Welcome to my Cinque Terre itinerary 7 days visiting the most popular colorful coastal villages in Italy.
EuropeItaly7 days / August 2018
Highs & Lows
The most scenic Italy´s views.
During the summer season fully packed with tourists.
We landed in Pisa and stayed there for one day. From there we took a train directly to La Spezia, which is probably the best place to stay when you are on budget and you want to stay in Cinque Terre area for a few days (prizes in villages are just crazy). We booked an Airbnb in La Spezia near the train station which I highly recommend as you can reach all the Cinque Terre villages only by train that goes quite often. You can easily make Cinque Terre day trip from La Spezia.
We started from the last village called Monterosso al Mare that is unique for its sizable beach and medieval church. We continued by walk through hills to Vernazza that is considered as the most scenic and photogenic village. Corniglia, third village, the only one without a harbor but instead you get a nice old town built in Gothic style. The next stop is Manarola with romantic restaurants with amazing views on small harbor and colorful houses. The last little village called Riomaggiore is often reached first by the tourists, we took there a 10min climb that brought us to two round towers as the remains of 15th century castle, the views are just spectacular as nearly from any point of the Cinque Terre.
We started from the last stop from La Spezia called Monterosso al Mare which is characteristic for its strict division by a tunnel into the new and old part. When arriving by train you will find yourself in the old part of the village. This part is dominant for its ancient walls and the remains of the Fieschi castle and for the Church of St John the Baptist as well as for the Capuchin Monastery. As in all Cinque Terre villages, you will find there colored houses along with streets full of restaurants and cafeterias. There is also a small harbor with even smaller beach.
The old part is reached by a 15-min walk via the tunnel, this part is also known as Fegina is a modern part of the village. This is unique for its beach which is considered to be the best beach in the whole Cinque Terre. This is also the only sandy beach along this coast.
From Monterosso we took a trail called also the Blue Trail, which is absolutely worth visiting. It is the Cinque Terre 's most famous coastal trail and for centuries it was used for link together all fice Cinque Terre villages. Unfortunately, erosion have cut it shorter and today it is possible to go from Monterosso only to Vernazza and then onwards to Corniglia. The path goes between ripening terraced vineyards scattered on steep hillsides and it's a beautiful walk that you should not miss. For this reserve at least a half day and do not be worry, it is easy to go solely on foot.
Vernazza is by many considered as the most beautiful one from all the Cinque Terre villages. The only one with a natural harbor and the only with a secure landing, offering a small beach to sunbath but be aware swimming is forbidden due to the boat and ferry traffic. Vernazza offers a nice walk through the old part so do not forget to explore this.
Corniglia is the third in a row and the only one without a harbor and beach access, although steep rocky steps lead to a hidden spot. This village steps on a 330 m high rock, surrounded by vineyards. Colorfully painted houses characterize the ancient time, and are surrounded by nice cozy restaurants and souvenirs shops. Its tranquil, tangled streets lead to a broad terrace that is in front of the sea and it is the only point from where you can see all Cinque Terre villages at once.
Manarola, the most photogenic and iconic village in Cinque Terre, built on a high rock 70 metres above the sea level. Manarola does not have actuall beach but instead it has some places where you can comfortably swim. Manarola is connected to Riomaggiore by the famous so called "Lover's Lane" which is a path carved into the rocks above the sea, it offers - once again beautiful views on the seaside and villages.
Riomaggiore is the last village and the most southest one and it takes only a few minutes by train to La Spezia. The path of "Lover's Lane" starts right here and you can reach Manarola in about 20 minutes by walk. In Riomaggiore you can find the ghotic church of San Giovanni Batista, Castle of Riomaggiore from which you can enjoy a beautiful views over the sea.
Each village is different but at the same time they have so much in common. You can choose any of it and you will be given one of the most beautiful panoramas in Italy.
Q & A
What would you have changed?A week in Cinque Terre is not enough time, next time I would reserve more time.
Anything go wrong during the trip?The trains that connect all villages are always full of tourists as are its streets.
Restaurant recommendations?There is a wide range of possibilities where to eat delicious local sea food.
Tips you would give a friend?You can easily make Cinque Terre day trip from La Spezia. Accomodation in La Spezia is a lot cheaper.