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.
It is picturesque villages perched on the rock and overlooking the sea. Wonderful groups of colorful houses-towers developed vertically, crossed by small alleys and polls almost to form a labyrinth where authentic views and breathtaking views are hidden.
The frame all around is a pristine nature where man is built over the centuries with intelligence and respect. You will admire the traditional Ligurian terraces where the inhabitants of the place collect the best fruits of their land: citrus fruits, olives and grapes with which they produce an exceptional wine.
You can discover the Cinque Terre National Park through its fascinating paths. First of all the blue trail.
Then of course the sea: a difficult and jagged 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 great photographs.
What are the Cinque Terre
The villages of the Cinque Terre are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
These five villages are rather close but over the centuries have been separated from each other by a difficult territory. They therefore have their unique peculiarities, their differences, their traditions.
Don’t believe those who say it’s enough to see one of the villages to get an idea of others. The five lands should be visited all and it is very difficult to say where to start.
Monterosso is the village of the Cinque Terre plus in Ponente, the first coming from Genoa.
Monterosso al Mare represents the oldest part, while fegina constitutes its recent tourism and seaside development.
It is generally considered the most accessible between the five: it is the easiest to reach with the car, the one with more accommodations where to stay, restaurants and bars to relax and the only with large 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 passed here, he wrote many verses of him poems of him dedicated to this enchanted place.More information
Vernazza is the village of the Cinque Terre best known and more photographed. The only one among the five to be counted between “more beautiful villages in Italy”. Its image is often used as a symbol of this whole territory.
No doubt it is a magical place that must be visited at least once in life.
Life here flows around the piazzetta close to the port. All around a labyrinth of vicoletti and “Carruggi” typical of the villages of Liguria who hide glimpses to photograph in addition to the charm of a millenary history.
At the famous marina of Vernazza, the church and the fortified castle, they frame the typical and colorful houses-towers of this part of Liguria.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 five villages, no doubt Corniglia is the least visited, but it is the one with the best view and what to enjoy a quiet 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
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 also very close to the center of the villages. Going to the discovery of the Cinque Terre with the train is a walk!
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.
In general, you need to reach the Cinque Terre coastal road by exiting at Santo Stefano Magra from the convenient A12 motorway that connects Genoa and La Spezia.
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.
The boats leave from the port of La Spezia, connect Portovenere, the Cinque Terre villages and reach Levanto and Portofino.
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 plan your trip to the Cinque Terre well in advance. You will have the certainty of finding a place and securing accommodation with the best value for money.
The rates, in fact, are generally quite high.
But in which village of the Cinque Terre to sleep?
Actually, 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. The position is not important, all the villages can be visited walinking in a few minutes 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 typical destinations for a vacation in the name of life on the beach and tanning.
The coast in this area of Liguria is rather jagged, rocky and difficult. Within this difficult territory, however, there are several small beaches where to bathe in a particular and suggestive setting.
Who seeks the best compromise between the discovery of the villages and a few days at the beach can find in Fegina, the modern part of Monterosso, a beautiful strip of sand that was even 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, although 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:
In particular you should visit the beach of Guvano, one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Liguria. It is a mixture of white sand and pebbles, the water is clean and clear and is surrounded by a luxuriant nature.
Map of the Cinque Terre
ACCOMMODATION AT CINQUE TERRE
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