The traveler who arrives at Cinque Terre will spontaneously turn his gaze to the crystalline splendor of the Ligurian Sea. But it’s only turning his back to the sea and looking at the land, made of dry stone walls and terraces of vineyards and villages, that he will discover the true richness and uniqueness of these places.
CINQUE TERRE DRY STONE WALLS
A UNESCO Heritage
Cinque Terre became a UNESCO heritage site 20 years ago, thanks to the terraces of dry stone walls: a harmonious interaction between man and nature.
The Dry Stone Walls
Dry stone walls are the backbone of the Cinque Terre. They are made of overlapping sandstone boulders filled with crushed stone and earth, without the use of any cohesion material. Then, between the terracing, were built long and steep stone stairways, carved cantilevered on the walls themselves. As a result, this titanic and secular work is reflected in the figures: dry stone walls length is about 6,730 km (4180 miles), more than the Chinese wall!
Discovering Dry Stone Walls
To better understand the concept and life around dry stone walls of Cinque Terre we invite you to watch the dedicated documentary series by Adelmo Massola.
VILLAGES FROZEN IN TIME
Terraced accommodations set up in the Cinque Terre involve a very large area. Anyway, since the beginning, the working conditions have been extremely harsh, also due to the difficult, and often impossible, mechanization of agricultural work.
The Agricultural Tradition of Cinque Terre
The grapevine, the olive tree and citrus fruit, the main crops of the area in question, with a clear prevalence of viticulture, have been cultivated with ancient knowledge of centuries ago. Infact, very few changes were applied compared to technological innovations, that have instead dominated agricultural sectors of other areas of Italy.
Cinque Terre Old Villages
Cinque Terre villages were born right close the dry stone walls. Thanks to these, villages were populated, grape cultivation was born, quality wines were extrapolated, and orchards and gardens arose. These were the vital elements of isolated communities, accessible only by sea.
LIVING THE DRY STONE WALLS EXPERIENCE
Even today, dry stone walls are not only the symbol, but also one of the most precious resources of the territory. Therefore the best way to get to know these places is to live them.
Wine Tasting & Dry Stone Walls
The route “La Sosta Wine Trail”, proposed by La Sosta, lets you to walk through the vineyards, to know the people who make the grape cultivation their life, and to taste the best wines.
The Wine Tasting Experience
You will shake a glass of Sciacchetrà wine between your hands, and an expert wine maker will explain you how dry white grapes, appropriately selected and left for a long time to dry on trellises. These grapes, protected from direct sunlight, give life to the nectar you have in front of you, and then he will ask you to take a small sip.
Here, at that moment, Cinque Terre will definitely enter your heart.