Cinque Terre is a region on the Ligurian sea, tucked in Northwest Italy near the city of Genoa. It consists of five villages: Riomaggiore,
Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and
"Luca" director Enrico Casarosa grew up in Genoa and is quite familiar with sleepy Cinque Terre. He brought his animation team on a trip to enjoy the coast and get a feel for the look of the Italian Riviera.
The animators used the colors, textures, angles and people they saw in Cinque Terre as inspiration for the fictional Portorosso, from the buildings to the way the rocks sit in the water.
Accessible by boat or train, the villages look exactly like Portorosso and are best explored on foot. Casarosa recommends renting an apartment, drinking the local wine ("Sciacchetra") and, of course, sampling the gelato.