Each village has its own sanctuary, to which the inhabitants are bound by profound devotion. They are reached by carriage roads, except for Riomaggiore, but you can get there via two paths: one, shorter, which starts from the SP370, called "Litoranea" and the other that starts from Riomaggiore. Both, going through the vineyards and the Mediterranean scrub, will take you to your destination. The view is gorgeous and the view extends over the entire gulf. They are rather strenuous walks, but they do not require equipment or training for mountaineers. Consider that on the occasion of the respective feasts the faithful reach the sanctuary starting in procession from the village. The routes are all indicated with white-red signs.
Riomaggiore - Shrine of Our Lady of Montenero To reach the Sanctuary of Montenero you must follow the path n. 593V (ex 3a) . It is altogether 3, 5 km long and the time required to cover it is about an hour. The departure is near the parking lot of Riomaggiore, in the upper part, location Lavaccio. For a long stretch the route follows in parallel the channel of Riomaggiore, then begins the ascent through the terraced vineyards up to the sanctuary which is surrounded by a meadow and pine trees. The Church is documented for the first time in 1335. On the Saturday before Pentecost, the inhabitants of the village go here in procession and for the occasion the exhibition of the votive "Gli ori di Montenero" takes place. From the square the view extends over the entire Gulf of the Cinque Terre . Near the square begins the path that leads to Portovenere. A rather long walk (2 hours), but it deserves for the view you see and the nature that you discover. Another path to reach the Sanctuary of Montenero starts from the SP370, after the tunnel and a small parking lot along the road. The time is short, about 20 minutes uphill, only steps, except in the last flat section, between vineyards and breathtaking views ranging from the island of Tino to Punta Mesco. The path is equipped with lighting.
Manarola - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Health : to reach the Sanctuary follow the path n. 586 (ex n. 6D) . The necessary travel time is about 1 hour for a total of about 2 km. The departure is located near the car park at Manarola, from the barrier that marks the beginning of the ZTL area: go up the valley keeping to the right of the Groppo stream, at the beginning with a gentle staircase, then, after passing a few houses, take a path. At the exit the mule track begins which reaches an altitude of 268 meters, where path n. 6d b>. Take the trunk on the left and continue in the direction of Volastra. This is one of the best wine and olive growing areas of the Cinque Terre , as evidenced by its ancient Roman name "Vicus Oleaster", ie place of the olive trees. From Volastra going up to the left you reach, through a long staircase, the Shrine of Our Lady of Health dating back to the 12th century, in Romanesque style with the addition of later elements in Gothic style, such as the mullioned window of the facade. The latter is simple but elegant, built with square and regular ashlars in local stone. The portal is in sandstone. The interior has a single nave with a vaulted ceiling and contains a Baroque altar and the image of the Madonna, venerated by the inhabitants of Volastra, Riomaggiore and Manarola. The feast of the Sanctuary occurs on September 8th. The Sanctuary is open every day.
Corniglia - Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie : to reach the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie, also known as the Sanctuary of San Bernardino, you can start from Corniglia, near the parking lot, taking the SVA path (ex n.2) and then deviating from the Prevo area to San Bernardino, or take the path for Case Fornacchi. Go along the Provincial road for a stretch until the junction with the path 507 (ex n.7) where the Sanctuary is located a short distance away. In front of the church entrance there is a fountain. The time required to reach the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace is one hour and 30 minutes, for a total of 3 km. The Sanctuary is recent, it was built in the early 1900s on the ridge of the mountain to replace an older chapel dating back to at least 1584, and rises to 390 meters above Corniglia. A legend tells that in the 1700s the inhabitants of Corniglia, who went to the Sanctuary to restore a painting of the Madonna, would have found it miraculously intact and with bright and lively colors. The coronation ceremony dates back to 1874. The facade bears a faded alternation of black and white bands, typical of the Ligurian Romanesque architecture. The festivity occurs on September 8th with the celebration of the Holy Mass and procession, while every Saturday at 4 pm the celebration of the Holy Mass takes place. ATTENTION: Path 507 A (ex n. 7) is closed, which from Vernazza leads to San Bernardino and from there to the Sanctuary.
Vernazza - Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio : can be reached from Vernazza via the panoramic and paved path n. 508 (ex n. 8) and is 2 km long. The time required to walk it is about 1 hour. The departure is located near the train station, from where you take the road to the cemetery, which goes around and then the staircase. It is one of the most vertical, but also most beautiful, trails in the Cinque Terre. Continue along the ridge towards the east. The path is paved and corresponds to the route of the Via Crucis. You can still see the chapels of the Stations of the Cross and the little church of San Bernardo. The mule track winds through the vineyards and olive groves until it reaches the sanctuary square surrounded by centuries-old trees, including a record-sized cypress, which is the oldest in Liguria and which in 1990 became part of the National Inventory of Monumental Trees. In the square a fresh spring gushes out and there are benches and tables for a pleasant stop. The Sanctuary of Reggio is very ancient and is documented for the first time in 1248. The whole site is historical as it appears to have been frequented already in Roman times, as an important crossroads. From here, after the year 1000, the people who founded Vernazza on the coast left. The interior of the church preserves, in addition to numerous votive offerings, also the venerated painting of the Black Madonna with the Child Jesus. Attention : with the closing ordinance n. 4 of February 1, 2016 the section 581 (ex n. 8A) Reggio - San Bernardino is closed./>
Monterosso - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore It is the path n. 509 (ex n. 9) and is 2.5 km long. The time required to walk it is an hour and a half. The departure is at Monterosso, near the end of Via Roma, where the historic mule track begins which, as it passes through olive groves and vineyards, begins to rise. Cross the forest until you reach the coastal road that you must cross. The mule track passes through a pine forest, where you can see some chapels of the Via Crucis and one dedicated to Mary Magdalene. Still 200 meters and you arrive at the sanctuary surrounded by centuries-old holm oak trees. The Sanctuary of Soviore is the oldest in Liguria and is historically mentioned in a document of 1225. It developed and had great importance during the period of the Black Plague (1348), as a shelter for pilgrims, a function that it still performs for the modern walkers, being equipped with rooms, hostel and restaurant. An ancient legend tells of its origin: during the incursions of the Longobards of Rotari, the populations of the coast fled inland and buried a sacred wooden statue of the Madonna to protect it. The image was found a hundred years later by a priest following the flight of a dove. To celebrate the discovery, a chapel was built that represents the first historical nucleus of today's Shrine.
The train, surely the best means of travel to visit the Cinque Terre and be enchanted by the beauty of the Ligurian sea. From March 16th the 5 Terre Express train is in service to travel comfortably between La Spezia Centrale, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto with a single single fare ticket, taking advantage of the offer of 100 trains a day, 7 days a week, every 15 minutes