Present in the World Heritage List since 1997, the Cinque Terre are one of the most beautiful natural Mediterranean areas of Liguria, gathered in a coastal stretch of the east of about 10 km. This area is characterized by the presence of five ancient seaside villages overlooking the sea: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore, known all over the world for their rare beauty, are considered one of the most attractive Italian tourist resorts. and requests.
To unite the 5 villages, a crystalline sea, small bays and jagged coasts and a large network of paths immersed in the Mediterranean scrub. Here is a guide on the Cinque Terre : the most beautiful locations, attractions and villages!

The villages of the Cinque Terre

1 – Vernazza
Founded around the year 1000, Vernazza stands on a small promontory that is inserted into the sea. It offers a unique landscape made of dry stone walls and fields overlooking the sea that characterize its beauty.
It is thought that the name derives from the Latin adjective verna, “of the place”, “indigenous” but, more likely, it can also be linked to the famous local product: Vernaccia wine .
The town is crossed by steep and narrow streets that descend towards the main road and end in a small square in front of the small port, where the dome of the church dedicated to S. Margherita d’Antiochia stands out. In the village, decorated with the title ofone of the most beautiful Ligurian villages in Italy , you can admire valuable architectural elements such as loggias, arcades and portals.

SEE ALSO : Vernazza: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

2 – Manarola
Located on a promontory high above the sea, Manarola develops in the gorge that descends towards the sea , closed between two rocky spurs, hosting a small landing place. Among the five villages, it is the smallest after Corniglia.
Manarola was born from the displacement of populations who, from the Val di Vara, moved towards the sea to exploit its resources. Most likely, its name derives from the Latin Manium arula, which means “small temple dedicated to the Mani”.
With hiscolorful houses overlooking the main street and very characteristic. The structure of the town develops around the course of the Groppo stream, now covered; a series of narrow stone-paved alleys start from it and reach the houses on the sides of the promontory and the vegetable gardens. Upstream of the town, in the square, the religious buildings are concentrated. The white concrete pyramid that rises between the tallest houses is a trigonometric signal for sailors.

SEE ALSO : Manarola: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

3 – Corniglia
The central town of the Cinque Terre that stands out from the other villages as it is the only one that does not directly overlook the sea. It is in fact located on a promontory about 100 meters high, surrounded by vineyards cultivated on the characteristic terraced bands.
The country offers many hiking opportunities . From here you can explore a territory surrounded by a magnificent network of paths, poignant paths between overhanging rocks and bizarre shapes, sealed by the clear sea. A real “balcony on the Cinque Terre”. Furthermore, on 29 June, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patrons, is held with the offering of the traditional “Torta dei Fieschi”.

4 – Riomaggiore
Squeezed between sea and mountains, Riomaggiore is the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre, characterized by the typical stepped structure, with colored houses leaning against each other, overlooking the marina and which seem to touch the sky.

The town has very ancient origins . Walking through the uphill streets allows you to admire the remains of its ancient past and savor the slow pace of life that is marked here by the rhythm of the tides. From here starts the famous Via Dell’Amore , a path overlooking the sea that connects all the other villages.
Riomaggiore offers various possibilities for an active holiday ; as well as trekking and walking, on foot or by mountain bike, you can also dedicate yourself to diving.

SEE ALSO : Riomaggiore: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

5 – Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso al Mare is the largest village in the Cinque Terre , as well as the one that offers more services and a large sandy beach whose first historical signs date back to 1200.
The town is divided in two by a promontory with a tunnel about a hundred meters long: on one side there is the Fegina area (residential area, high quality hotel and railway station), on the other the old port, the historic center characterized by the typical alleys where you can find wine bars, restaurants, focaccerie and ice cream parlors.
Monterosso is history and nature together. It preserves delightful churches with black and white bands, the typical Ligurian style, and the signs of past naval battles. From Monterosso there are beautiful hiking trails such as the famous Via dell’Amore. Identification symbol of the town and the famous Giant , original 14 meters high statue depicting the god Neptune.

SEE ALSO : Monterosso al Mare: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

Hidden places and attractions
Via Dell’Amore, path overlooking the sea that starts from Riomaggiore and connects all the other villages

