Often overlooked by first time visitors to Italy are the five charming villages that form Cinque Terre. Located on the Italian Riviera Coast, not far from France, the Cinque Terre is a great weekend escape for romance, hiking, relaxation, amazing sea views and five towns that offer the best of Italy without the noise and bustle of more mainstream destinations.
In this photo we see Manarola. The colored houses that cling to the hillside above small fishing boats are typical of this area. Also noteworthy — no cars here. Instead, visitors can travel from village to village via a small commuter train or, better yet, on the hiking trails that run along the coast.
The closest airports are Genoa and Pisa. The Cinque Terre is surprisingly accessible. For a more detailed explanation of each village and how to hike there, see the article Great Hiking in Cinque Terre.
If you want to unplug for a few days, eat some delicious pasta, drink great wine, and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of unspoiled villages, do yourself a favor: visit Manarola, Italy.