Are you thinking of visiting the Cinque Terre? Then you need to read the Essential Guide for First-Time Visitors to Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a beautiful coastal area in the region of Liguria. It is made up of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Each village has unique, but very similar characteristics to one another.
In this guide, I will offer you all of my tips about each town in the Cinque Terre! I stayed here 3 days in 2021, and in 2022 I stayed an entire week in Manarola. It was by far the highlight of my 3 month trip in Italy this summer.
I've seen Cinque Terre transform. Once sleepy Italian villages, now a world-famous coastal marvel. Despite changes, its beauty is intact. Imagine classic Italian charm, now a National Park and UNESCO site. Every year, 2.4 million people flood here. They come to hike, sail, and ride through stunning cliffs and quaint villages.
So, planning a Cinque Terre trip? You're in for a treat. This guide's got all you need. It's your key to maximizing your visit to this breathtaking coast.
This travel guide contains affiliate links which supports us at no extra cost to you.
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VISITING THE CINQUE TERRE
- Towns of the Cinque Terre:
- How to pronounce Cinque Terre
- Why is the Cinque Terre so famous?
- Where is Cinque Terre on a Map?
- When's the best time to visit the Cinque Terre?
- How to get to the cinque Terre?
- Things to Know for Cinque Terre: Currency, Language, and Tips
- How to get to the Cinque Terre by Train:
- By Car:
- What to do in the Cinque Terre?
- Boat Tour in Cinque Terre
- Can you hike in Cinque Terre?
- How hard are the Cinque Terre hikes?
- Do I need a permit?
- How long should you stay in Cinque Terre?
- Where to stay in the Cinque Terre?
- Things to do in the Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre Itinerary (3 days)
- Should I visit Cinque Terre or La Spezia?
- Other Cinque Terre Tips
- what is the best travel insurance for italy?
- How much does it cost to visit the Cinque Terre? 3-day budget breakdown
- MORE FAQ'S
- Other Italy travel posts to enjoy:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VISITING THE CINQUE TERRE
Cinque Terre blew me away. Five villages on the Italian Riviera, each one more stunning than the last. They're famous for a reason. Picture rugged cliffs, colorful houses, and vineyards clinging to steep terraces. It's like stepping into a postcard.
Historically, these were just fishing villages, pretty isolated. They've been around for centuries. But tourism? That's new. It's reshaped them entirely, yet they've held onto their charm. Cinque Terre's a mix of old-world Italy and modern buzz, a perfect storm of beauty and history.
Cinque Terre National Park is Italy's smallest, oldest park, set up in 1999. It's just 15 square miles, but what a punch it packs! Imagine rocky cliffs, hidden coves, and blue waters. There are terraced vineyards and olive groves, all crisscrossed by walking paths.
Located south of Genoa in northwest Italy, it's easy to get to. Airports in Genoa, Pisa, Rome, Florence, and Nice are all close. Mainline trains connect them. Plus, there's a local train running between La Spezia and Levanto, stopping at all villages.
Originally published September 2022 and updated January 2024
Towns of the Cinque Terre:
How to pronounce Cinque Terre
"Cinque Terre" is pronounced as "CHINK-weh TEHR-reh." The "ch" in "Cinque" is like the "ch" in "cheese," and "Terre" is pronounced with a rolled 'r' if you can, similar to the 'tt' in "better" in American English.
Why is the Cinque Terre so famous?
- Historical Significance: The villages of Cinque Terre date back to the 1200s, showcasing medieval castles in Riomaggiore and Vernazza, Gothic churches in Manarola and Corniglia, and narrow cobblestone streets.
- Breathtaking Natural Beauty: The area is renowned for its vibrant colors - turquoise blue waters, pastel-colored houses, and even the grey cliff sides have shades of blue and purple. The best views are from the water, with several boat tours available.
- Culinary Delights: Cinque Terre is famous for its local cuisine, particularly seafood and pesto. The region is the birthplace of pesto, and its restaurants offer a variety of dishes featuring fresh basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and cheese. Seafood, especially anchovies, is a staple, served in various styles.
- World-Class Wines: The region is known for its Sciacchetra wine, a sweet dessert wine made from grapes grown on local hillsides.
- Hiking and Exploration: There are multiple hiking trails, including the renowned “Sentiero Azzurro,” connecting all five villages. These trails offer stunning views and a chance to experience the local natural beauty up close.
