Since before the turn of the 21st century, the gem that is Cinque Terre National Park has become increasingly popular with visitors from around the world, thanks in part to recommendations from writers like Rick Steves. But one feature has avoided mention in most guides and blogs until recently.
Local cats have been a feature of these Ligurian hills almost as long as humans have lived here. In addition to the cats that prowl the streets of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre, an outdoor cat colony has flourished along the popular trail between Monterosso and Vernazza for decades. But in recent years, the human population took its relationship with local felines to the next level.
Sometime around 2014, residents created a shrine to Cinque Terre’s four-footed residents, located just off the path. The shrine has been in place since at least 2014.
The shrine includes a bin of food as well as feeding instructions for visitors. Local cats tend to hang around the area to beg treats from travelers traversing the paths between the cities.