To marvel at Cinque Terre is to marvel at the human spirit: its endless capacity to adapt and its tendency toward beauty at any cost. The car-less towns of Cinque Terre are built literally between a rock and a hard place! It’s no wonder people come from far and wide to visit this national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Plus, Cinque Terre is a pretty good place to sit and indulge. Fresh-caught acciughe (anchovies) with lemon, hand-crushed pesto and all the limoncino you can drink.
There are five towns in Cinque Terre, and each has its own special feel. Vernazza has the most tourist shops and a picture-perfect harbor. Monterosso al Mare is the biggest with actual hotels and Airbnbs (we stayed HERE) and the closest to a sandy beach. Corniglia is quiet with expansive ocean views. Manarola is the most photographed, especially from its clifftop restaurant Nessun Dorma. Narrow, maze-like Riomaggiore is the farthest south.
Cinque Terre is easy to get to from both Milan and Pisa, and is within striking distance of Florence and Tuscany.
We had a wonderful time here at the end of March. We took trains and hiked the portion from Monterosso to Vernazza. I’ve arranged my Cinque Terre photos by town. You can also find a Cinque Terre map with hiking trails here.
A view of Vernazza from the hiking trail.
Streetside in Vernazza.
Manarola at sunset.
The view from Nessun Dorma, and wine and charcuterie!
A statue on the cliff in Manarola.
Another sunny day in beautiful Cinque Terre.
Freshly painted houses in Riomaggiore.
Looking down at the harbor.
Ocean for days. Reminds me of Big Sur on California’s Highway 1.
Monterosso al Mare
At last, a real beach!
Black and white striped church in Monterosso.
A sign on the hiking trail.
An overlook on the hike from Monterosso to Vernazza.
The quiet town of Corniglia. 3 gelato shops though!
Corniglia’s amazing views south.
An old church in the town square.
Ciao! Here’s a family selfie in Riomaggiore.