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The Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful and amazing places to visit while backpacking in Europe. This inspiring coastal region is home to impressive views, classic Italian culture, and one of the most unique landscapes in Italy. It is a popular stop for knowledgeable travelers to Europe and for good reason. Meaning, “Five Lands”, the Cinque Terre is made up of five different villages, Riomaggiore, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Maranola, and Corniglia. Over hundreds of years, people have built their homes right into the rugged and steep landscape overlooking the sea. People from all around the globe travel here for the amazing coastline hiking, which is touted by some to be the best in the world. Riomaggiore Located at the southern most point of the Cinque Terre is the captivating town of Riomaggiore. One of the most notable features here is an ancient stone castello, which very little is known about. Information about the castello has been derived from a document dating back to the 500′s when this structure was already considered ancient. The castello was erected to protect the the citizens here from attack by sea. Also popular in Riomaggiore are the many bars, restaurants, and cafes which line its streets offering up some of the best classic Italian cuisine in the region. Monterosso al Mare The most visited and well known part of the Cinque Terre is Monterosso al Mare which caters to travelers with its beautiful sandy beach, and modern hotels. While the town is equally as beautiful as the others in the region, if you’re looking for a true experience off the beaten path it’s better to stick with the other towns of the Cinque Terre. Because of Monterosso’s popularity it is often very crowded and staying in the other towns will provide you with a more intimate look into this amazing place. Vernazza Considered by some to be the most beautiful town of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza provides one of the most breath-taking views of the entire region. The town features an old world charm and a unique look into a culture which is very different from our own. A popular activity for visitors to Vernazza is to walk the well maintained hiking trail to Monterosso. This hike will allow you to witness breath-taking views of the incredible landscape here and no doubt leave you wanting more. Manarola Those with a taste for the finer things in life will enjoy a visit to Manarola which features many elegant places to wine and dine. Here you can eat anchovies freshly caught from the sea served with lemon, olive oil, and classic Italian bread. Also in Manarola you will find a unique swimming area where you’ll get the chance to experience the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean. There is plenty of coastline to explore here and don’t be surprised if you come across a few mystical looking caves. Corniglia The highest village in the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is best enjoyed on foot. Just like the rest of the region, here you will find classic Italian cuisine, delicious wine, and awe-inspiring views of the Mediterranean coastline. Corniglia is also well known for its excellent music which is a perfect blend of jazz and blues. While exploring the town you’ll be given the opportunity to witness views that no picture could ever capture. The Cinque Terre is one of finest destinations to visit while backpacking through Europe. It is one of Italy’s best kept secrets and it’s easy to see why. With its incredible views, amazing cuisine, and unique culture, the Cinque Terre will leave you with a lasting memory and a story to tell for years to come.