Manarola - One of the most inspiring of Cinque Terre Villages

Why Cinqueterre are so special?

Rio Maggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso are the "Cinque Terre", translated literally from the Italian "The Five Lands". 

Cinqueterre are five fishermen villages in the Italian region of Liguria, near the town of La Spezia. Cinque Terre are a spectacular and unique sight and an unmissable place to visit if you are planning your travel in Italy.

Each village, with its own unique character and shape, is a wonderful little jewel, rightly part of the Unesco's World Heritage. The villages are perfectly preserved and they look exactly as they were more than a century ago. Because of their position, they are also away from traffic and, apart maybe in summer, when tourists are coming in large groups, during the rest of the year they are quiet, relaxing and very inspiring.

The Giant at Monterosso - Cinque Terre

Where are the Cinque Terre?

Cinque Terre are now one of the most interesting National Parks in Italy. It is situated in the region of Liguria in the North West of the Country, along the sea, little more than 200kms away from France ad the Cote Azure.

10 tips for your visit to Cinque Terre

I. How long to stay in Cinqueterre area?

Plan to stay not less than 4 nights in the area of Cinque Terre and make sure you visit all the five villages.

Here all the information you need on the Cinque Terre Way.

II. When to visit the Cinqueterre? 

Avoid the heat of the summer: perfect months for visiting Cinque Terre are April, May, June, September, October

III. What's the best way to visit Cinqueterre?

Don't plan to visit the Cinque Terre by car, use the train instead. Car parking is expensive and driving in little narrow roads is not such a relaxing experience. The train connect all the 5 villages and it is cheap, frequent and reliable.

IV. What is the best walk you can do in the Cinqueterre?

Even if you are not a walker don't miss the section of the path from Rio Maggiore to Manarola called "Via dell'Amore". It is easy, flat, short, scenic and... romantic!

Here all the information you need on the Cinque Terre Way.

V. What is the unmissable dish of the area?

Try real pasta with pesto in one of the many restaurants as Liguria is  the region of Pesto! Also lots of fresh fish to enjoy in restaurant to buy at the market.

Fishermen's houses in the little, cobbled streets of Manarola - Cinque Terre

VI. Where to stay in Cinqueterre?

If you are on a budget look for accommodation away from the 5 main villages, look for B&Bs in one of the many villages just above the Cinque Terre, most of them are connected by public mini van, cheap and reliable. (We are currently working on a list of reliable B&Bs / Hotels to add to this post).

The map of the walks as published by The Consorzio of Cinqueterre (click on the map to enlarge it)

VII. Where else to go in the area of Cinqueterre?

Allow enough time for a day trip to the romantic village of Porto Venere (only an hour away) and a visit to Florence (three hours away) or Pisa we will add soon other possible destinations in the area (there are really many: Lucca, Viareggio, Lerici...).

VIII. How to save money visiting Cinqueterre?

Ask at the Tourist Office for a saving ticket for entering to the paths (yes, during most of the year you need a ticket to walk the paths connecting the five villages... but it is not too expensive), possibly including a saving train ticket.

Corniglia at Sunrise - Cinque Terre
IX. Is Cinqueterre good for trekking?

It is not good. It is great!

Apart for the paths connecting the 5 villages there are many more wonderful and scenic paths in the area, they are free, quiet but certainly very beautiful. If you like treekking plan to stay in the area at least a week and walk some of the paths above the cliffs, they will offer you a very different prospective of Cinque Terre.

X. What else I can do there?

Enjoy the sea! Monterosso has a beautiful sandy beach and nearby Porto Venere has a beautiful beach and long promenade too! Relax there in between your walks, talk wityh people, drink capuccinos, have good dinner and a nice glass of local white wine of the "Golfo dei Poeti" (Poets' Gulf)!  

Evening in Rio Maggiore - Fishermen's boat are back! - Cinque Terre

Manarola in a cold winter night - Cinque Terre

We hope you find this post useful! As said, soon we will add also a list of reliable accommodation and restaurants in the area. 

And finally... Have you ever heard about "The Scottish Cinque Terre"?

It probably looks like a long shot but have a look at this post... Do this place in Scotland really look like  "The Scottish Cinque Terre" ?

What are the other special places I should absolutely visit in Italy?

If you are planning to visit Cinqueterre and you want to extend your trip to other places here are some ideas for visiting surrounding areas in Tuscany and Liguria: Read about more destinations to plan your travel in Italy.

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