- Distinctive Villages: Each of the five villages has its own unique character and charm. For example, Corniglia, the oldest village, is perched atop a cape and surrounded by vineyards, offering panoramic views of the area.
- UNESCO World Heritage Site: Cinque Terre's inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage Site highlights its cultural landscape of great scenic and cultural value, celebrating the harmonious interaction between people and nature over a millennium.
- Accessibility and Connectivity: The villages are easily accessible by train, connecting them with major cities like Genoa and La Spezia. There's also a ferry service available for some of the villages.
- Local Hospitality: Despite the increase in tourism, Cinque Terre has managed to retain a sense of local charm and hospitality, with many businesses being locally owned
Where is Cinque Terre on a Map?
Cinque Terre is located on the northwestern coast of Italy in the Liguria region. It is about two hours away from Florence by train and about three hours from Milan. The best way to get around Cinque Terre is by train, as there are very limited roads and parking spaces.
When's the best time to visit the Cinque Terre?
Visiting Cinque Terre? Choose your timing wisely. Here's a seasonal breakdown:
🌸 Spring (March-May)
- March: Cooler, fewer tourists, ideal for peaceful exploration.
- April: Busy during Easter and Liberation Day, lemon festival in mid-May.
- May: Warm weather, ideal for hiking and outdoor activities, Labor Day on May 1st.
🌞 Summer (June-August)
- June: Hot weather, perfect for beach activities, fewer crowds, special local events.
- July: Very hot, busiest month, lots of tourists, local festivals like Festa del Mare in Levane.
- August: Peak season, very hot and crowded, higher prices, public holiday mid-August, local events including Festa dei Pirati in Vernaze.
🍂 Autumn (September-November)
- September: Ideal weather, fewer crowds, great for beach and hiking, local festivals like Anchovy and Olive Gastronomy Festival in Monteroce.
- October-November: Rainy, especially October, fewer tourists, cheaper accommodations.
🌨️ Winter (December-February)
How to get to the cinque Terre?
I highly recommend taking the train, do not use a car. The train is the easiest and most efficient way to see the Cinque Terre. The reason I recommend the train is because it takes about 2-5 minutes to get to each town since they are all connected by the local train.
It is way more convenient than having to drive the back routes to get close to the towns. Everything is walkable, but there are a lot of stairs !! Here's more of a break down of the transportation:
- Village Exploration: The best way to see the villages is on foot. Expect hills and steps.
- Hiking Trails: Famous trails like the Sentiero Azzurro connect the villages. Some require a Cinque Terre Car.
- Local Train: Runs between La Spezia and Levanto, stopping at each village. Frequent and convenient.
- Cinque Terre Card: Offers unlimited train travel between villages, plus more beneficial.
- Ferry Service: Available from end of March to early November, except to Corniglia (no water access).
- Private Boats: For a more exclusive experience, private boat rentals are available.
- Within Villages: Useful in larger towns like Monterosso. Limited use in smaller villages.
- Cinque Terre Card: Includes use of local buses within the village.
- Limited Use: Cars are not ideal due to restricted access and scarce parking in the villages.
- Parking: Available in La Spezia or Levanto, then use train or ferry to enter the villages.
- Limited Options: Not a common mode of transport due to steep and narrow paths.
✈️ Air Travel
- Limited Availability: More commonly found in La Spezia or Levanto, less so in the villages.
Things to Know for Cinque Terre: Currency, Language, and Tips
💶 Currency in Cinque Terre
- Official Currency: Euro (€), 100 cents to a Euro.
- Banknotes: Different sizes and colors for easy identification.
- Currency Exchange: Found at airports and stations, but be mindful of commission fees.
- Payment Methods: Credit cards are widely accepted, but cash is handy for small purchases.
🇮🇹 Basic Italian Phrases
- Greetings: "Buongiorno" (Good morning), "Buonasera" (Good evening).
- At Restaurants: "Il menu, per favore" (Menu, please), "Il conto, per favore" (Check, please).
- Directions: "Dov'è il bagno?" (Where's the bathroom?).
- Dining Allergies: "Sono allergico/a a..." (I'm allergic to...).
🧑🏻🏫 General Tips for Cinque Terre
- Respect Local Customs: Be mindful of local traditions and etiquette.
- Swimming: Only in designated areas, fines for illegal swimming.
