The Beauty of Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre ("Five Lands") is a coastal area within Liguria, in the northwest of Italy. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cinque Terre is mentioned in documents dating to the 11th century. Monterosso and Vernazza were settled first and the other villages grew later, whilst within the territory of the Republic of Genoa. The principle attraction is the beautiful but rugged landscape. The dramatic scenery and laid-back lifestyle of Italy’s Cinque Terre has made this small area a must-see.

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.