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Cinque Terre & the Riviera Di Levante (1st ed.)
Car Tours and Walks
Georg Henke

4" x 8.25" • 136 pages • full-color
ISBN 9781856914529 • paperback • $17.99

The Mediterranean coast between Nice and La Spezia, the “Riviera,” was the birthplace of modern tourism in the early 1800s. The beauty of the landscape, the unspoiled and colorful old towns by the sea, the mild climate and the abundant subtropical vegetation attracted the upper classes who could afford the luxury of a leisurely stay in the warmth of the south. These wealthy people spent their days gambling in the casinos; hiking along stony mule trails or swimming in salt water was definitely not what a break in the Med was all about!

But over the last 30 years the eastern part of the area, the Riviera di Levante between Genoa and La Spezia, has become a much-loved hiking area: the colorful houses of the five villages, nestled against steep terraced slopes above the blue sea and still connected by old cobbled mule trails, take the visitor back to the days when the Italian coast was still unspoiled by modern civilization. That's why this small area has been designated as an Italian national park and a UNESCO world heritage site.

Further inland, the sparsely inhabited Apennines, which cross the whole Italian Peninsula from Liguria to Calabria, offer up a totally different landscape—a remote area of high pastures, mixed forests and barren ridges. This area has plenty of hiking trails, but it does not satisfy the expectations of visitors seeking the charm of the Mediterranean. That's why foreign visitors tend to ignore this hinterland—and why nearly all the walks in this book keep to the coast.

This is a walking guide: while “Landscapes” guides normally feature car touring and picnicking sections, the Riviera di Levante does not lend itself to touring by car. The towns and villages are so tightly packed that parking is a major problem—especially in the Cinque Terre. And since most of the trails are linear, the walks require access by public transport in any case. Visitors out for a stroll can use Sunflower's detailed maps to find the best spots for picnicking in a gorgeous setting.

Fold-out area map showing the location of all 35 long and short walks (each illustrated with 1:50,000 topo maps), no car tours or specific picnic suggestions. Free online update service with specific route change information on the publisher's website, maintained daily.

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