Italy: Cinque Terre National Park

Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre National Park, inducted by Italy in 1999, doesn’t protect only the landscape (a section of the Ligurian coastline) or only the five, historical medieval cliff-side towns (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso) within its boundaries.

I love this concept: establishing a park to preserve (no, more than that; to sustain, to improve) the cultural relationship between humans and their environment.

Cinque Terre_Terraced Hills_1

The impact over time of tourism on the area led to a shift away from fishing and agriculture (primarily vineyards). This “terrace abandonment” resulted in land degradation, and landslides are now a major threat to the region.

Cinque Terre National Park (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site) practices “extreme ecotourism” (my term). “Extreme” because all parks everywhere — and more to the point, all tourism — struggle to maintain a similar balance between preserving local culture and promoting an economy, but a park that exists to provide an economic foundation while the physical foundation is literally reinforced?

Every level supporting AND relying on every other level? Extreme!

Cinque Terre Village

More Information:

Cinque Terre National Park

4 thoughts on “Italy: Cinque Terre National Park

  1. Slight quibble – should the “or” in the first sentence be a “but”?
    Also the landslides? Are they being addressed? Is this what you mean by “reinforcing”, or were you using that term descriptively?
    I’ve never been – you lucky duck! – but I’ve heard that it is such a tourist trap these days that it is degrading the environment – did I hear correctly that they are actually closing it down during the peak months?
    Much like, on a dramatically smaller scale, “The Garden of Eden” which appeared on one of those “must see” list of SCC for those pesky millennials. Which turned it from a locals only hidden treasure, to a tiny beach packed with 100 bearded men and their skinny girlfriends, and all the attendant trash and (occasionally) buried piles of poo.


    • The “or” was intentional. Added another “only” to clarify. The real clarity is the next sentence. The two sentences should probably be one, but it seemed so long and confusing!
      The landslides are being addressed, but my overall post is the point. The reinforcing comes from more terracing, but who will do it?
      I didn’t think it was too crowded; I guess I went before the tourist season.


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