Cinque Terre (pronounced cheen kway ter ray- yes its a mouthful but very beneficial to know when you land in Italy and need to communicate with the locals) is a region beautifully embedded along the breathtaking Italian Riviera. Cinque Terre is widely recognizable for its vast array of colourful houses set on cliff edges of seaside villages. Cinque Terre which translates to ” Five lands/villages” is comprised of five historic and individually aesthetically appealing villages. Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare are the areas the region is made up of.
Cinque Terre is also a National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1997( i seem to be ticking so many of these off my never ending list lately- see previous post on Hallstatt in Austria). The region features some profoundly impressive green terraced vineyards, so when visiting, sampling a local produced wine is a necessity( as IF we need any convincing?).
How to get there?
Cinque Terre is easily accessible from many locations spread throughout Italy. As i was coming from Milan, i took the three and half hour train ride from the central station in Milan(Milano Centrale).
There is also the option of going via private coach tours, how in ever that does consist of following a guide waving round his flag all day. Quite frankly, Cinque Terre is just too romantic to be spending it following a guide round like a little lost puppy for nine hours.
Is it possible to visit in a day?
Anything is possible to do in a day if your trip is well planned out. I pre booked our train tickets the night before and i strongly advice to reserve your train seats to avoid traipsing from carriage to carriage(the Italian people do like to sit in their reserved seats, so keep this in mind). Although it does require over six hours(in total both ways) in transit to reach from Milan it was possible to fit all five villages in the day. The villages are in close proximity to each other and between hiking and the excellent in place transport systems going from one village to the next quickly is possible. Naturally if time is on your hands then i would suggest spending at least a few days soaking up the nostalgia of the region and i am positive the accommodation options in any of the villages here would have mind blowing views.
Why you should visit?
– Stunning Scenery
Ok i dont mean to be stating the complete obvious here but holy mother of god, this place is AMAZING! Its one of those locations you have seen the famous pictures of and probably also dreamt of going(as i had), so when you are actually there you almost need to pinch yourself that its there in all its fascinating beauty in front of your eyes.
– Accommodating Locals
Anywhere in Italy is a good choice, but certain locations seem more welcoming and accommodating than others, which is often influenced by the locals. The people here are warm, friendly and take the time of day to ask you where your from and how long you will spend in the region. With the bigger cities of Rome or Milan you will be less likely to encounter this type of local. That is pretty standard though of any large city in the world( do not get me started on London).
-Italian finest food and wine
Unless you do live in a little bubble, you’re more than aware that the cuisine found it Italy is unbeatable and sets some seriously high standards for its European counterparts. Pesto was my go to choice here, and considering this is the birthplace of pesto, you wont taste better than it does here. Everything from pesto Focaccia to pesto pasta, its simply totally irresistible here. It also goes without saying that wine here is exceptionally delicious too. On my last trip to Italy i have sampled some Asperol Spritzer, so I knew the Cinque Terre region would not disappoint on thee spritzer front. Prepared with prosecco wine and tastes of bitter and sweet oranges. Its zesty and addictive, almost like your sipping a soda. Its the perfect afternoon tipple in the Mediterranean heat.
– Colourful houses
I am forever on the lookout for destinations that just brighten your day by being there. Cinque Terre is one of those colourful, vibrant and happy places that makes you wonder why every Italian hasn’t relocated there and painted one of their houses a significant pastel hue. I would be strongly debating it.
Get your hiking boots at the ready, Cinque Terre is a region that provides the most swoon worthy views when hiking along the its set out trails. The is the ideal option if you have the time to do so and if not why dont you take the train system connecting each coastal village. Some of the stations can be reached within two minutes of departure from the last, so you wont need to take any patience with you when travelling in Cinque Terre(phew).
-Boating between villages
We choose the boating option because i just couldn’t resit boating along the Italian Coast. Something about the feeling of the hot wind blowing on your face as pull up to each villages front facing that adds to the magical feel of the region. The villages also give you a different perspective as you view them approaching in from the sea. You pay more for a sea view, that’s why its always worth it.
Cinque Terre is truly a unique landscape, aside from the dramatic cliff side scenery, no cars will be seen in these villages, just pedestrians strolling casually at their ease. It would be impossible to come to Cinque Terre and not be charmed by all the surroundings. Could Cinque Terre be paradise? If its not, then its pretty darn close to it!!
Hope you enjoyed the read and consider Cinque Terre for your next break away. Remember comments and questions are always welcomed, so please get in touch with me. I am always more than delighted to talk travel!!
For more snaps of stunning places find me on instagram.com/travelorlabout or on facebook.com/travelorlabout