Cinque Terre travel guide
Cinque Terre is one of Italy’s real treasures; a region of five charming towns and villages located in Liguria, on the Italian Riviera. Not only are visitors treated to picturesque fishing harbors and the pristine waters of the Mediterranean but also to the spectacular sight of pastel-colored medieval architecture perched on hilltops and surrounded by terraced vineyards and olive groves.
The entire Cinque Terre region is a national park and protected marine area, and is globally recognized, and therefore preserved, as “common heritage of mankind”. That’s why you’ll discover a truly authentic collection of towns and villages, all thriving on their Roman Age origins and all devoid of major new developments.
Visit Monterosso al Mare, the largest town, to sunbathe on the region’s most accessible beach. Experience the ancient maritime traditions of Vernazza. Climb the zigzagging stairway at Corniglia to explore a labyrinth of alleyways that lead to 14th-century churches and scenic viewpoints. Manarola is a great place to learn about the region’s winemaking and agricultural history while the harbor restaurants at Riomaggiore serve the famous Cinque Terre seafood.
Cinque Terre is ideal for walkers and hikers. The footpaths and trails connecting the towns cling to the coastline and present spectacular views. Make a day trip out of a walk from Monterosso al Mare to Riomaggiore. Via dell’Amore (Love's Way) between Manarola and Riomaggiore is the most famous section; a well-paved area that is suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.
A railway connects the towns of La Spezia and Levanto on either side. Purchase the Cinque Terre Card for unlimited train travel and access to the walking trails. From April to October, a passenger ferry operates between all the towns except for Corniglia. Drivers will need to park in out-of-town lots and then catch the free shuttle bus.
Many people choose to visit the towns on day trips, but you can also find upscale accommodation options in each and linger a while longer in this glorious setting.