- Dress Code: Respectful attire in public spaces, especially when visiting churches.
- Environment: Preserve the natural beauty,
How to get to the Cinque Terre by Train:
How to get to Cinque Terre by train from Florence: Takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes
How to get to Cinque Terre by train from Rome: Takes about 4 hours and 15 minutes
How to get to Cinque Terre by train from Milan: Takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes
How to get to Cinque Terre by car from Florence: Takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes
How to get to Cinque Terre by car from Rome: Takes about 5 hours and 45 minutes
How to get to Cinque Terre by car from Milan: Takes about 4 hours and 45 minutes
🏩 Accommodation Booking Services:
🟢 Booking.com: Leading online platform for global accommodations. No fees, content in 40 languages.
🟢 Hostelworld: Focuses on hostels, listing 36,000 properties in 178 countries.
🟢 Tripadvisor: World's biggest travel site with access to 1.4 million stays and 795 million reviews.
🟢 CheapOair: Offers flight tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, and vacation packages.
🚕 Transportation Services:
🟢 Airalo: First global eSim Store, cuts down roaming costs with eSims for travelers.
🟢 Rentalcars: Lets travelers find the right car in over 60,000 locations across 160 countries.
🟢 Kiwitaxi: International airport transfers in 100 countries, various vehicles, English-speaking drivers.
🟢 Omio: Compares trains, buses, and flights in Europe on one platform.
🟢 GetTransfer: Service for transfers and car rentals with personal drivers at competitive prices.
🟢 Kiwi: Books flights, trains, buses, and offers virtual interlining.
🟢 Rail Europe: Guides and tools for European train travel.
🟢 Trainline: Helps customers travel by train and bus across 45 countries.
🚌 Tourism and Leisure Services:
🟢 Go City: Offers multi-attraction passes for top destinations worldwide, up to 65% off.
🟢 Big Bus Tours: Open-top bus tours, river cruises, and walking tours in 23 cities.
🧳 Travel Convenience Services:
🟢 Priority Pass: Airport lounge access worldwide for frequent travelers.
🟢 Radical Storage: Luggage storage solutions for hassle-free holidays.
What to do in the Cinque Terre?
There are so many amazing things that you can do in the Cinque Terre- from hiking to exploring the beaches, I never ran out of things to do. Here are some things I would recommend to splurge on when you are there:
Boat Tour in Cinque Terre
Here are some great boat tours that you can book in the Cinque Terre:
Can you hike in Cinque Terre?
Yes!! You can hike the world-famous “Sentiero Azzurro” which is a trail that connects all five villages. The entire hike is about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) long and takes about 5 hours to complete. I suggest starting early in the morning to avoid the heat and the crowds of people.
I started the hike from Manarola to Corniglia and it took about 2.5 hours. I did it at 12pm which was a big mistake because the sun was so strong (the morning would have been way better). It was also a little challenging because a lot of it was uphill.
However, there was a winery mid way through the hike that offered the most amazing local wine and bruschetta! Not to mention the impeccable views down below.
How hard are the Cinque Terre hikes?
For generations, walking was the sole means of traversing the Cinque Terre's enchanting villages, and it remains the premier mode of travel today, offering endless stunning coastal vistas. The trails here are a blend of seaside and mountain paths, offering more than just a leisurely stroll along the shore.
Regrettably, the level coastal path linking Corniglia to Riomaggiore remains closed due to landslides since 2011. The alternative routes present a variety of elevations, with some paths marked by rocky terrain and significant steps.
While extreme fitness isn't a requirement, being comfortable with uphill treks and wearing appropriate footwear, like hiking boots or solid sneakers, is advisable. The trails' lengths might seem modest, but the hilly terrain can prolong the journey. Additionally, narrow paths often lead to waiting for passing fellow hikers, suggesting an early or late start to avoid the busiest times.
Embarking on the renowned Sentiero Azzurro or Blue Trail from Monterosso, you'll reach Vernazza in about two hours, and Corniglia in another 45 minutes. The trek from Corniglia to Manarola via Volastra, about three hours, entails steep ascents but rewards with breathtaking vineyard views.
The journey from Manarola to Riomaggiore via Beccara takes approximately 90 minutes, initiating with a significant ascent.
