Cinque Terre means crystal clear waters, laid-back coastal towns, picturesque coastlines lined with colorful homes, amazing hikes and great food.
Visiting the 5 Towns of the Cinque Terre: The Essential Guide The Ultimate Bucket List
1.Walking the Cinque Terre hiking trail
If you possibly can, walk at least one portion of the path carved in the cliffs between the villages. The shortest and widest of these connects Riomaggiore and Manarola, called, in typical Italian fashion, Via dell'Amore (Path of Love). It's also the most crowded, so if you visit in high season and seek more solitude, walk another section. Maps are available in park offices (at train stations) where you need to buy an entrance ticket to use the trails or a Cinque Terre card.
2.Manarola Cinque Terre
Claim a table in one of the little restaurants in the piazza and savor just-caught seafood with a view over the miniature harbor. Manarola is small and the oldest. Around Manarola there are vineyards so this is the perfect place to drink a glass of wine at ease and to enjoy the wonderful surroundings.
Tip: follow the footpath up in the mountain fromt the harbor and you will see a resaurant in the mountain its great for luch and enjoy the great view form here.
3.The village of Riomaggiore rises between two steep cliffs. It looks like a nativity scene with all its little colored houses built in a vertical way.
The originality of Riomaggiore’s houses is due to the fact that each one has two entries: the front door on the alley and the back door on the upper street. The houses had this particular structure since 1500 to allow a fast escape in case of Saracen raids. In Riomaggiore starts the famous Via dell’Amore (Love Path): a paved path, dug into the rock, that ends in Manarola. The path is wonderful, you can walk into the wild and hear the sound of waves breaking on the rocks. Riomaggiore is a shy town, you’ll slowly discover the village, the Castello in Cerricò with its great sea view, and the church of San Giovanni Battista.
4.Vernazza is situated on an impressive cliff, nowadays is a calm seaside village but, in the past, it was the harbor of the boats in charge to protect the coasts from the Saracens.
The magical atmosphere of this village will seduce you: mysterious alleys, among the little red, yellow and pink houses in the summertime are crowded of tourists. Vernazza is considered one of the 100 most beautiful villages of Italy with its maritime vocation. We suggest you to reach this town by sea to see at once the beautiful harbor. You can visit also the church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia and the remains of the ancient fortress: the towers of the XI century and the Doria’s castle, the Monastery’s tower of Padri Riformati di San Francesco and the tower Belforte. The astonishing Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Reggio isn’t easy to reach, you’ll have to walk through a wild road. Maybe it will be hard but it’s really worth it.
5.Monterosso al Mare is the place loved by Eugenio Montale: here the Italian writer, who won the Nobel prize in 1975, used to spend his summers.
Monterosso inspired some of its verses as: “Rocky stern town, asylum for fishermen and farmers.” This village maintains its maritime tradition and it still has signs of the past sea battles: the medieval tower that now is the bell tower of San Giovanni Church, the castle with its three round towers, and the Aurora tower, the only one survived of thirteen towers that protected the village. You can spend your time in the old town centre visiting the church of San Giovanni Battista, or you can stay in the modern Fegina with its beach . Moreover Monterosso’s beach is the biggest of the Cinque Terre.
6.The Via dell'Amore - The Love path
There are several natural paths in the Cinque Terre. One of the most famous in the world is the path that links Riomaggiore to Manarola.
The Via dell’Amore – Love Path – is part of the Blue Path that links all the villages of the Cinque Terre. In particular, this path of about 1 km is very charming, romantic, the easiest to pass through. It takes its name from the inscription that an anonymous resident wrote on a wall, at the beginning of the path on the side of Riomaggiore. He wrote that the path was the favorite place of lovers. So the municipalities decided to formalize the name, installing benches and works of art that evoke the theme of love. You have to pay to access to this path, but it’s always a crowded path. We suggest you to visit it in the early morning or in the evening.
7. Go for a swim and enjoy the village’s iconic views
Unless you’ve been living under an Instagram-proof rock, you’ve seen the classic postcard snap of Riomaggiore or Manarola. Because the village is so compact, this viewpoint is super simple to find. Don’t forget your swimsuit though the swimming here is really nice when the water’s not too choppy, plus it’s a great place to laze, people watch and enjoy the view.
8.Grab some fried seafood
You’ll see everyone strutting around with these. Follow your nose & your tastebuds will thank you. There are a lot of options around town but Il Pescato Cucinato and Tutti Fritti are popular favourites.Swim in the ocean, sun tan on the rocks and have a simple but satisfying pizza meal overlooking Riomaggiore’s colorful harbor
9.Get a different view of the coastline by catching a boat to the towns instead.
10.Climb the Scalinata Lardarina in Corniglia, a 2.4-mile trek up 365 steps.
he location of this village is phenomenal: high on a cliff and with a great view over the sea. It is certainly worth the climb to the village!
11. Visit Castello Doria in Vernazza.
When standing on the beach in Vernazza, this castle sits above the buildings on the left side of the bay! For just 1,50€, take the ten minute walk up the spiral staircase to the beautiful panoramic point and see not only Vernazza from above but also the two surrounding villages! Great at anytime of the day however, my favorite time of the day to visit Castello Doria is during sunset with the lights of Monterosso al Mare in the background!
12. Watch the sunset
The sunset is a must see in Cinque Terre, since you’re right on the west coast overlooking the ocean. I loved watching the sunset here, and you have several options every town have some great spots to watch the sun goes down. The most popular is Manarola