The National Park of Cinque Terre is just one of the many national parks of Italy. However, this is quite a special one, keeping in mind the fact that the region has been declared a national park in order to preserve the natural environment. Thus, since Cinque Terre has been altered by human intervention over the centuries, this National Park should be named The Park of Man, instead.

But why would it need such a labeling?

Over the times, starting the 10th century, man has dissected the hills that run into the sea in order to create arable land – and indeed they created. Cinque Terre was renowned across the centuries for its olive and wine production. However, the landscape remained as beautiful as before, becoming even more appealing to man.

Nevertheless, modern times came and all those terraced hills were left on their own, degrading themselves. And, with degradation, came ugliness. This is, probably, the main reason why Cinque Terre was transformed first into a UNESCO World Heritage in 1997, and a national Park in 1999 – these hills crashing into the sea were beautiful before man came. And, because man changed them irremediably, they should be kept changed, but they should be kept nonetheless.

Therefore, this should be named The Park of Man instead – because this park’s goal is to restore the balance, the lost harmony between man and nature. Because there are very few places that remained wild and were not tamed, if they remained at all.

As a result, the policy is that of a sustainable development – tourism development that protects and enhances future opportunities, while also keeping present ones safe.

We might say that this national park has a profound identity in the region’s culture – whether we are talking about architecture or art in general, or we are talking about the olive and grapes culture. Therefore, it cannot exist without any of them, man or nature. And, if it is easier to keep man somewhere, it is more difficult to maintain what man has done over the centuries.

And this is this National Park’s goal – to make sure that both man and nature coexist, like they did for centuries, no matter what happens, no matter how modern times are shaped.

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