June 19, 2016

0667, 2623 ITALY (Liguria) - Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) (UNESCO WHS)

2623 Cinque Terre

Posted on 04.06.2013, 19.06.2016
The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera, to the west of the city of La Spezia, and comprises five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm lies in the fact that the villages are connected only by paths, trains and boats, and the cars cannot reach them from the outside.

0667 Vernazza

The first documents on the Cinque Terre date back to the 11th century. Monterosso and Vernazza sprang up first, while the other villages grew later, under military and political supremacy of the Republic of Genoa. In the 16th century to oppose the attacks by the Turks, the inhabitants reinforced the old forts and built new defence towers. From the year 1600, the Cinque Terre experienced a decline. The buildings are so vividly colorful and different for each fisherman to be able to recognize its house from offshore.

Porto Venere comprises the three villages of Fezzano, Le Grazie and Porto Venere, and the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. It lies at the southern end of a peninsula, which forms the western tip of the Gulf of La Spezia. The ancient Portus Veneris is believed to date back to at least the middle of the 1st century BC. In Roman times the city was essentially a fishing community. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it became the base of the Byzantine fleet in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea.

First indications of the existence of a castle date from 1113, and in 1161 the walls were erected. Porto Venere became a fiefdom of a family from Vezzano before passing to Genoa in the early 12th century. In 1494, it suffered a devastating bombardment from the Aragonese fleet during their war with Genoa: subsequently the old part of the town declined in importance, giving way to the development of the Borgo Nuovo (New District), which had existed from 1139 and is centred on the church of St. Peter.

 In 1997 Porto Venere and the villages of Cinque Terre were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The layout and disposition of the small towns and the shaping of the surrounding landscape, overcoming the disadvantages of a steep, uneven terrain, encapsulate the continuous history of human settlement in this region over the past millennium. Unfortunately, the villages of the Cinque Terre were severely affected by torrential rains which caused floods and mudslides in  2011.

About the stamps
The stamps are parte of a definitive series, about which I wrote here.

Cinque Terre - Wikipedia
Porto Venere - Wikipedia
Vernazza - Wikipedia
Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto) - UNESCO official website

Sender 0667 : Nico Peroz (direct swap)
Sent from Milan (Lombardy / Italy), on 14.08.2012
Sender 2623 : Ana
Sent from Bologna (Emilia-Romagna / Italy), on 27.05.2014

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