As the winter rolls around, more individuals are reaching out to plan trips to one of my favorite places, I T A L Y.
Cinque Terre, which means 5 lands, is made up of 5 colorful towns, right on the Italian Riviera. It is built right into the cliffs edge. The Five towns being:
- Riomaggiore: The Oldest town and the most untouched
- Manarola: Small, quaint and my personal favorite
- Corniglia: Tiny town in the cliffs and not accessible to the ocean
- Vernazza: The most popular town with lots to do
- Monterosso: The flattest town, with large beaches and more luxurious/commercialized hotels.
Where to stay
We stayed in Manarola, at a gorgeous B&B, La Torretta, which was hard to find. Luxurious hotels are hard to come by here since its such an old area. However, I can not recommend this beautiful B&B enough. It is definitely small, but has beautiful rooms, views and has great attention to detail. The services is incredible along with their fabulous breakfast.
When I first arrived in Cinque Terre, it was August so it was HOT. Most of Cinque Terre is only accessible by walking and most of this is walking up steep hills, so you can imagine how hot it was.
To be honest, I didn’t love it at first, probably because I was hot and grumpy, and we were coming from the beautiful lake como.
Once I jumped into the beautiful blue water, I fell in love. Swimming here is unbelievable, the water is very buoyant making it easy to float around for quite some time! The Italians were all on vacation, people were laughing, swimming, eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. The swimming holes and architecture were both beautiful, you really can’t help yourself as you just stand in awe.
Cinque Terre is strung together by amazing hiking paths through beautiful vineyards. You are very high up, on a steep hill, (warning if you are afraid of heights) with incredible views of the ocean and towns.
The distance between each town can be pretty far so if you plan on going from one town to another definitely bring your hiking clothes. I also highly recommend getting a bottle of wine and going up into the vineyards to take in a sunset while overlooking the vineyards and beautiful towns below. This is where the famous photos are taken, of the colorful towns lit up by the sun.
Eat everywhere. You really can’t go wrong here. My favorite place was Billy’s in Manarola. You can sit outside high on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful sunset, stars or if you are lucky, like we were- fireworks.
To get here, you can drive, but train is by far the best. Most cars/taxis will drop you off at the first town, Monterosso, and then you have to take the train to the other towns anyway.
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