Beyond these popular routes, there are more tranquil hillside trails, such as the Sentiero Rosso or Red Trail, stretching from Portovenere to Levanto. Additionally, shorter sanctuary trails steeply ascend from the villages. Even when not on designated hikes, expect plenty of hills and steps within the villages themselves.
Do I need a permit?
If you're planning to hike along the coastal path from Monterosso to Corniglia, you'll need to pick up a Cinque Terre Card. These are available in the villages and at kiosks located at the beginning of each trail segment. However, for the hill path between Corniglia and Riomaggiore, no permit is required.
The Cinque Terre Card comes with a few options: a one-day pass costs €7.50, and a two-day pass is €14.50. These cards offer benefits like free Wi-Fi, access to local buses, and use of public toilets (which otherwise cost €1).
There's also a version of the card that includes unlimited train travel on the Cinque Terre line, stretching from Levanto to La Spezia. This train version is priced at €18.20 for one day, €33 for two days, and €47 for three days, with discounts available for children, families, and during the off-season.
How long should you stay in Cinque Terre?
I have overall been there three times. The first time I went for 3 full days. The second time 7 days. The third time one day. In my opinion, if you have the time and can splurge, one week is the best. That way you can hike, visit all 5 towns with enough time, and visit all the little beach spots. A sweet spot would be 3 full days.
If you can only go for a short amount of time and you are on a budget, then I recommend 2 nights and 3 days. You can visit 2 towns each day and have enough time to explore and even hike one morning.
Where to stay in the Cinque Terre?
Where to stay in Cinque Terre? Stick to one of the five villages. You dodge the daily travel and enjoy the evenings. But, it's popular, hence pricey. Book early. Mainly guesthouses and apartments, fewer hotels, except in Monterosso and Riomaggiore.
These villages are close; no single one outshines the rest. Don't bother shifting around if you're there for just a few days. Pick based on vibe and budget.
Monterosso, northernmost, is busiest, especially on weekends. It's split into old town and beach area, connected by a tunnel. It's the only village with a real beach and promenade, offering the most accommodation options, but it's pricey.
Manarola, my favorite in Cinque Terre, shines with top-notch restaurants and fresh seafood. It's perfect for swimming and boasts stunning sunsets.
Vernazza, bustling with charm, offers scenic harbor views, historic sites, and lively streets. It's ideal for soaking up local culture and enjoying the vibrant atmosphere. Both villages showcase Cinque Terre's unique beauty.
Riomaggiore, at the other end, boasts colorful houses by the harbor, several stay options, and vibrant yet relaxed nightlife. Hills are the trade-off.
Corniglia, central and smallest, offers tranquility and stunning views. It's a climb from the station, with no sea access, making it quieter, especially at night.
For a budget-friendly option, consider Levanto or La Spezia. Both are on the Cinque Terre train line, offering cheaper stays and a more authentic local vibe, without the tourist crowds. For more details, check out this article: Best Towns to Stay in Cinque Terre.
Here are some beautiful places that you can stay in the Cinque Terre:Booking.com
The ideal time to visit for the beach would be early June because it's not as hot and there are less people. The weather is stunning at that time too.
Things to do in the Cinque Terre
What to do in Manarola?
This is by far my favorite town in the Cinque Terre. It offered the best food, amazing swim spots, and breathtaking views. In the mornings it was nice and quiet, you can enjoy a nice cappuccino and brioche at one of the cafes that line the streets.
Around 11AM there was more people, but not an overwhelming amount.
If you want to see some breathtaking views, there are a lot of stairs, but it's totally worth it! It is also my favorite town to see the sunset, I suggest going to the end of the town by the water to get an unobstructed view.
Where to eat in Manarola?
I ate some of the best food while I was staying in Manarola. Every single meal I had was fresh, flavorful, and simply amazing. I definitely suggest trying the local seafood dishes as they are caught fresh daily. The pasta is also a must as it is made with the freshest ingredients.
These are all the restaurants I actually went to that I highly recommend:
Trattoria dal Billy: They had great seafood pasta and you are seated on a terrace overlooking the vineyards and ocean. I also recommend getting the squid ink pasta or the pasta with the Billy sauce (AMAZING). Please make a reservation in advance.
La Regina di Manarola: By far the best Pizza I had on this trip (aside from Napoli). I even went twice because it was so good. My favorite pizza there was the Tropea. They also have pretty fancy and delicious drinks too.
