Riomaggiore, Manarola e Monesteroli
We are queuing to get tickets at the railway station at Riomaggiore, which, though very small, doesn’t have an automatic machine. In its place there is a ticket man in flesh and blood, offering all possible information to tourists. It is an idea of the Cinque Terre National Park, which keeps the stations alive as centres for information and orientation of visitors.
In the station square there is the information centre of the Park and inside the station all useful information for tourists can be found. In this connection, the first thing is to understand how the Cinque Terre Park is set out and as how it can be visited. In addition to protecting the territory and receiving visitors in an eco-compatible way, it also provides services for people who live here all year round (for instance a kindergarten or shopping delivered at home), thus holding together the social fabric.
Going along a path in the Park we reach Manarola, where locally grown produce is sold and processed in Cinque Terre: oil, pesto, honey, chestnut flour, and Sciacchetrà wine. There is also a laboratory that produces organic and eco-compatible cosmetics, made with plants and flowers from the National Park!
The recovery of uncultivated land is one of the objectives of the Park and the logic behind it it is simple enough: the raw materials are processed and commercialized on the territory, thus setting going a sustainable virtuous circle, also economically.
We continue our trip and we reach Monesteroli. Here we meet Luca, who explains to us the importance of the bond between tourism and agriculture: investing the proceeds of tourism in the agricultural sector activates a virtuous circle and makes it possible to improve the services and life of those who live in the territory. In this way, the community is kept alive, giving people the opportunity to earn money in the territory.
In short, the Park works 360 degrees for a sustainable territory!