Vernazza

A GUIDE TO CINQUE TERRE

Riomaggiore

Cinque Terre is one of the most iconic highlights when visiting Italy. The five villages are authentic, with a perfectly conserved architecture, only a few roads and a network of stunning mountain and coastal trails connecting the towns.

The rugged coastline or the pretty romantic villages – or probably better the two combined – have made this region one of the most desired to visit by people from all over the world.

THE FIVE TOWNS

    RIOMAGGIORE

Is the easternmost of all five villages. Peeling buildings line up down a steep ravine to a tiny beach. Their multi-coloured houses glow at sunset, more appreciated from the sea, making one of the Cinque Terre’s most romantic sights.

     MANAROLA

Is probably the most picturesque village of Cinque Terre. The bustling main street and waterfront promenade are still lined with fishing boats and other reminders of everyday village life. The best views of the town are from Punta Bonfiglio.

    CORNIGLIA

Is the only village that isn’t directly on the coast. Corniglia sits atop a 100m-high promontory surrounded by vineyards, and requires a lot of stairs or a shuttle bus to get there from the train station. It boasts beautiful views, and from a breezy sea-facing terrace you can watch all five villages at once.

    VERNAZZA

Is by far my favourite village of Cinque Terre. The village’s trademark caruggi -narrow streets- rise almost vertically from the small harbour, a maze of stairs and tiny terraces, with big blue sea views popping at every turn. Plus, there are lots of authentic Italian eateries in the main street.

    MONTEROSSO AL MARE

It is the only village that has a proper strip of beach. Also it’s the furthest west and the bigger of the villages. So, also is the one that has most restaurants and shops.

Train to Cinque Terre

HOW TO GET THERE

La Spezia is the closest town to Cinque Terre. So, once there you can catch the train and within 10 minutes you will be to the first town, Riomaggiore. There are also direct trains from the biggest cities of the region, like Genova, Milan or Pisa. I caught a train from Pisa to Monterosso al Mare and take me about an hour and a half to get there.

HOW TO GET AROUND

Frequent trains link the five towns, so this is the best mode of transport between the five villages. Each ticket costs approximately two Euros and be sure to stamp the ticket at the same station you catch the train cause inspectors are common.

Walking between the towns is very popular, especially on the main coastal paths, which are subject to pay entrance fees. The experience totally worth the fee, breathtaking views along the paths are guaranteed, and train rides between the towns are included.

Cinque Terre Path

Ristorante Belforte

WHERE AND WHAT TO EAT

The region of Liguria boasts some of the best food in Italy. As Cinque Terre is on the coast, seafood and fish are a big part of the diet. Make sure to taste the pesto –as it is original of this region– in pasta, pizza, alone or wherever.

     RISTORANTE BELFORTE –Vernazza-

The first restaurant I would recommend is this little gem in Vernazza, located at the top of a cliff has one of the best views of the Ligurian coastline and one of the best meals. Here is where you can enjoy traditional cuisine from the region; the prices are a bit high but totally worth every penny. I totally recommend the Squid ink tagliolini with shrimps and seaweed, the trofie with pesto, and of course, any of their fresh fish grilled plates.

    DA ERALDO -Monterosso-

This little restaurant has the most impressive antipasto board I ever had; accompanied with a great white wine will be the perfect casual dining.

     NESSUN DORMA Manarola-

This restaurant, besides to offer classics such as bruschetta, focaccia sandwiches and antipasto boards, has the most pretty views overlooking Manarola, and I would dare to say the bests in Cinque Terre.

     GELATERIA VERNAZZA Vernazza-

You can’t leave Italy without eating gelato before. This is the most authentic gelateria in Cinque Terre, made with all natural and organic ingredients.

WHERE TO STAY

There are a lot of hotels, guest houses and Airbnb apartments in each of the towns at reasonable prices. The more affordable prices tend to be in Monterosso, as it is the biggest one, but less scenic than the others.

The only luxury hotel in Cinque Terre is Porto Roca, located at the top of a cliff that spoils guests with breathtaking views over Monterosso and the sea.

RiomaggioreVernazzaMonterosso al MareVernazza

 

16 Comments
  • Joyce
    Posted at 11:16h, 22 April Reply

    Such beautiful and colourful photos! I guess I have to add this one to my bucketlist…

  • Amie
    Posted at 02:36h, 23 April Reply

    I took an Italian Archaeology class and this reminded me of why I wanted to go to Italy.

  • Laura
    Posted at 08:59h, 14 June Reply

    Loving the photos! And the food looks delicious! Can’t wait to visit this place myself! 🙂

    • Nuria Vidal
      Posted at 10:29h, 14 June Reply

      I am sure you’ll love it 🙂 Happy travels!
      xx | Nuria

  • @jacquitravels
    Posted at 19:59h, 14 September Reply

    Great post and beautiful photos! We just got back from camping in Levanto and we spent three glorious days exploring the Cinque Terre – you’ve captured the information very well here, I wish I saw this before we went.

  • Sara - I do what I want to
    Posted at 12:29h, 29 September Reply

    We’ve been wanting to go since last year, this year we got the chance to actually go together to Italy, however, we stayed in Rome. It is always nice to hear about places to dine for various prices

  • Amanda Williams
    Posted at 13:25h, 29 September Reply

    Cinque Terre looks and sounds awesome. Your photos show off the colourful buildings well. I must make it there one day. I love the sound of the narrow streets in Vernazza and can understand why that would be your favourite town.

  • Flo @ Yoga, Wine & Travel
    Posted at 16:16h, 29 September Reply

    Your photos are beautiful, Nuria! We visited Cinque Terre this summer and we were blown away by how picturesque this region is. I wish we had known about Ristorante Belforte before our trip!

  • Leslie
    Posted at 16:32h, 29 September Reply

    Your photos are absolutely STUNNING. I could easily spend an entire summer there – walking, writing, reading, eating… enjoying the life!

    • Nuria Vidal
      Posted at 20:26h, 29 September Reply

      Thank you so much Leslie! Cinque Terre’s stunning!

  • Lottie Reeves
    Posted at 16:37h, 29 September Reply

    I have been to Italy several times and just haven’t made it to Cinque Terre yet…I am desperate to go. This is a great, informative post that I will save for when I plan my trip there. Thanks for putting all the info together!

  • Kassie
    Posted at 18:24h, 29 September Reply

    Gosh I loved Cinque Terre so much. I only had time for a day trip when I was there but dream of hiking to each town and spending a day/night there. The colors are so beautiful and the coastal views are amazing!

  • Sarah
    Posted at 19:47h, 29 September Reply

    Stunning! Lovely photos and you were so lucky to enjoy the lovely summer weather of Italy! I’d definitely add this to my must-visit list 🙂

  • Caroline @ The Travelling Sloth
    Posted at 19:49h, 29 September Reply

    I’ve heard so many good things about this place. So glad you wrote up this full guide – will definitely sort me out if I ever end up visiting!

    Your photos are stunning too, those food photos are definitely making me hungry.

  • Christina
    Posted at 03:10h, 30 September Reply

    Visiting Cinque Terre is very high on my list of places to visit when I go to Italy again. Good to know that they are linked by trains. It will be much easier to visit this way I think.

  • Cristina
    Posted at 13:38h, 30 September Reply

    It seems like Cinque Terre is the IT place this summer. I would like to visit one day, maybe during a road trip in Italy :).

Post A Comment