Should You Go to the Cinque Terre?

by Bianca Gignac

Post image for Should You Go to the Cinque Terre?

If you’re thinking about a trip to Italy this is a question you’ve gotta ask yourself.

Because if you use something called books and the internet then you’ve likely seen photos that have ignited your spark for an Italian vacation.

We humans travel to a place for a specific reason, to do something or to feel something. We’re also hardwired to want to see things with our own eyes — pictures alone don’t cut it.

Because I want to help you decide if you should go to the Cinque Terre I’m gonna highlight the top reasons people travel there:

  • it’s colorful, picturesque and unique
  • the small villages are built on cliffs along the ocean
  • it’s romantic and nostalgic
  • it’s a national park with a ton of walking trails

Ten years ago I met my husband in one of the Cinque Terre villages. Not only have I lived in the region like a local — but I’ve also worn different travel hats there. I’ve been a first time traveler without a clue and I’ve been a guest treated to all the best spots. Perhaps my most indulgent period of time was one summer where I spent post work afternoons being a lazy beach bum living on nothing but an Italian summertime diet: gelato, figs, campari spritz and free peanuts.

After all these years, my love affair with the Cinque Terre has evolved.

I’m no longer in a monogamous relationship with the Cinque Terre — I now share her sparkle and charms each summer with my guests on my group trips to the Cinque Terre. If you’d like to come with me someday click here to see more.

So, do I think you should travel to the Cinque Terre? Yes — absolutely.

Why you should NOT go to the Cinque Terre:

First, I wanna share a few reasons why you should NOT add the Cinque Terre to your Italy itinerary.

I wanna make it clear that the Cinque Terre isn’t a one size fits all destination (like Siena — everyone loves Siena). It suits a certain person, a travel style and a season — so take those into consideration. Here they are:

Don’t go to the Cinque Terre:

1) If you won’t be sleeping there (or in the area).

Why:  Because you’ll likely just be annoyed at the day trippers. You’ll miss out on the sun set, and the early morning beach session. You’ll be too rushed to explore more than two villages and you should likely save it for when you have more time.

2) If you’re traveling in crappy weather.

Why: These are beach towns and many businesses are seasonal. If you’re traveling Italy in cold weather, especially January, February and March, there are better places to go.  I even argue that Christmas would be better spent in the city or in the mountains — not the Cinque Terre. November and early spring could be wet and cold, but if you’re there for serious hiking then it could be the perfect time for you.

3) If you’re expecting a quiet fishing village.

Why: The Cinque Terre was off the beaten path in the 1970s. Now it’s had forty years of tourism. As a result you’ll see menus in English, tour groups and lots of businesses catering to… tourists. You’ll find places like dive shops, kayak rentals, gift shops and restaurants with fifty types of wine on the list (you know you’re in a sleepy village when the waiter, who is also the cook, the pot washer and the owner, just brings you a glass of wine before you’ve ordered — this is not that place). Whether these are perks or drawbacks is up to you decide.

Why you SHOULD go to the Cinque Terre.

Here are a few excellent reasons to go:

1) You are traveling Italy in the warm months.

Why: You’ll get all the perks: Watching the sunset while sipping wine in your sandals, swimming in the sea, going kayaking, licking gelato in the shade and all the restaurants and hotels open to serve you.

2) You like nature, walking and clean things — like air.

Why: The Cinque Terre is a protected marine park which means that big yachts can’t dock here (like in Portofino) so the water is clean to swim in. Also, it’s a national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which means resources have been poured into trails, restrictions are applied to development (building permits are as scarce as bacon and eggs for breakfast) and the majority of the villages are restricted to pedestrian traffic only. If you live in a city but could use some old fashioned sleep and R&R – this is a great choice for you.

3) You are traveling Italy by train.

Why: If you are travelling from the north, from Milan to Florence or from France to Florence, the train stops here (or in La Spezia for your connection). Train travel is a perfectly good reason to add the Cinque Terre to your itinerary – remember that so many Tuscan hill towns that make Italy famous are not accessible by trains – which means you need to focus your itinerary plans on places you can get to by train. And these villages fit that bill.

4) You have a few nights to dedicate solely to this area.

Why: Let’s face a real fact: The Cinque Terre are five villages. It’s not organized around one central square like any major city — and you’ve gotta figure it out – which takes time. Unless you have a local guide to dial you into the best stuff in an instant, by the time you get your bearings on a day trip you’ll be gone. So stick around and actually see the villages for what they are. I would recommend two nights but three nights is best. The trips I host to the Cinque Terre are six nights… and my guests still never want to leave.

5) You dig aesthetics, like taking photos, like daydreaming someday you’ll quit your job and sell everything and move to Italy to sell lemons, or paintings, or lavender nosegays.

Why: You’ll have a ton of instant friends… and you might just meet an expat who has done exactly that twenty years ago.

***

Frankly, the Cinque Terre is a visual place and a sensual place.

It’s best to see it with your own eyes but if that luxury escapes you at the moment just check out these pictures taken by one of my guests.

should_i_travel_to_cinque_terre_2

should_i_travel_to_cinque_terre

should-i-go-to-the-cinque-terre

Next week I’ll be publishing a perfect itinerary for a four day stay in the Cinque Terre. You can steal to plan your own trip there with DIY gusto.

If you want to travel to the Cinque Terre without all the planning and hassle then consider coming to Italy with me. Yes, we’re heading to the Cinque Terre again this summer and you’re invited. Read more here.

