If you are on holiday in northern Italy, it is worth the trip to the Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast.
The Cinque Terre consists of five fishing villages, has the status of a national park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can walk on the coastal path, and enjoy magnificent nature. There are boats and trains between the cities, so it is possible to walk one or more of the stretches. The southernmost of the five cities is Riomaggiore, further on to Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazzia and the northernmost city of Monterosso. The trip between the cities varies from 30 min to 1 hour and 30 min. In total, the coastal path is about 12 km. The shortest and easiest stage is the one that goes between the cities of Riomaggiore and Manorla. This road is called via dell’amore. Here its possible to walk with a pram.
The most popular stretch of them all
The trip from the northernmost town of Monterosso Al Mare to Vernazza is perhaps the most popular stage. At a normal pace, you spend about 1 hour and 30 minutes on this stretch. There is a slight incline in the beginning, and in hot weather it is a good idea to start slow, and bring plenty of water. Some rugged terrain. Remember to bring a bag or rucksack with water and possibly some food. There are no kiosks on the trail. Suitable for children over the age of 6.
If you visit the Cinque Terre for a day trip, we recommend parking at the train station in La Spezia where you can take express trains to the five cities. Alternatively to park your car in Portovenere and then take a boat to e.g. Monterosso. We do not recommend driving down to one of the five cities. Plan your trip so that you start early in the morning. If you want to walk the stretch Monterosso Al Mare to Vernazza, it is a good idea to start from Monterosso so that you have lunch in Vernazza by 13:30. Some restaurants close early and only open for dinner service in the early evening.
If you travel in the spring and autumn, you may find that some of the trails are closed. This is due to the risk of landslides after periods of heavy rainfall. One can then find alternative routes. There is tourist information on site which can provide information.
If you want to experience Cinque Terre we recommend staying in the coastal town of Portovenere. Portovenere is close to the Cinque Terre, lying before the southernmost of the 5 cities of Riomaggiore. From Portovenere there is a boat to the 5 cities (several departures daily). You can also go to La Spezia, and take the express train that stops in all five cities. Portovenere is a pleasant coastal town, and a little quieter than inside the Cinque Terre. Here you can stay within walking distance to restaurants, bakeries and various shops.