The Cinque Terre of Italy are some of the most picturesque and magical regions in the entire Mediterranean. They are so called because there are 5 coastal towns that are located on this stretch of the Ligurian coast. They are located between the cities of Genoa and La Spezia, so it is a relatively small area.
In order from west to east, the five lands or towns that make up the Cinque Terre are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. To visit them, it is advisable to travel by public transport, such as a boat or train, since getting around by car can be uncomfortable and complicated, especially in high season. However, all options are possible, so if you want to know how to visit Cinque Terre, you should know some routes through different means of transport.
Cinque Terre by train: A quick tour
The train is considered by many to be the most comfortable, cheapest and fastest way to visit the Cinque Terre, as each town has convenient stations on the La Spezia train line. In this sense, throughout the year a train usually runs through the stations every half hour. In terms of distances and travel times, between Monterosso and Riomaggiore the train route takes only 14 minutes, so it is certainly the fastest means of transport.
Cinque Terre by boat: A romantic option
A good alternative to get to the Cinque Terre is by boat, as this allows you to enjoy a magical view when the boat approaches the villages and they shine in the distance with the colors of the houses and the dense vegetation. Similarly, the journey across the sea is usually quite pleasant for tourists. In addition, the boat service is available from April to November, which is a period when the weather is good in Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre by car
Visiting Cinque Terre by car is a good alternative to comfortably carry your travel bags. In addition, on the road you can enjoy an attractive landscape full of vegetation and make several stops.
To start your journey by car, you need to head to the Cinque Terre coastal road, which connects Genoa and La Spezia. In this way, it is possible to easily reach the towns of Manarola and Riomaggiore. However, the road is narrow and rustic towards Corniglia and Vernazza, which is why many tourists decide not to visit these towns. In any case, the real problem when traveling by car to the Cinque Terre is finding a place to park, since the towns do not offer enough infrastructure to park a large number of vehicles, which could be a great inconvenience.
What are the 5 towns that make up Cinque Terre?
These picturesque towns in Italy are on top of a rocky mountain overlooking the sea and are characterized by clusters of houses of all colors that have been built vertically, so that they have the shape of towers. Despite being quite close, these communities over the years have developed their own traditions and cultures. Therefore, it is advisable to get to know each of the Cinque Terre villages separately.
Monterosso is the westernmost town and is considered by many to be the most accessible of the five. In this sense, it is possible to get there by car and it has a wide variety of accommodation to spend the night, as well as bars and restaurants to eat and relax.
On the other hand, although Cinque Terre and its beaches are small, this does not make its landscapes less attractive, so among the most outstanding places we can find Fegina de Monterosso, a strip of sand considered by Forbes magazine as one of the the 25 sexiest beaches around the world.
This is perhaps one of the most famous pretty towns in Italy, as it is constantly visited by photographers from all over the world who want to capture its impressive vegetation and architecture . It is often used as the symbolic town of the entire Cinqueterre region. Also, life in Vernazza thrives mainly near the port, so its typical and colorful tower houses can easily be seen several kilometers away on the open sea.
The Cinque Terre route has as its center the town of Corniglia, a hidden place that does not provide direct access to the sea, because it is located on a rock that is approximately 100 meters above sea level. Therefore, it is often known by many as the Balcony of the Cinque Terre.
If you are looking for a Cinque Terre town with low level tourism, then Corniglia may be the best option as it is the least visited of the five and yet due to its height it offers one of the most impressive views in the whole area. .
It is the smallest town in Cinque Terre, but despite its size, it is one of the most visited in the entire region, as it has attractive and colorful streets that make it a dream place for tourists. In addition, it stands out for its production of oil and wine. Also, the locals of this town have an old Christmas tradition that consists of setting up a giant nativity scene that lights up the back of the hill.
It is the last town to visit in the Cinque Terre and is full of restaurants and cafes that make it an appropriate place to relax. In addition, in this place is the Castle of Riomaggiore, which was built in the year 1260, as well as the church of Saint-Jean Baptiste dating from the fourteenth century. Therefore, Riomaggiore offers different options for those who are wondering what to see in Cinque Terre.
To conclude, we can say that it is very difficult to name one of the Cinque Terre villages without thinking of all the others, but it is important to note that each one offers its own history with peculiarities and secrets. In this sense, together they make up one of the most popular tourist centers in Italy. In fact, they were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.