Nessun Dorma: This is the classic restaurant that has views overlooking the entire town and the harbor. Perfect instagram spot. But I recommend coming here for aperitivo and sunset. They have delicious cocktails and a variety of cheese and bruschetta platters.
Best beaches in Manarola?
In Manarola there are a couple swimming spots. The first one is right in the center by the big rock. There is no beach area, but you can leave your things on the cement ramp or on the rocks and swim around. It is a lot of fun, you can even climb and jump !
On the right, behind Nessun Dorma there is another swim spot where you can also jump off of rocks or even just lay out and tan.
What to do in Monterosso?
Monterosso is the only town with an actual sandy beach. The water is super blue and it's iconic for the big rock (scoglio di Monterosso) and orange umbrellas. This town is best for visiting if you want to spend a beautiful day at the beach.
This is where I stayed in 2021, I thought it was convenient for going to the beach, however, it is the busiest town and does not have my favorite restaurants.
- 🏖️ Beach Relaxation: Enjoy the sun, sand, and sea at Monterosso's expansive beaches, perfect for swimming and water sports.
- 🥾 Hiking the Trails: Traverse the scenic Blue Trail, connecting the Cinque Terre villages, and savor the breathtaking coastal views.
- 🍇 Wine Tasting and Vineyard Visits: Sample Monterosso's unique wines, such as Cinque Terre DOC and Sciacchetrà DOC, at local vineyards or wine bars.
- 🚤 Boat Trips: Experience Monterosso from the water with boat rentals or guided tours, including kayaking and sunset cruises.
- 🚶♂️ Exploring the Old Town (Borgo Antico): Wander through the historical streets, admiring the vibrant buildings and 14th-century architecture.
- 🏛️ Cultural and Historical Sites: Visit significant landmarks like the Church of San Francesco, the Monumento a San Francesco d'Assisi, and the Il Gigante statue, to delve into the area's rich heritage.
Best beaches in Monterosso?
Monterosso is split between the newer Fegina beach and historical Monterosso Vecchio (more south). The sides are connected by tunnel for easy access. By the train station there is a long stretch of beach with a few bars/restaurants.
This is the most crowded beach as it is pretty big and beautiful. There are some free beaches there, however they are quite small and very crowded in the summer. If you want to lounge on a beach chair with an umbrella it will cost you about 35-50 euros.
I recommend going early because the chairs book up fast. It is also super fun to rent a pedalo boat and explore the coastline (it's about 20 euros per hour).
Monterosso Vecchio beach is also a nice spot to enjoy the summer sun. There is also a beautiful cave that you can swim to and a big rock to jump from!
Where to eat in Monterosso?
I wasn't drawn to this town specifically for the food. There are a lot of nice little lunch spots overlooking the water, but it is pretty casual.
La Cantina del Pescatore: This restaurant is located in an old fishermen's house and they serve really good seafood. It can get quite touristy, but the food is still worth it. Nice little lunch spot.
What to do in Riomaggiore?
Riomaggiore is another cute down that has the stacked houses and amazing views. There are many cute shops and cafes. This is also where you can get a great photo for Instagram, since it is one of the most iconic places in Cinque Terre.
It was honestly not my favorite town because it was very packed with tourists. There is a lot of uphill walking and since it's so small, it was very overwhelming.
- ⛪ Explore San Giovanni Battista Church: Discover the 13th-century church with beautiful frescoes and climb its bell tower for panoramic views.
- 🚶♂️ Stroll Through the Old Town: Wander the charming, narrow streets and colorful houses of the old town, especially along Via Colombo.
- 🌅 Watch Stunning Sunsets: Enjoy breathtaking sunsets from top spots like Castello di Riomaggiore or the Sanctuary of Montenero garden.
- 🥾 Hike the Via Beccara: Take a scenic walk on this trail for magnificent views of the Mediterranean Sea.
- 🤿 Snorkeling or Scuba Diving: Dive into the crystal-clear waters for an underwater adventure, exploring marine life.
- 🏖️ Relax at Pebble Beach: Spend a day on the pebble beaches, sunbathing and enjoying the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea.
Where to eat in Riomaggiore?
I recommend coming here for the street-food. There are numerous little shops that make fried seafood. So good and such a great price!
Tutti Frutti- This is the classic fried seafood cone that you eat on the go. If you like seafood, you must try this while you are there.
Best beach Spot in Riomaggiore?
