There's an interesting article on the BBC about the Cinque Terre National Park. This stunning stretch of coastline has protected status and great efforts are being made to preserve the traditional small-scale farming on steep terraces. It's a big contrast to the Amalfi Coast where road access and hotel developments have transformed the area. The Cinque Terre still retains its simple village-y character. More tourists arrive each year though (what with all those subsidies and the tourist income, the locals must be raking it in) and even coach parties now spill from the train and cram the lanes, so if you want to go there, go out of season and go soon.
> Our feature on the Cinque Terre
> Walking the Cinque Terre