The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Soviore is situated in the upper side of Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the five coastal villages collectively. The village is located on hills cultivated with wineyards and olive trees. From the sanctuary you may walk through a wood of oak trees, cluster pines and chestnut trees before reaching the first houses of Monterosso after a 45 minute walk.
A brief stretch along the road to the Sanctuary of the Reggio Madonna (350 meters above sea level), this is then linked by a small steep road to neighbouring Vernazza. The Sanctuary of Madonna di Reggio, located on the hills behind Vernazza, is visited by numerous tourists, thanks to its century-old beauty immerged in the Ligurian vegetation, as well as by the local believers. Vernazza is by many considered the most picturesque of the Cinque Terre. With the daytrippers gone, in the late afternoon, the small, medieval town of Vernazza, is as perfect the scene for a Hollywood filmset, rolling every gorgeous, romantic Italian cliche into one.
This sanctuary testifies the presence of the 15th century Franciscan reformist, Bernardino da Siena, in the area. Corniglia is located in the middle of the Cinque Terre and lays on a small cape, 100 meters above the sea. It is the only town without access from the sea. Corniglia is an ancient Roman village that has a long and rich agricultural tradition. The village is surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces. Its architecture is closer to that of a rural inland village than that of a coastal village.
One of the five famous sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre is located in Volastra. The Temple of Santa Maria della Salute has the Roman origin and dates back to the Xth century. In the internal premises with a cylindrical arch, there is the image of Madonna of the XVIIIth century.
Manarola is a small fishing town, that spills down a ravine to the wild and rugged coastline at the Ligurian sea. The tiny harbor at Manarola features a boat ramp, picturesque buildings tripping down the ravine and the town’s swimming hole. Although there is no real beach here, it has some of the best deep-water swimming around. A ladder up the rocks and a shower are provided for those who love a little adventuresome swimming.
Squeezed between two steep terraced hills that descend to the sea in steep cliffs, the ancient village of Riomaggiore, strikes the visitor with its houses built in vertical and beautifully colored, while walking through the narrow streets, vaults and stairs of the village, you is fascinated by the alternation of light and shadow. About 350 meters from the sea, along the coast road connecting the Cinque Terre with La Spezia, you can find the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montenero; enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the whole coastal line of the Cinque Terre.
The Sanctuary Trail
The Cinque Terre located to the west of the city of La Spezia comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Five enchanting coastal towns which, together, have become the symbol of Liguria, and five religious sanctuaries, each of which dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Overlooking the summits of the first uplands of the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands) are five old sanctuaries. For centuries the population of the Cinque Terre have come here to gather in prayer.
Five enchanting coastal towns which, together, have become the symbol of Liguria, and five religious sanctuaries, each of which dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Overlooking the summits of the first uplands of the Cinque Terre (The Five Lands) are five old sanctuaries. For centuries the population of the Cinque Terre have come here to gather in prayer.
The route amidst the hills of the coastline which join these places of worship is an authentic hike which offers evocative views and reveals the history of this area. Cinque Terre has been a land of farmers and fishermen, the first responsible for tilling the area’s precipitous coastal terraces, the latter passing days, nights, even weeks at sea. For both, the sanctuaries represented important spiritual and geographical landmarks.
Definitely the Way of Love is one of the most famous trails in Italy that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola. Anyone visiting the Cinque Terre ils looking for the entrance among the colorful houses of Riomaggiore (accessible from La Spezia following the directions first to Portovenere and then to the Cinque Terre). Its romantic history attracts many people to this walk and at times it feels like a pedestrian superhighway, especially when you come across groups of visitors who are on day trips to Cinque Terre.