Cinque Terre has been on ‘the list’ for some time and I couldn’t think of a better month than May to finally go! It was a brief long weekend trip so I only have a few things to say!
The Cinque Terre are fantastically located in Liguria, almost bordering Tuscany so you can get the best of both world.
You can either fly into Genova (Liguria) and work your way South, or Pisa (Tuscany) and work your way North. If you’re new to both, why not fly into one and leave from the other.
Renting a car is a must if you ask me. While the Italian train system is fantastic, a car provides more freedom to roam the countryside as you please.
Portofino – the glitz and glam of the Ligurian Riviera all gather here. Similar to Cinque Terre in colorful look, this is an upscale sailing and dining destination.
Cinque Terre, the five villages, full of colour, character and views to die for. Here’s how to approach the day:
La Spezia – your starting point if beginning from the South. Take a train from the Centrale Station. The Cinque Terre card is a good option for all day train access.
Riomaggiore – first stop, take a wander and definitely hike from this one down the Via Dell’ Amore / Lovers’ Lane!
Manarola – the Lovers’ Lane leads here. This is the most picturesque of the villages in my view, particularly if you continue the hike to Corniglia so you can get a fantastic view.
Corniglia – the only perched village on a hill so there is no boat access and the only option is to continue hiking or take the train to Vernazza. Within Corniglia, there are plenty of high altitude view points and lovely cafes / bars.
Vernazza – best reached by train from Corniglia as the hike becomes more difficult between these last three villages. Vernazza has a really great rock beach just behind the Marina.
Monterosso al Mare – the largest of the villages. Get here by boat to get the seaside view as you leave Vernazza. Try to find the Wonderland Bakery, grab a homemade focaccia sandwich made to order and head to the beach to watch sunset beginning.
Portovenere – not a part of a Cinque Terre but there are boats from Monterosso directly back to Portovenere, which is close to La Spezia. A great way to see all five villages from the sea!
Locanda al Colle – we chose to stay in Tuscany because we just love countryside sanctuaries like Locanda al Colle. The Locanda is stunning, relaxing and everything you could want. The chef prepares some amazing homemade food every day (healthy too!). Cinque Terre access is within 45 minutes reach, and this escape is surrounded by Tuscan vineyards, villages and osterias!
Via la Stretta, 231, Capezzano Pianore, 55041 Camaiore / +39 0584 915 195