Santuario NS di Soviore, in the municipality of Monterosso al Mare

Convent of the Capuchins, Monterosso al Mare

Punta Mesco, promontory that divides Monterosso and Levanto

Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Montenero

Diving to the wreck of the

Aqua Scalinata Lardarina, 382 steps from the Corniglia station to the center

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  1. Via Dell’Amore : path overlooking the sea that starts from the Riomaggiore station and connects all the other villages. Along the Via dell’Amore you can admire splendid views, exotic vegetation, Mediterranean scrub, the last stretch is under the terraced vineyards and overlooks the railway station of Manarola
  2. NS Sanctuary of Soviore : in the municipality of Monterosso al Mare, along the sp 38, one of the oldest sanctuaries in Liguria located within the Cinque Terre National Park along the slopes of Mount Soviore among woods and terraced fields
  3. Convent of the Capuchins : wonderful little church of the Capuchin friars, with adjoining convent, located in an elevated position in Monterosso overlooking all the Cinque Terre. It offers magnificent views
  4. Punta Mesco : green promontory that represents the natural dividing wall between Monterosso and Levanto. The trek that leads to Punta Mesco from Monterosso starts from Figina and is 2.5 km long
  5. Eugenio Montale Literary Park : born on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for literature to the poet, symbol of the park and the liberty style house
  6. Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Montenero : place of Catholic worship, just outside Riomaggiore, located 340 meters above sea level and offering a wonderful view to say the least
  7. Podere Case Lovara : fulcrum of a project for the recovery of a centuries-old agricultural world and for the sustainable development of local resources, and can only be reached on foot via a magnificent panoramic path
  8. Immersion at the wreck of the Equa: ship built in 1929 by the Neapolitan shipping company, sunk on 10 June 1944 due to a ramming by a German ship, two miles off the coast of Riomaggiore
  9. Sciacchetra Museum : in Manarola, the tools used in the preparation of the most famous wine of the area are exhibited
  10. Guvano beach : a place sought after by nudists from all over the world, and a quiet and enchanting beach. It is located on a rocky gorge between Vernazza and Corniglia
  11. Scalinata Lardarina : from Corniglia station, a long red brick zigzag staircase leading to the town center. Almost 400 steps (382) that go up the cliff and culminate in a panoramic terrace

Weekend itinerary in the Cinque Terre
First day in Riomaggiore and Manarola . Visit the village of Riomaggiore in the morning and dedicate the afternoon to Manarola, where you can also find a couple of hours on the beach. The two locations are connected by train (6 min, € 4.00).
On the morning of the second day from Manarola take the train to Corniglia (2 min, € 4.00). The station is located at the foot of the town which is instead on top of a promontory. You will reach it via a staircase of 382 steps: a bit tiring but with panoramic views that repay the effort! Visit the village and have lunch here; go back down to the station to leave again towards Vernazza, where you can refresh yourself with a nice swim and dine in the square overlooking the marina (Corniglia-Vernazza train 3 min, € 4.00).
On the third day, set out on the Monterosso-Vernazza path , a nice 3.5 km trek (1 h 30 min, entrance to the park € 3.00). Once in Monterosso you can relax on Fegina beach (the largest of the Cinque Terre) and after lunch visit its main attractions: the Cathedral, the Oratorio dei Bianche and that dei Neri, the Statue of the Giant, and then finally go up to the convent. of the Capuchins.

How much does a weekend in the Cinque Terre cost
The Cinque Terre are certainly not a destination known for being “cheap”. You can save on accommodation by going to sleep in the surrounding areas, for example in Lerici or Levanto, and then reach the various villages every day by train which remains, among other things, the cheapest option. The 1, 2 or 3-day pass (€ 16.00, € 29.00 and € 41.00 respectively) is advantageous.
For those who love walking, the Cinque Terre Trekking Card is also interesting (1 day € 7.50, 2 days € 14.50) which includes access to the paths of the Cinque Terre National Park, the use of the shuttle services inside. of the park and the reduced entrance to the civic museums of La Spezia. Due to their conformation, in the Cinque Terre there are few car parks : most of them are owned by the residents, the others are quite expensive, from € 2.00 / h.
To eat, we suggest a good solution:lunch with a nice slice of focaccia , cheap and frugal but at the same time easy and typical; dinner at the restaurant to enjoy good fresh fish . This way you can balance your daily budget without missing out on any local delicacies.

  1. Costs for eating : about € 60.00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  2. Costs for museums and attractions : around € 6.00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  3. Transport : approximately € 45.00 per person (indicates costs for public transport, any taxis and transfers to and from the airport) for the weekend
  4. Hotels, accommodation and b & b : from € 81.00 per room – see the offers (Hotel and b & b from € 81.00 per room – see the offers)
  5. Leisure : from € 10.00 per person per day (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, …)
  6. Total cost of a weekend : from € 480.00 per person (flights and / or transfers excluded)

What to do in the Cinque Terre: activities, excursions and tours

Where they are
The Cinque Terre are a jagged stretch of coast of the eastern Ligurian Riviera (Riviera spezzina), located in the province of La Spezia, between Punta Mesco and Punta di Montenero, in which there are five villages or, as it was said in ancient times, lands. From west to east they are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore.

Before leaving: useful tips

  • How to get there: the closest airports are those of Pisa and Genoa. By car you must take the A12 coming from Genoa or Livorno and the A15 if coming from Parma. Take the La Spezia exit and continue on the coastal road SS 370. From Milan 227 km € 17.00, from Genoa 100 km € 8.00
  • Where to sleep: the best place to base is Monterosso, being the largest it offers a greater choice both in terms of quantity of accommodation and price
  • How to get around : The train is the most comfortable and economical way to visit the Cinque Terre which are located on the La Spezia-Genoa line. A train approximately every 20 minutes. Daily € 16.00, 2 days € 29.00, 3 days € 41.00. The ferries are also comfortable. Prices vary according to the route (from € 12.00 to € 30.00)
  • Other : avoid high season and weekends if possible. On midweek days and in low season there are much fewer people, you can also find parking more easily
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