As Lonely Planet puts it, Cinque Terre is “pastel perfection”. The Cinque Terre is a string of 5 centuries-old seaside villages on the rugged Italian Riviera coastline that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If I have to pick a favourite Italian town/place to visit, this would be it. I love that it’s a cluster of small, quaint village with cafes and small interesting shops filled with Italian made goods and their specialty – limoncino liqueur made from lemons.
The 5 towns at Cinque Terre are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia,Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
The nearest city: La Spezia.
Lodging: You can choose to stay at one of the villages or at their nearest city La Spezia. If you have a lot of luggage or you are driving, I would recommend staying at La Spezia instead as the roads at the village are narrow and there’s alot of steep slopes and steps involved. La Spezia is also a nice town to be at with all the necessary amenities and convenience stores around.
For my trip, I went to Vernazza and Monterosso (the biggest town). Only had 2 days so I wasn’t able to explore the entire Cinque Terre or do a hike. I would recommend staying here for 4 days to do a complete tour or longer if you just want to soak up the summer sun.
Here’s where I stayed in Le Spezia via Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com.sg/rooms/3641645
Getting There & Around: You can choose to travel from La Spezia or hop from town to town using train. It has a total of 6 stops starting from La Spezia > Riomaggiore > Manarola > Corniglia > Vernazza > Monterosso > Levanto. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the end of the line. You can always hop from town to town or choose to stay at one to explore it more thoroughly.
You can also choose to get around by Ferry. Not so much for the convenience or price, but for DA VIEW. There are ferry boats running between the villages except for Corniglia. You can get tickets from the town near the docks as the ferry companies will have their shops or booths there with all the time schedules and routes. What I did was take a train there and then get a ferry back toRiomaggiore, and then hop on a train back to La Spezia.
You can get more tips here: https://www.cinqueterreriviera.com/cinqueterre/how-to-get-around-cinque-terre/
Vernazza is simply mesmerizing. There’s so many perfect spots to take a cool dip in the clear waters or seafood restaurants along the coast. Bring your swimsuit and sunblock along! The water is slightly cold though but thoroughly refreshing.
I’m definitely not done with this place and will be back there to comb every inch of every town in abit. Till then, I hope you enjoy your trip there and hope this was useful for you! <3