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Cinque Terre

THE 5 VILLAGES

All five villages of the Cinque Terre attract visitors with their colorful houses, steep coastal slopes, small alleyways and old fishing boats. And yet each place has its own special charm...


Manarola

We liked the oldest village in the Cinque Terre best: Manarola. As Manarola is the second smallest village in the Cinque Terre, it was a little quieter here than in Riomaggiore, so we were able to visit the town at our leisure.

Manarola is located on two rocky cliffs, on which the colorful houses are picturesquely lined up. The best way to discover the town is to walk around a little and take a look in one of the stores here and there. If you want to continue walking afterwards, you can take the Via dell'Amore to Riomaggiore along the coast. Here you will have the most beautiful view of the Cinque Terre coastline! However, parts of the route can always be closed due to falling rocks (as was unfortunately the case during our visit).

If, on the other hand, you want to relax a little, then you should stop off at the Nessun Dorma. Here you can enjoy a snack and a beautiful view of Manarola!


Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is a little busier - understandably so. After all, Riomaggiore attracts tourists who want to admire the magnificent view of the colorfully painted tower houses on the steep coastal slope. The town is also famous for its church of San Giovanni Battista, which was built in the Gothic style.

The center of Riomaggiore is formed by the steeply ascending streets. Bars and boutiques line the streets here. If you prefer things a little quieter, you should head a little further away over the rocks to the small pebble beach. There you can lay out your towel on one of the rocks and enjoy the sun!


Monterosso al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is the largest town in the Cinque Terre and is particularly suitable for swimming. The coastline there is a little less rugged than in the other villages and there is a large beach. However, I think Monterosso is a little less spectacular in comparison. It doesn't quite match the typical images of the Cinque Terre.

Nevertheless, Monterosso also has a lot to offer. The town is best known for the Gigante stone statue on Fegina beach, which was carved out of a rock. Until 1966, this figure even held a terrace on which dance events were held. However, this was partially destroyed by a storm surge.

Monterosso is divided into two areas by a rock: the old town and the Fegina district with the beach. The old town looks more like the other towns in the Cinque Terre and is home to the remains of a castle. The districts are connected by a pedestrian tunnel in the rock. On the rock is the Torre Aurora watchtower, where you will also find the restaurant of the same name.


Vernazza

The fishing village of Vernazza is considered the most beautiful place in the Cinque Terre. This is because the characteristics of the Cinque Terre are best preserved here.

The village is characterized by a small peninsula, which lovingly frames the harbour basin, and an old castle complex, the Castello Doria. From the castle, you have a beautiful view of the coast and the open sea.

Probably the best-known restaurant in Vernazza is the Belforte. Here you can enjoy good food as well as a beautiful view!


Corniglia

The village of Corniglia differs from the other villages in the Cinque Terre in that it is the only one of the five villages that is not located directly by the sea, but on a mountain promontory. The steep slope makes Corniglia ideal for winegrowing. That's why you should definitely enjoy a locally produced wine here.

But that's not all: Corniglia's location offers a great opportunity for a beautiful view of the entire coast! You can enjoy this particularly well at Caffé Matteo.



By the way:

If you are planning a day at the beach, Monterosso al Mare is the only place in the Cinque Terre that is suitable for this, as it is the only place with a large beach. Although there is also a sandy beach in Vernazza at the harbor, it is very small. Otherwise, you should visit Porto Venere or Lerici. The beaches there are less crowded!

The Cinque Terre are difficult to reach by car. Although the road network is now well developed, parking options are limited. It is therefore better to leave your car at La Spezia train station and travel to the villages from there by train. Trains run every 20 minutes. At the train station, you can buy a day ticket for €16 per day or a one-way ticket for €4 per journey. Alternatively, you can also take a boat tour!


I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.