The Cinque Terre is often defined as “the” place to go for mountain to ocean walking and in fact there is truth in this statement; in this section of Ligurian coast, steep slopes come to an abrupt end above narrow inlets, rugged cliffs and tiny bays. Yet at the same time, the Cinque Terre cannot be accurately described as a true seaside destination if we consider that some of its hamlets and villages are some way from the coast, or the fact that asides from Corniglia there isn’t an actual beach between Portovenere and Monterosso, or a single safe dock apart from Vernazza. Or, finally, if we consider just how strong the connection with the land is here, so heroically won metre by metre so as to grow olives, vines, citruses and vegetables. On the other hand, can we really call these slopes mountains simply because they are steep and precipitous, yet devoid of any of the other characteristics which constitute a “true” mountain? And yet the Cinque Terre is a unique place, defying definitions, where water and land, already so rich in contrasts, are the bases where over the centuries man has carved a path, creating a visual display of the story of daily struggles and fragile beauty.