Visiting Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre are five little towns, that is beautifully isolated on the Mediterranean coastline of the Italian riviera. Located in the southwestern part of Liguria region of northwest Italy. All five towns are developed on steep hills and high cliffs of seashore overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Traffic free unique mix of Italian nature and culture between La Spezia and until Genoa. Here lies five towns of Monterosso al mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola as well as Riomaggiore. These towns were defined as five castles during medieval times. These tiny communities used to live in the shadows of castle towers protecting them from pirates.

Evening in Vernazza, Cinque Terre. photo by Daniil

Overall area comes under the Cinque Terre National park, and you must pay a small fee to use the trails to walk around from villages. Cinque Terre is the smallest and most densely populated national park in Italy. Economy of the place is based on fish, olives also grapes and the biggest part of it is tourism.

Just after unification of Italy, trains started coming here. But, it took some time and effort to make tunnels along the rocky coastline. Now trains are the best way to come here. Its well connected to major cities, and all five towns have railway stations. But major trains stop at only Monterosso and La Spezia.

1. Monterosso al mare

Monterossa al Mare is the first village from Genoa side. It has some of the biggest and best beaches and best beach resorts in Cinque Terre of Italian riviera. Monterosso is famous for its lemons, olives and wine as well. The town is divided into two, new and old town, and a tunnel is connecting them.

Monterosso al Mare. photo by Frédérique
2. Vernazza

There is one main street runs from railway station to the sea. There is a kid’s beach, rocks with people taking sun on it, cafés and restaurants. Cars don’t enter the village except for Tuesday, trucks enter here for local market.  Castello Doria and Chiesa di Santa Margherita d’Antiochia are the main attractions.

Vernazza. Photo by Victor
3. Corniglia

Corniglia lies on the cliff high over Mediterranean Sea. It’s a small quieter village, it also has the same narrow streets with steps as other villages do. Train station is little far and down, so you have to climb 365 steps and take a bus to the village.

Corniglia. photo by Gianni
4. Manarola

It is the second smallest village of Cinque Terre. From the train station, a tunnel is connecting the Manarola with short walk. Further little uphill to the Manarola village near seashore. The place is good to grab a rock for sun sunbathing in summers, or just dive in the water from cliffs.

Manarola. photo by Tristan
5. Riomaggiore

Hiking from Manarola via Via dell’Amore is one the top attraction here. It’s the southernmost village of Cinque Terre which is close to La Spezia. It’s one of the oldest villages and also famous for its wine One of the places to visit is Church of San Giovanni Battista

Riomaggiore. photo by djedj