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The Cinque Terre Villages

5 little points on the map, a unique area, that has made it to the world's travel magazines covers with the simpleness of its fishing villages and true colors.

A common mistake is to consider the Cinque Terre as a single place, rather than an area. There is no such thing as a train ticket to the “Cinque Terre”, as the name actually means “Five territories”, namely the five hamlets of RiomaggioreManarolaCornigliaVernazza and Monterosso, which look almost suspended along the rocky coast between La Spezia and Framura.

The fascinating surrounding nature of the Cinque Terre Villages is a seamless dialogue between sea and land, along the coast enclosed by the two promontories of Punta Mesco and Muzzerone.

Spurs of stone, coves and bays, ravines and the five colorful villages counterpoint the view of the Cinque Terre coastline from the sea.

The Cinque Terre Villages

The Cinque Terre Villages
Monterosso, the biggest of the Cinque Terre Villages   Vernazza, the perfect postcard, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy Corniglia, a stairway to heaven Manarola, where locals build for the commnity and you smile even at the cemetery Riomaggiore, surrouded by the Sciacchetrà wineyards

Monterosso, the biggest of the Cinque Terre Villages  

Monterosso al Mare overlooks a large bay with reefs and beaches, very appreciated by those who prefer comfortable swimming facilities rather than the rough coast of the Cinque Terre.

Vernazza, the perfect postcard, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy

Vernazza is possibly the most ancient village in the area of the Cinque Terre, with houses and churches dating back to the year 1000, when powerful Genoese families used to have properties in the area, important sea trading center at the time.

Corniglia, a stairway to heaven

Vernazza is possibly the most ancient village in the area of the Cinque Terre, with houses and churches dating back to the year 1000, when powerful Genoese families used to have properties in the area, important sea trading center at the time.

Manarola, where locals build for the commnity and you smile even at the cemetery

Manarola was founded in the thirteenth century probably by the people who lived in the town of Volastra, the hamlet you can still visit on the back hills.

 

Riomaggiore, surrouded by the Sciacchetrà wineyards

The town of Riomaggiore is the first one of the Cinque Terre you reach from La Spezia, at about ten miles north-west from the city. It can be easily reached by boat, train or car, with a boat or the ferry leaving from La Spezia sea harbor. The village is crossed by the railway that goes to Genova and the train is the easiest, shortest way to get to Riomaggiore. The medioeval center is located in the valley of the river Rio Maggiore, the old “Rivus Major” to which the town owes its name and consists of several parallel orders of Genoese tower-houses that follow the steep course of the river stream. Riomaggiore is also connected to the village of Manarola by a path called La Via dell’Amore (the Love Path), a very romantic walk on the steep coast, from which you can see some of the most stunning views of the sea in the area. Unfortunately, the Love Path has been badly affected by the 2011 flood and is still not accessible. If you like hiking, from Riomaggiore you can climb up to Montenero Sanctuary, across the most typical terraced vineyards, where the Sciachetra raisin wine is produced. Montenero offers a beautiful view on the sea and the other villages. It was only after the year 1000 that, thanks to the safer seas due to the expansion of the Republic of Genoa, the inhabitants of the primitive hill settlements could gradually go down to the sea, thus giving rise to the first nucleus of the Riomaggiore village.

RIOMAGGIORE

Riomaggiore, the "first" village, surrounded by Sciacchetra wineyards. 

CORNIGLIA

High on the hills, a stairway to heaven.

VERNAZZA

The perfect postcard, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. 

MONTEROSSO

The biggest of the Cinque Terre villages, a welcoming beach. 

Not to miss in the Cinque Villages

Cinque Terre secret beaches
cinque terre hiking
cinque terre cards
cinque terre park colors
Case lovara

The Cinque Terre villages in six points:

1

Via dell'Amore

The Via dell’Amore, connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola, is closed  but there are many alternative romantic routes.

2

Avoid the Crowd

Especially In Manarola, Vernazza and Riomaggiore from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. there is a lot of turnout, visit on other day and night times.

3

Trek from one village to the other

Trekking the paths connecting the villages with each other is the best way to enjoy the  breathtaking views and understand the area. 

4

A National Natural Park

The five villages ar part of a National Park, with rules to respect land and sea. 

5

The Sea Trail

You can swim from Vernazza to Monterosso on the Sea Trail, a stretch protected from the boats to swim carefree in the open sea.

6

More to see

The Cinque Terre Villages are not the only ones worth a visit in the Cinque Terre Park: explore beyond the kingdom’s borders

Useful Advice to explore the Cinque Terre villages

How to travel from one village to the other

  • By car, the roads to reach Cinque Terre are mostly narrow. There are not many parks and can be a good idea to reah villages in other ways.
  • By train, each villages of Cinque Terre has a train station. Check the Cinque Terre Card, with benefits also for those who love trekking.
  • By ferry, you can reach Cinque Terre during the summer. To get to Cinque Terre, please visit our ferry schedule. Numerous marinas for private pleasure boating.
  • We recommended e-assisted bikes to ride the CInque Terre routes: view our bike guided tours

A bike on the Cinque Terre train

Mountain Bike Excursion in Cinque Terre & surroundings - few days -

The best advice to visit the Cinque Terre area is to pick one of the five villages to get off the train or boat and travel to one of more others, according to time available.
In high season, the visit can be spoiled by the presence of too many visitors, while most important thing in the Cinque Terre is to get the opportunity to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, hike the nice paths in the silence of nature, enjoy the enchanting sea view, rather than running from one village to the other.

At La Spezia railway station and in all villages you can pick one or two of the stations and buy a single ticket to get there (about 7,50€ return ticket to reach the most far village). If you prefer to visit the whole area you can get a Cinque Terre Park ticket. Make sure to buy the “Cinque terre Train Card” and not just the basic Cinque Terre Card, which only allows walking on the paths of the Cinque Terre Park and not to hop on and off the train.

Top Experiences in the Cinque Terre Villages

Book One of these Unique Ideas to enjoy the Cinque Terre Area
You will meet Davide 5.0 - ★★★★★
€ 50
You will meet Marco
€ 200
You will meet Marco
€ 80
You will meet Martina
€ 30
You will meet Paolo
€ 38

This post is also available in: itItaliano

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