Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site of the Italian Riviera. The name means “five lands”, and the area comprises of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
It is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen, but is also over run by tourists. To make matters worst, like most of Italy, the locals are geared towards the tourist trade and lacks authenticity.
We stayed in a hostel within the National Park. While the hostel was well equipped, it was too far from the five towns. In hindsight, we should have stayed in one of the towns and done more exploring in the evenings.
But, we were glad to leave after two days. While the towns are very pretty, it gets a bit tiring after a while when you’ve got a million American tourists with their thick Rick Steve tour guides. Ironically, Rick Steve’s has an article here about how Europeans dislike the Ugly American.
To be fair to the American’s, the real annoyance in Italy is that the local mentality is completely geared towards tourists. With that, any sense of authenticity has been lost.
More information about Cinque Terre.