The Cinque Terre represent one of the most beautiful, unique and incredible areas of the whole Mediterranean. This stretch of coast of Liguria, about 10 km long between Genoa and La Spezia, is so called because here there are five wonderful seaside villages immersed in unspoiled nature.
The five villages, in order from West to East, are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are well known all over the world and it is not possible to think of one without thinking of all the others. But each of these villages has its own history, its peculiarities and its secrets. Together they represent one of the most popular Italian tourist resorts.
In fact, in 1997 they were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
These are picturesque villages perched on the rock and overlooking the sea. Wonderful agglomerations of colorful tower-houses developed vertically, crossed by small alleys and alleys almost to form a labyrinth where authentic views and breathtaking views are hidden.
The frame all around is uncontaminated nature where man has intervened over the centuries with intelligence and respect. You will admire the traditional Ligurian terraces where the locals collect the best fruits of their land: citrus fruits, olives and grapes with which they produce an exceptional wine.
Then of course the sea: a difficult and indented coast where some beaches are set. Everywhere a transparent, clean, crystalline water.
The Cinque Terre are an ideal destination to spend an unforgettable weekend, where to bring a special person and take beautiful photographs.
The Villages of the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre villages are Monterosso , Vernazza , Corniglia , Manarola is Riomaggiore .
These five villages are quite close but over the centuries they have been separated from each other by a difficult and difficult to navigate territory. They therefore have their own unique peculiarities, their differences, their traditions.
Do not believe those who say that it is enough to see one of the villages to get an idea of the others too. The Cinque Terre should all be visited, and honestly it is very difficult to say which one to start with.
Monterosso is the village of the Cinque Terre to the west, the first one coming from Genoa.
Monterosso al Mare represents the oldest part, while Fegina , constitutes its recent tourist and seaside development.
It is generally considered the most accessible among the five: it is the easiest to reach by car, the one with the most accommodations to stay overnight, restaurants and bars to relax in and the only one with wide sandy beaches for the whole family.
In addition to being accessible, Monterosso is a fascinating village and the wonderful nature that surrounds it has also inspired a poet like Eugenio Montale . During the long summers that the poet spent here, he wrote many lines of his poems dedicated to this enchanted place.More information
Vernazza is the village of the Cinque Terre best known and most photographed . The only one among the five to be counted between “Most beautiful villages in Italy” . His image is often used as a symbol of this entire territory.
Without a doubt it is a magical place that must be visited at least once in a lifetime.
Life here develops around the square near the port. All around a labyrinth of alleys and alleys typical of the towns of Liguria that hide glimpses to photograph as well as the charm of a millenary history.
The typical and colorful tower-houses of this part of Liguria frame the famous port of Vernazza, the church and the fortified castle.More information
Corniglia is the central village of the Cinque Terre and the only one that does not have direct access to the sea. In fact, it rises on a rock about 100 meters above sea level, which is why it is known as “Balcony of the Cinque Terre” .
Among the Cinque Borghi, Corniglia is undoubtedly the least visited, but it is the one with the better panorama and the one where to enjoy a peaceful holiday away from hordes of tourists.More information
Manarola is the smallest and probably the most picturesque of the Cinque Terre villages and, thanks to the easy connection with Riomaggiore, it is also one of the most visited.
Manarola has an ancient tradition in the production of oil and wine. Today, in fact, this town is known not only for its beauty, but also for the wine that is produced in the surrounding area, such as sciacchetrà.
At Christmas it’s a perfect destination: a huge one has been set up since 1961 bright nativity scene on the back of the hill . A show not to be missed.More information
Riomaggiore is the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre.
This village is an extraordinary agglomeration of pastel-colored tower-houses overlooking the sea. Typical houses of the villages of Liguria crossed by a labyrinth of alleys, stairways, alleys and hidden corners.
So beautiful and fascinating that even the famous painter of the Macchiaioli stream, Telemaco Signorini , has imprinted Riomaggiore on his canvases.More information
La via dell'amore
The Via dell’Amore, or Path of Love, is a picturesque trail in the Cinque Terre that winds along the coastal cliffs, connecting the charming villages of Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The route, on a paved and railing-equipped road, is about 1km long and easy to walk.
