function initPage(){ }

Cinque Terre: A Guide to the Italian Riviera

Cinque Terre is a string of five villages along the Italian Riviera that are known for their colorful houses, stunning views, and dramatic coastline. The villages are Manarola, Riomaggiore, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare. The best way to get to any of the Cinque Terre villages is by taking a train to La Spezia Centrale, and from there take another train that goes specifically to the villages.

powered by Proxi


Manarola, Cinque Terre landscape

Manarola is the most colorful of the Cinque Terre villages. It is known for its brightly painted houses that cling to the cliffs overlooking the sea. Manarola is a great place to relax and enjoy the views.


Riommagiore, Cinque Terre landscape

Riomaggiore is the oldest of the Cinque Terre villages. It is known for its narrow streets and its wine. Riomaggiore is a great place to wander around and explore.


Corniglia, Cinque Terre

Corniglia is the only village in the Cinque Terre that is not directly on the coast. It is located on a hilltop, and it is accessible by a long staircase. Corniglia is a great place to enjoy the peace and quiet.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre

The village of Vernazza is the most popular of the Cinque Terre villages and it’s known for its beautiful harbor and colorful houses. Vernazza is a great place to go for a swim, eat delicious food, and enjoy the nightlife.

Monterosso al Mare

Laurie with Monterosso al Mare on the background

The largest of the Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso al Mare, is known for its sandy beaches and its nightlife. Monterosso al Mare is a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.

Things to do in Cinque Terre:

Cinque Terre is a popular tourist destination, but it is still possible to find peace and quiet in the villages. There are many things to do in Cinque Terre, from hiking to swimming to eating delicious food.

Hiking up Corniglia stairs in Cinque Terre
  • Hike the Cinque Terre trails: There are several trails that connect the five villages, and they offer stunning views of the coastline.
Monterosso al Mare beach, Cinque Terre
  • Swim in the Mediterranean Sea: The water in the Mediterranean Sea is clear and refreshing, and it is a great place to cool off on a hot day.
Laurie in front of Manarola
  • Visit the villages: Each of the five villages has its own unique charm, and it is worth spending time exploring each one.
Boat tour in Cinque Terre
  • Take a boat tour: There are several companies that offer boat tours of the Cinque Terre coastline. This is a great way to see the villages from a different perspective.
Eating seafood in Vernazza
  • Eat delicious food: Cinque Terre is home to some excellent restaurants that serve fresh seafood and pasta.

Places to eat in Cinque Terre:

Like in the rest of Italy, pasta and pizza are a must-have in Cinque Terre. But since these villages are by the ocean, you should also try their seafood!

Nessun Dorma

Manarola-Nessun Dorma

Nessun Dorma is a popular restaurant in Manarola. It is located on a terrace overlooking the sea, and it offers stunning views of the Cinque Terre coastline. The restaurant is named after the famous aria from the opera Turandot, and it’s known for its delicious cold cuts dishes and its romantic atmosphere. I recommend making a reservation, especially during the summer months.

Batti Batti Friggitoria

Vernazza-Batti Batti food

Batti Batti Friggitoria: It’s a small, family-owned restaurant located in the center of Vernazza. It is known for its fresh, fried seafood dishes, including calamari, sardines, anchovies, and baccalà (salt cod). The restaurant also has a few pasta dishes and salads. Keep in mind it is a cash-only restaurant.

Bar Giò 5 Terre

Monterosso - Bar Gio

Bar Giò 5 Terre: Bar Giò is located overlooking Fegina Beach in Monterosso al Mare and features a variety of pasta dishes, including pesto pasta, seafood pasta, and vegetarian pasta, which are made with fresh, local ingredients. The food is reasonably priced and the portions are generous. I highly recommend their desserts as well, especially their tiramisu.

Gelateria Corniglia

Gelateria Corniglia

Gelateria Corniglia: This small, family-owned gelateria in Corniglia is known for its delicious, artisanal gelato. They offer a variety of flavors, including traditional Italian flavors like pistachio, hazelnut, and stracciatella, as well as more unique flavors like lavender, fig, and lemon. The gelateria also offers frozen yogurt, sorbet, vegan, and gluten-free options. My personal favorite is coconut-flavored gelato.

How to get from one village to the other:

Corniglia trainstation

There are a few ways to get from one village to the other in Cinque Terre. You can hike, take the train, or take the boat.

  • Hiking: The trails between the villages are well-maintained and offer stunning views. However, it is important to be aware that the trails can be challenging, especially in the heat of the summer. Also, some trails might be closed off, so check online before going.
  • Train: I highly recommend using the train services. The train is a great way to get between the villages if you are not up for hiking. The trains are frequent, relatively affordable, and the distance between one station and the next is usually around 5 minutes.
  • Boat: The boat is a great way to see the coastline and the villages from a different perspective. However, it is important to be aware that the boats can be crowded, especially in the summer.

Tips for travelers:

Monterosso beach umbrellas
  • Book your accommodation in advance, especially if you are traveling during the peak season (June-September).
  • Bring comfortable shoes for hiking.
  • Wear sunscreen and a hat, even if it is not sunny. The sun can be strong in Italy.
  • Bring a water bottle with you. There are no water fountains in the villages.
  • Be respectful of the locals and the environment.
  • Cinque Terre is a popular tourist destination, so be prepared for crowds.
  • To get to Cinque Terre you can take a train to La Spezia Centrale, and from there take the train to any of the Cinque Terre villages.

I hope this blog post has given you lots of information and plenty of ideas for your trip to Cinque Terre. It is a beautiful place with something to offer everyone.

Need help booking your perfect Italian vacation, read this blog about the best websites to book affordable travel. Or check out my services and let me personally help you!

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

Manarola views from Nessun Dorma, Cinque Terre

September 14, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *