If you enjoyed Sunflower's best-selling guide to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, you're sure to love the Cinque Terre and Riviera di Levante - the steeply terraced vineyards, ancient mule trails and colourful villages. This was the birthplace of modern tourism in the early 1800s, but over the last 30 years it has become a much-loved hiking destination. The colourful 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 unspoilt by modern civilisation. 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 present a totally different landscape - a remote area of high pastures, mixed forests and barren ridges. This area has plenty of hiking trails too, 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 tours, 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. The Landscapes series (50 destinations), dubbed 'the blue Bibles' by the Sunday Times, has won Sunflower the Which? accolade: Recommended Provider of Guidebooks. Unique free on-line update service with specific route change information.
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