This short stretch is only the initial part of the “Blue Trail” that connects all the villages of the Cinque Terre.
The trail winds gently along the rocky coastline, offering spectacular views of the sparkling Ligurian or Ligurian Sea below and the wild, unspoiled landscape stretching to the horizon.
Although sections of the Way of Love have been damaged by landslides in recent years, efforts to restore and reopen the trail are steadily progressing, and an adapted trail that includes parts of the Way of Love allows visitors to continue to experience the magic of this beloved path.
How to get to the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is one of the few Italian destinations where it is recommended to move by public transport . Getting around by car, especially during the summer, can become really uncomfortable and complicated.
However, both solutions are possible and here is all the information you will need to discover this wonderful area.
Cinque Terre by Train
The train is undoubtedly the most practical, fastest and cheapest way to move between the villages of the Cinque Terre. All 5 towns have convenient railway stations on the Genoa-La Spezia line, where train runs are quite frequent.
Throughout the year a regional train passes every half hour and, in addition, in the summer, from March to November, the trains of the line also come into service 5 Terre Express on the La Spezia-Levanto section.
To get an idea of distances and travel times, know that the journey between Monterosso, the westernmost village, and Riomaggiore, the easternmost village, is just 14 minutes.
All stations are, moreover, very close to the center of the villages. Exploring the Cinque Terre by train is a piece of cake!
Cinque Terre by car
Those who love to travel by car can get to the Cinque Terre easily. The road in many places is spectacular, but you may encounter some discomfort.
Manarola and Riomaggiore, the villages further east, are the easiest to reach because the road is convenient and offers a beautiful view. Proceeding to Corniglia and Vernazza the road becomes more tortuous and rather narrow.
But the real problem with car travel is parking. The Cinque Terre villages are inaccessible by car and have a limited number of parking spaces. In the high season it is really difficult to find a place and, even if you do, the fare is quite expensive.
Cinque Terre by boat
Moving between the Cinque Terre by boat is undoubtedly the most suggestive way and that gives an unmissable show . Seeing the villages hidden in the inlets, surrounded by luxuriant nature, appear in the distance is truly exciting.
The boat service is in service only during the summer, from April to November.
Tickets can be purchased conveniently at the ticket offices near the docking points.
Where to sleep in the Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre over the years have become one of the most visited tourist resorts in Italy and this has given a strong boost to the development of accommodation to stay, both within the villages and in the surroundings.
You will not find large hotels with many rooms. Fortunately, there is no room for large structures in this area. You will find small indeed guest houses, B&B and apartments obtained from the ancient houses of the historic centers.
Despite the numerous accommodations that have sprung up over the years, the number of beds is not always sufficient to cope with the many visitors who want to stay here. Especially during the summer season.
It is much better to plan your trip to Cinque Terre well in advance. You will be assured of finding a place and securing the best value-for-money accommodations.
The rates, in fact, are generally quite high.
But in which village of the Cinque Terre to sleep?
In reality, there is no better village than another to stay in. Take a look at the insights into the locations and choose the one you like best.
Then choose the accommodation that suits you by looking at the photos and the price. Location is not important; all the villages are within a few minutes’ walk, and the accommodations are all very close to each other.
Where to go to the sea in the Cinque Terre
The villages of the Cinque Terre certainly do not represent the destinations par excellence for a holiday dedicated to life on the beach and tanning.
The coast in this area of Liguria is quite indented, rocky and difficult. Within this difficult area, however, there are several small beaches where you can swim in a particular and suggestive setting.
Those looking for the best compromise between the discovery of the villages and a few days on the beach can find a Fegina , the modern part of Monterosso, a beautiful strip of sand that has even been mentioned by the magazine “Forbes” as one of the 25 sexiest beaches in the world.
Also in Monterosso, you will find a beautiful beach even in front of the ancient village.
Corniglia, even if it is the only village that does not have direct access to the sea, is a strategic point to reach some of the best beaches of the Cinque Terre:
You should especially visit the Guvano beach , one of most beautiful beaches in all of Liguria . It is a mixture of sand and white pebbles, the water is clean and clear and surrounded by lush nature.
Map of the Cinque Terre
ACCOMMODATION AT CINQUE TERRE
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