Itinerary: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, San Bernardino, Volastra, Riomaggiore
The scenic Road of the Sanctuaries, Cinque Terre in Liguria
One of the most interesting tourist itineraries of Cinque Terre, the "Road of the Sanctuaries" is a particularly scenic path that winds through the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso (pic n°1). Along with this beautiful itinerary, you can visit the five most celebrated and beautiful fishing villages of Liguria. In this area, you can enjoy spectacular, stunning views over the landscape full of picturesque terraced vineyards with the deep blue color of the Tyrrhenian sea in the background.
The Road of the Sanctuaries, which winds along the coast and connects these places of worship, is a real invitation to hiking with its lovely views that stretch from the Tuscany coast up to Corsica. This tour can be followed by a bike or on foot.
So, let's start out on your trip and visit first Sanctuary of Montenero (pic n°5) (Riomaggiore). After visiting this sanctuary go back and follow the path until you get to the main road SP 370. Keep on hiking the road that leads to Manarola and then follow the path towards Volastra.
Right at the entrance of the village, you will find the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Health (pic n°2), an ancient Romanesque church whose existence was first documented in 1240, and which was previously dedicated to San Lorenzo.
Then you should follow the path 6d which starts here and winds up through a slightly steep slope on the side of the hills. This path is parallel to the main road leading to Vernazza and Monterosso. After about 2 km, you will reach a place known as "Case Pianca" (460 meters a.s.l.).
From here, take the path 7a that goes down smoothly through the woods to Corniglia. Here you have to leave the path 7a and have to take the path number 2 that links Corniglia to Vernazza. Walk past the square of Prevo and turn right. Immediately after this turn, there is via Stazione. Follow this road for about 300 meters until you get to a steep trail that leads to San Bernardino and then to the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie (pic n°3).
When your visit is over follow the main road that leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio (pic n°4). It is located above Vernazza (317 meters a.s.l.) and is hidden by a small wood of some monumental trees that includes also a centuries-old oak
From this sanctuary, take the 8b path in the direction of the main road, that climbs up to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore (pic n°6) which is located 470 meters a.s.l.
The village of Monterosso is not far from here, where this beautiful hiking tour will come to its end.
Breathtaking views of the Cinque Terre area during the whole tour!
Starting point: Monterosso al Mare
Ending point: Riomaggiore
Length: km 31
Some pictures of the Road of the Sanctuaries:
Monterosso and the Cinque Terre (pic n°1); The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Health (pic n°2); The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie (pic n°3); The Sanctuary of the Madonna di Reggio (pic n°4); The Sanctuary of Montenero (pic n°5); The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore (pic n°6);