When you get down by the water, make a left and continue walking the path along the ocean. There is this little beach spot that you can go to. It is called La Fossola. The beach is all rocks, and the water can be a little rough. But it is still a gorgeous spot, not too packed.
It is a little hard to enter, but there is a ladder and if you don't mind the waves and you are a good swimmer, it can be fun.
What to do in Vernazza?
This is a very charming town by the harbor. It is surrounded by little restaurants and cafes with the cutest outdoor seating. This town feels very authentically Italian and is also super picturesque.
- 🏰 Visit Doria Castle: Explore this historic castle for breathtaking views of Vernazza and the Ligurian Sea.
- 🥾 Hike the Sentiero Monterosso Trail: Enjoy a scenic hike on this trail connecting Monterosso to Vernazza, featuring citrus trees, vineyards, and spectacular sea views.
- 🙏 Say a Prayer at Santuario di Nostra Signora di Reggio: Discover tranquility at this 11th-century Catholic shrine, surrounded by ancient trees and home to a Black Madonna.
- 🍷 Wine-Tasting at Local Vineyards: Sample delicious wines at local vineyards like Cantina Cheo, while enjoying the stunning views of the Ligurian Sea.
- 🌆 Stroll Through Vernazza Town: Wander through the car-free, colorful streets of Vernazza, enjoying its historic charm and vibrant atmosphere.
- 🍝 Dine at Piazza Marconi: Relax at Vernazza’s main square, Piazza Marconi, and savor fresh seafood and local wines at various restaurants.
Where to eat in Vernazza?
Ristorante La Torre: This restaurant has AMAZING views of the ocean. The food is also so delicious. They have very nice seafood pasta and the veal was so tasty. The service is great and it's such a perfect spot for dinner. You need to book in advance.
Best beach spot in Vernazza?
The harbor of Vernazza contains a small sandy beach where swimming is possible, as well as flat rocks that are ideal for sunbathing. The natural harbor surrounding the beach keeps the water calm and provides shelter for the local fishing boats.
To get to the harbor from the railway station, walk along the main village street in direction of the harbor. It will only take two minutes!
Alternatively, if the main beach is too crowded, walk up to the end of the marina where you'll find folks lounging on the rocks and plunging into the sea. If diving isn't your thing, there's a ladder at the end of the pier.
What to do in Corniglia?
Corniglia is the highest town in Cinque Terre and is located on top of a cliff. To get to the main part of town, you have to walk up about 300 steps. Once you get to the top, there are some nice little shops and cafes.
- 🚶♂️ Explore the Village Streets: Wander through the charming alleys of Corniglia, soaking in the quaint atmosphere of this less-traveled Cinque Terre village.
- ⛪ Visit the Church of San Pietro: Admire the beautiful rose window of this historic church, a welcoming landmark as you enter the village.
- 🏖️ Swim at Marina di Corniglia: Take a refreshing dip in the waters near Corniglia, at the Marina di Corniglia or the Spiaggione, despite the village's unique position away from direct sea access.
- 🥾 Hike the Blue Trail: Embark on a scenic hike from Corniglia along the famous Blue Trail, offering breathtaking views of the Italian Riviera.
- 🍷 Sample Local Wines: Enjoy a wine-tasting experience, trying out Cinque Terre's unique wines like the dry white Cinque Terre DOC and the sweet red Sciacchetrà DOC.
- 🍝 Savor Traditional Cuisine: Indulge in the local flavors at Corniglia's restaurants, where you can enjoy authentic Ligurian dishes and fresh seafood.
I would say this town is one of my favorites, however, I hated the stairs. When you arrive form the train station there is a never ending walk up to the top. Out of all the towns it is the less convenient. But once you finish the walk to the top, the town is extremely charming and a lot more quiet than the rest.
Best beach in Corniglia?
Once you get to the top, you have to walk all the way down again to get to the beach on the right of the town. Once again, it has no sand just rocks and a dock. I definitely enjoyed this swim spot a lot because the water was extremely clean and clear.
Where to eat in Corniglia?
Bar Pan e Vin- A quiet lunch spot with amazing bruschetta!
Caffè Matteo- This cute café was tucked away in a little plaza with outdoor and indoor seating. The daily specials were tasty and affordably priced, making it easy to order even if you don't know any Italian.
