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Itinerary of the terraced vineyards

Riomaggiore - Manarola - Groppo - Volastra - Case Pianca - Corniglia

On foot         Great Interest: Panorama Great Interest: Religion Great Interest: Hystory 
  • Departure: Riomaggiore
  • Arrival: Corniglia
  • Forward time:  3 hour/s 15 minutes
  • Return time: 3 hour/s 15 minutes
  • Difficulty Level: EE - For expert hikers
  • Length: 8.291 km
  • Difference in height: 73m

The itinerary "Vigneti terrazzati" starts in Riomaggiore, with trail 531 Riomaggiore - Manarola via Beccara, one of the Park's most panoramic trails, as it is perched over the sea.
Before the railway line Genoa-La Spezia was built, in the 1870s, and before the opening of the Via dell'Amore in 1928, the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola were connected only by this steep path.
The trail sets off from the railway station of Riomaggiore, going uphill along Via Signorini until it takes a fork to the left. After a few hundreds meters on Via Tracastello, a small staircase on the left leads in the valley of the stream Rio Finale.


(photo by: PN Cinque Terre)
 

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The signposted path goes through the gardens and crosses a small bridge before starting to climb up the long stairway that leads, among cultivated terraces and Mediterranean scrub, to the ridge called Costa Corniolo. At the top of the ascent, hikers can enjoy a panoramic view of the Montenero cape to the east, and Manarola and the Cinque Terre coastline to the west. 
The trail continues along the ridge until it meets the ancient stone stairway, partly hewn out of the rock, that leads with panoramic sights down to the village of Manarola. 
Once in Manarola, the itinerary continues with trail 506. Going uphill from the forecourt of the parish church of San Lorenzo, the trail passes by the parking area and ascends along the right side of the Rio Groppo stream.
The trail ascends among gardens and cultivated terraces until it meets the provincial road SP 370, crosses it and continues at the foot of the road verge for a short stretch, until the intersection with the provincial road SP 51 in the place called Piè di Fiesse. Near the intersection, from where trail 502 also starts, there are a small bridge over Rio Groppo and a tabernacle with a fresh water fountain on its side. 
A steep uneven stairway climbs up the hill among terraced vineyards, traditionally grown on low trellis, and Mediterranean scrub. Looking to the left, the hamlet of Groppo can be seen, just surmounted by the small village of Volastra and its cultivated terraces. 
At the intersection with 532 C from Costa Corniolo, the trail takes a left toward the hamlet of Groppo, going on flat ground through heather and shrubs until it meets the provincial road SP 51. Following the paved road uphill for a short stretch, hikers can stop by the co-operative winery "Cooperativa Agricoltura 5 Terre" where they can enjoy a delicious wine tasting.
From this point on there are two options: either following the provincial road SP 51 until the bend overlooking the village of Volastra, or continuing off road from Groppo, taking a narrow path that goes across the hamlet and then bends northbound. Passing through gardens and olive groves, it reaches a crossroads in the vicinity of a rural building, from which it takes the stairway to the right, going uphill until it meets the provincial road SP 51.
Once crossed the provincial road SP 51, a stairway climbs from the back slope of the road toward the top of the hill through abandoned fields now covered with Mediterranean scrub and pine trees until it meets a paved stretch of trail 530 Telegrafo - Volastra that must be followed downhill until the church of Nostra Signora della Salute. In the churchyard, nearby a votive stone carved with holy symbols, there is the starting point of trail 586 Volastra - Case Pianca.
The trail runs with a panoramic sea view along the terraced vineyards, connecting bottom-up trails 506 (Manarola - Sella Marvede) and 587 (Corniglia - Cigoletta), passing by the group of houses called Porciana and the scattered houses of Pianca, just before the uneven stairway that leads down to the village of Corniglia, part of trail 587. The trail ends nearby the parish church of Saints Peter and Paul in Corniglia.

 
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