Cinque Terre, the five dreamy villages along the ligurian coastline of Italy are great for a romantic getaway in Bella Italia.
Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia and Monterosso will not only seduce you with a variety of special ice cream flavors but also with the sound of the ocean kissing the shoreline while your sitting on a cliff rock gazing at such beautiful sunset over colored scenic houses.
Each of the villages has its own charme.
Riomaggiore: small town with one main street and two rocky beaches make this village a popular evening hangout spot for groups of friends to watch the sunset from the cliffs with a pizza to go. Later continue the night with a glass of wine in one of the bars.
Manarola: Little quiet village with main street leading to the ocean with cute little restaurants on the side embedded in a beautiful wineyard landscape. Besides the more busy Riomaggiore where I stayed, my favorite of the 5 villages.
Vernazza: consists of mainly one street leading to the coast line with many little shops, including a perfumerie with scents from Cinque Terre. I started the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso which brings you to a an amazing viewpoint after 15 minutes of walking.
Corniglia: located above the water on a cliff top, it is many steps up from Corniglia train station to reach the town which leads you through little lanes exploring the most quiet village of Cinque Terre.
Monterrosso: Directly on the beach, Monterosso has the most wine and souvenir shops and restaurants but also draws the crowds and is quite touristy.
How to get there:
I took the train from Milan via Geneva to Riomaggiore which takes about 4 hours.
As Cinque Terre is not accessible via car, the most convenient way to travel between the villages is via train, which stops at each village and runs about every 20 minutes.
Where to stay:
Most of the accommodation in Cinque Terre are quite basic, private pensions and bed and breakfasts. I stayed at an Airbnb in Riomaggiore which I can recommend.
What not to miss:
Cinque Terre is famous for its hiking trail along the coastline. To get from one village to the other takes approx.2 hours each.
When in Italy you of course have to try the endless ice cream flavors. A special one is the basil ice cream at Alberto Gelateria in Corniglia that is made from herbs of the owners garden.
Seafood restaurant Enoteca Dau Cila in Riomaggiore with beautiful sunset views.
What else to know:
Pack smart and try to travel with a trolley only if possible, as ways up the villages are quite steep with many steps.
I would recommend to visit Cinque Terre before mid July to escape the crowds.