Cinque Terre Itinerary (3 days)
I would like to preface that you can stay in any of the 5 towns (they are all beautiful) and then each day with the train visit one or two new ones. My favorite town to stay in was Manarola, it was fun to swim around in and it had the best restaurants. If you have only a day in Cinque Terre, you can actually visit all 5 the same day (just allocate 1 or 2 hours to each town).
Train to Monterosso
Beach day in Monterosso
Lunch by the beach
Train to Vernazza
Explore Vernazza town
Dinner at Ristorante La Torre
Hike Manarola to Corniglia in the morning
Lunch and beach day in Corniglia
Train back to Manarola
See the sunset with drinks and appetizers at Nessun Dorma
Dinner at Trattoria Dal Billy
Train to Riomaggiore
Street food and swimming in Riomaggiore
Dinner in your favorite town.
Beach day in Manarola, explore Riomaggiore and dinner at Trattoria Dal Billy
Should I visit Cinque Terre or La Spezia?
La Spezia is a port city that is one stop after Riomaggiore. It is a lot bigger than the 5 towns and has a lot more to do. If you are staying in Cinque Terre for more then 3 days, I recommend going to La Spezia for a day trip.
There are also AMAZING restaurants there and it has more of a night life.
Other Cinque Terre Tips
- There is not much night life in Cinque Terre. Around 9-10 PM it gets pretty quiet because all the tourists leave and most of the restaurants close at 10.
- There are no sharks in the water in Cinque Terre! So no need to worry about that.
- There are a lot of stairs in Cinque Terre. If you have any knee problems, I recommend not going because it will be difficult to get around.
- Bring your own sunscreen. They charge a lot of money for a bottle of sunscreen.
what is the best travel insurance for italy?
There are a number of different travel insurance companies that offer coverage for Italy. Before purchasing a policy, it is important to do your research and compare policies to make sure you are getting the best coverage for your needs. Some popular choices include World Nomads, Allianz Travel Insurance, and Travelex Insurance Services.
Overall, I think Cinque Terre is a great place to visit for a day or two. I think it is completely doable as a day trip from Florence, but if you want to spend more time here and really experience the towns, I would recommend staying for two to three nights.
How much does it cost to visit the Cinque Terre? 3-day budget breakdown
Want the scoop on a 3-day Cinque Terre budget? Here's the lowdown. Count $150 per night for a bed, $450 total. Food's another $150 – pizza, espresso, the works. Trains between towns? Roughly $30. Don't skip the Cinque Terre Card, $40 for access. Throw in $60 for those extra bits – souvenirs, a beer here and there. All in, you're looking at about $730.
Two days is often considered the perfect amount of time to spend in Cinque Terre, especially if you're not planning on extensive hiking
. However, extending your stay to three days can also be ideal, allowing you more time to explore each village and enjoy the area at a more relaxed pace
The best time to visit Cinque Terre isn't explicitly mentioned in the sources I found. Generally, the ideal time to visit most tourist destinations is during the shoulder seasons when the weather is pleasant and the tourist crowds are smaller. Typically, this would be during spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October).
The best way to explore Cinque Terre varies based on personal preferences. Many visitors enjoy walking the trails between the villages to fully appreciate the scenic beauty. Alternatively, taking the train which connects all five villages is a convenient way to see the area. Boat tours also offer a unique perspective of the coastline.
Whether you need a tour guide in Cinque Terre depends on your personal preferences. If you enjoy learning about the history and culture of the places you visit, a tour guide can enhance your experience. However, if you prefer exploring independently, Cinque Terre is well-suited for self-guided tours, with clear paths and signage
Amalfi Coast is better for luxurious stays, historical sites, and easier accessibility. Cinque Terre is ideal for a more rustic, hiking-focused experience with picturesque villages. In Cinque Terre, Vernazza or Monterosso are often recommended as the best towns to stay in for their balance of beauty, amenities, and accessibility.
In Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is often considered the best city to stay in. It's the largest of the five towns, offers the most extensive hotel options, has beautiful beaches, and is well-equipped with amenities for tourists. It's also a great base for exploring the other towns in Cinque Terre.
Yes, like most of the popular tourist places in Italy, it is very crowded with tourists in the summer season. During the day, it is packed with people laying out on the beaches, exploring the villages, and swimming in the crystal clear water.
At night, you can find locals and tourists alike enjoying the restaurants and bars that line the streets, however, around 10 pm it gets very quiet and empty.
I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions!