Friday, August 10, 2012

Travelling Wizards Travel Magazine destination Italy, Portofino, Cinque Terre


Portofino - elegance and charm

Portofino is situated in Tigullio Peninsula and is known as the resort of the rich and famous, but there is much more to see than just people.
According to Pliny the Elder, Portofino was founded by the Romans and named Portus Delphini, or Port of the Dolphin, because of the large number of dolphins that inhabited the Tigullian Gulf. After 1229 it was part of the Republic of Genoa.

The town's natural harbor supported a fleet of fishing boats, but was somewhat too cramped to provide more than a temporary safe haven for the growing merchant marine of the Republic of Genoa. The Patrician families of Genoa frequently chose to build their summer homes in Sestri Levante and as a result, this is where the largest number of aristocratic villas can be found after Genoa itself.

Cinque Terre - a little piece of Heaven

The Cinque Terre are five small villages on the “Costa Ligure of Levante”. The villages from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Since 1926 the Cinque Terre towns have been part of the province of La Spezia. This territory was long isolated and the characteristic Ligurian culture has been conserved.

The five villages were only reached by the outside world about one hundred years ago, when the railway line was built. The chain of mountains that surrounds these villages runs parallel to the “Appennino Mountains” and creates small insenature, steep valleys where the towns are situated. This makes for a unique landscape, different from the rest
of the coast.

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