Nestled between the steep mountains of the Ligurian Coast of Northern Italy and the Mediterranean Sea are five famous medieval towns. The little fishing and farming villages are embedded into the cliffs and have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The whole region is called Cinque Terre and is characterized by steep slopes, farming terraces, and a scenic coastline.
If you look past the charming villages you will be able to find the most interesting geological formations as the coast has been subjected to intense geological activity. The coast is composed of rocks that were highly deformed during the Adria-Europe collision. Marine sediments deposited on the European plate collided with sediments deposited on the Adriatic plate. During the collision, the rocks were metamorphosed and strongly deformed. Today a complex stack of different units of metamorphosed sediments and fragments of oceanic crust make up the scenic coast of Cinque Terre, which is best explored on foot, by boat or by train.