When we talk about Italy, its history and landscapes. We don’t know where to start because of the great richness and variety that this beautiful country offers us, however. When we think about holidays we move to the typical places to visit like Venezia, Rome, Milan, Almafi, yes, they are beautiful. But I would like to tell you about other places that we can include in this wonderful list and enjoy the dolce vita in: La Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre located in the province of Liguria, are five villages bathed by the Ligurian Sea, located between cliffs and hills, which charm lies not only in the landscape that surrounds them, but in their colors. In their narrow and steep streets, and still retain all the charm of yesteryear; since 1997 is a space declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. These are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Cinque Terre is 1 hour from Pisa, 2 hours from Florence, 3 hours from Milan, 1 hour and a half from Genoa
They are surrounded by a beautiful mountainous landscape in the form of sloping terraces that descend towards the sea.
About the food
The specialties of Cinque Terre are simple dishes that preserve the aromas and flavors of their products unaltered. Seafood is undoubtedly the culinary specialty of the Cinque Terre, in addition to its: breams, anchovies, squid, sea bass, octopus, cuttlefish, and grilled, fried or oven cooked squid, equally delicious. All the dishes are always enriched with aromatic herbs that grow in the village, such as marjoram, oregano and thyme, and are decorated with authentic local olive oil. The meat dishes made in the region are rather few, and people are limited to eating rabbit and poultry.
I recommend you try their dishes accompanied by an exquisite white wine typical of the area of La Spezia, and as a digestive at the end of the meal, a glass of Sciacchetrà, sweet wine that is spectacular !!
If we talk about pasta … .. Its specialty is the Trofie Pasta, I love it with pesto sauce ….
When is it better to travel to Cinque Terre? ALL YEAR.
How to get to Cinque Terre? You can do it by train or car.
Let’s say you arrive by train to La Spezia (it is the most common and easy way), well once there you will take another train called CINQUE TERRE EXPRESS. It is operated by Trenitalia, the ticket costs €16 and it helps you to come and go from a town to another as many times as you want during a day. If you want to do it individually, each trip costs €4. So I recommend you start your day early and buy the €16.
Note: The pass is not 24 hours, that is, if you buy it on Monday at 4 o’clock in the afternoon it is not valid until Tuesday at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The pass expires on the last train (midnight). So I recommend you start at about 10 in the morning and you’ll have time for everything.
Now … Where to stay in Cinque Terre?
My recommendation to stay in Cinque Terre is in Riomaggiore or Monterosso al Mare.
Why? Because you are within the 5 towns, you have access to the beach. You would also be at one of the ends so it is easier to go through the next towns. If you stay in the center you lose time going to the other two upwards and then returning to those on the other end.
My favorite to stay in Cinque Terre: Monterosso al Mare, is the only one of the 5 villages with an incredible beach, the water is dreamy crystal blue.
Recommended hotels in Cinque Terre:
Hotels in Riomaggiore.
• Affittacamere Le Giare. This is perhaps one of the best hotels at a super affordable price in Riomaggiore and the views from some rooms are spectacular (it is worth making the effort and booking a room with a balcony). That’s why the rooms are sold out immediately so plan with a lot of anticipation
Hoteles en Monterosso al mare:
• Afficamere Sull’Arco. The location of this hotel is unbeatable, it is a few steps from the beach. The rooms are remodelled and clean.
How many days in Cinque Terre do I need?
You need at least two days to tour the Cinque Terre.
Suggested itinerary …
Day 1 in Cinque Terre:
Monterosso al Mare
Staying here …..if you arrive even between 1-3 in the afternoon, you have plenty of time to take advantage of the beach or if you arrive very early you can make the tour of the 5 towns on the first day and the second one spend all day here, no problems, there are also a lot of activities.
Day 2 in Cinque Terre:
Bonassola. It is a beach that comes from the National Park, but is as beautiful as Monterosso, it is also public and less crowded than any of the 4 towns.
Like the previous one, it is the closest to Monterosso (to the north, leaving the 5 villages), it has many restaurants, the beach is beautiful and very large.
Follow your way on the train, where you can skip Monterosso in case you have already spent time on its beach the day before and then you can follow to the next 4 towns.
Return to Monterosso at night after your tour where there is more nightlife. Even more so if after Cinque Terre you will continue your journey northwards to Genoa, Turin or Milan.
No matter the way you choose to travel the 5 villages. The important thing is that once you are there you take the time to visit them and especially to eat a lot …