails highlights a delicate relationship between man and the environment. As modification of the landscape has been so vital for the area's development and tourist industry, the National Park is an essential tool in preserving and maintaining the natural landscape while promoting sustainable tourism that vital to the economic success of Cinque Terre. To achieve its objectives, the Park Organization encourages the development of responsible tourism, able therefore to invest in the identity of the places and the territory's products, and thus save its immense heritage of terracing, now endangered.


The five medieval towns along the Ligurian Coast provide scenic views of rugged terrain reeled in with terraced stone walls, where the mountains of Appennino Ligure come straight to the sea. The site's location and topography is a vital part of the identity of Cinque Terre, whose extreme typological restraints and access to the coast inherently provide for a delicate relationship between man and the natural environment. That relationship has led to a dual existence, focused on both land and sea.
Even though the Mediterranean flora have obvious features, there are many microclimates often different from each other which created a huge variety of landscapes. There are pine, Aleppo pine, corks and Chestnut. Rock and coastal environments produce numerous Mediterranean species such as samphire and sea Cineraria. Flora is visible everywhere even as shrub Rosemary, Thyme, Helichrysum and Lavender. Also present are several species of trees and Succulents clearly visible from many trails.
The environment is conducive to the development of life and habitat of several animal species. Among the birds are the Gull, the Peregrine Falcon and the Raven. Among the mammals are the Dormouse, weasel, mole, rate, marten, fox and wild boar (whose presence is resented for damage to crops). The reptiles that thrive in the rock are the common wall lizard, the lizard and various snakes such as the rat snake, the grass snake of Aesculapius and the viper; around streams live amphibians like frogs and salamanders.


Prized for this natural beauty and coastal hiking trails, Cinque Terre is a tourist destination that draws people from all over the world, the numbers rising to 3.5- 5 million in the month of August alone. The past three decades have seen a significant growth in tourism, in turn providing new economic opportunities for places like Cinque Terre. While there is great concern for the environmental effects of such numbers of visitors, tourism is essential, having long replaced farming and fishing as the area's chief economy.
Recognizing the value of sustainable ecotourism, the goal of World Heritage areas like Cinque Terre National Park is to maintain the ecosystem in a functional state by preserving the fine balance between tourism and agriculture.
Ecotourism is a branch of the industry with immense benefits, as its aim is the enjoyment and appreciation of a natural landscape in an environmentally-conscious manner. For tourists, there is often an expectation of a pristine untouched environment, and an interest in the local population as a part of that landscape. In Cinque Terre, the greatest draw for tourists are the hiking trails where one can experience breathtaking scenery among authentic traditional settlements. This socio-cultural element is essential as it highlights the heritage and culture of the picturesque Italian villages.
There's a Protected Marine Area founded in 1997 that preludes the National Park as an effort to protect and maintain proper usage of the sea off the coast of Cinque Terre. It is subdivided into 3 zones, a Strict Nature Reserve, where boaters are prohibited, the General Nature Reserve, which allows access to motor boats, registered retail fishermen and guided scuba diving tours and the last and least stringent Partial Nature Reserve that allows monitored recreational fishing.

Monterosso al Mare

It is one of the five villages in Cinque Terre. The town is divided into two distinct parts: the old town and the new town. The two areas are divided by a single tunnel that caters to pedestrians and the very few cars in the town. The beach at Monterosso runs along most of the coast line and is well used by tourists and locals. The beach is the only extensive sand beach in the Cinque Terre. The village was briefly excluded from the Cinque Terre trail in 1948, but was re-introduced in mid-1949. This is because Italian officials considered the village too large to be considered part of the historic trail. Originally, the village was only accessible by sea or by mule paths that connected the villages of the Cinque Terre and to Via Roma, the main road that connected all of Italy to Rome. In 1870, the Italian government built a railroad line into the city, which opened it up to the outside world. It is the main way in which people enter the city. The village is connected to the E80 highway via a narrow, steep and full of corners 20 km long road. But the train is definitely the best option to get there (go to Contact us to get more informations about how to reach).