If you have any questions about the Cinque Terre ask them in the comments below and I’ll help you out.

Love & gelato,

Bianca

Image credit: Leela Cyd.

Pin it 28

{ 366 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy Falkofske

Loved this story!

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Amy,

Thanks so much for letting me know. It’s always nice to hear.

With love,

Bianca

Reply

Kristi

Hi there,
My husband & I are desperate to squeeze some time in Cinque Terre on our Europe trip this summer. Our original plan was to from Madrid to Venice after a dear friend’s Spanish wedding, where we would take a train to Ljubljana to explore that city & travel down to Croatia, explore a bit & fly out of Zagreb. However, Cinque Terre has been a mysterious magnet since someone highly recommended it on my last Europe trip 10 years ago & we didn’t have the time to get there. My questions to you are (1) how difficult is it to get there if we’d be taking a 2:45 flight from Madrid that arrives in Pisa just after 5 (I’ve read some reviews that while the train ride is only about 90 minutes from Pisa to La Spezia, most proprieters request a 5pm or earlier check in). (2) How is the most affordable way to do this? (3) Is 2 nights enough? (our total travel time between leaving Madrid & flying out of Zagreb is 11 days). We love hiking, want to enjoy coastal Italy & aren’t too keen on majorly crowded, industrial cities. Cinque Terre looks like its full of nature, hiking, culture, that special Italian feel, and so much more! We’re really wanting it to work. Also, we’d be heading out via Pisa to Venice, over to Ljubljana (looks like a rather long train trip, but we’re so adamant about Cinque Terre that we’d make it work).
Thank you in advance! :)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kristi,
Sounds like you have an incredible trip planned!
You’re right, some proprietors do have a final check-in time beyond which they will not accept reservations, but not all. If you’re arriving in Pisa at 5, you shouldn’t have any problems finding someone who is willing to wait for you. Just be sure to ask them before making the reservation. The best way to get from Pisa to the Cinque Terre is by train, and 2 nights is fine, though you’ll probably want to stay longer! Check out our post on making the most of a short stay here: http://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Hi!

My family and i r going to italy this november.
Based on what i read it is not worth to go to CT yea?
Could u send me ur recommend places to go on nov?
actually i really wanna see lake como,CT,and amalfi coast. Is it possible?
Thanks!

Reply

Helen

Hi.
My husband and I will be travelling thru France and Italy in mid November. Is it worth visiting Cinque Terra? We aren’t interested in hiking we are just interested in the sites and architechure. Would you recommend other places if November isn’t the right time to visit?

Thanks
H

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Helen,
If you’re not interested in hiking, you can still see the towns, but a word of warning: Almost everything closes this time of year, with the exception of a restaurant, a bar and a grocery store in each town generally. So if you want to see the place and take in the stunning scenery, it can be a great time of year for that as long as it’s not raining. With hardly any tourists around, it can feel like you’re discovering this area as it once was. If you’re expecting the place to be alive with people and things to do, you’ll be disappointed.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi there :)
November can be hit and miss in the Cinque Terre, and a lot does close down then. Everyone is exhausted after a crazy tourist season and is ready to hibernate!
Unfortunately your other choices are also best visited at other times of the year – they’re vacation towns and though Amalfi is warmer at this time of year, they too tend to close up shop in November.
Then again, you might enjoy the authentic feel of these places minus tourists, and you might be surprised by great weather.
Why not consider a cozy holiday destination instead? Here are some ideas: http://www.italianfix.com/ski-italy/
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Sarah L

Hi there! My husband and I are thinking of traveling to Cinque Terre (not sure which villages yet) for a day trip. We are staying in the heart of Val d’Orcia so it will be a 3 hour trip each way but we feel that we can’t go to Italy without visiting this beautiful place. We plan on leaving at 6am and leaving Cinque Terre by 8pm. Is this smart? What villages would you visit knowing we only have that short window (love ocean views, good food, nature, hiking)

Reply

Bianca Gignac
Dave obrien

Been all over the world (with BA cabin crew) and never been to place so beautiful as the five villages, the food the walks the people the trains the ferries it has it all for the tourist with loads of energy. It’s five star at three star price. Love it.

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Dave,

I think you’ve made an EXCELLENT point. The Cinque Terre really is amazing value. I’m shocked at the apartments for rent for 90 euros a night: huge balconies, a sea view, 2 bedrooms, frescoed ceilings. Like, the list goes on. It’s a gem of a place and I suppose we are the lucky ones who’ve had a taste.

Thanks for your comment Dave.

Baci, Bianca

Reply

Manjit Dhaliwal

Hi Bianca was wondering if you’d be able to give me the name of where you stayed as we are going there this summer for the first time and feeling a bit over whelmed as to where to stay and how to get there from the Amalfi coast. Although I know the train is the best bet but which town is closest to the train station? Thank you kindly,
Manjit

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Manjit,
I think you’ll find all the answers you need here: http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Bradley Arthur

Dear Bianca,
I enjoyed reading your assessment of Cinque Terre. I’m planning a trip for my family (Wife & 2 boys ages 3 and 7 years old) in summer. My wife and I have traveled all over Italy and wanted to pick a base for 4 weeks best suited for the kids. Meaning ample swimming , beach etc. Ideally I’d like to be near the train station, yet remote and away from the tourist mania. What would you suggest? Where do the natives go in Cinque Terre? By the way we’re interested in renting a 3 bedroom home.. Thanks

Brad

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Brad,

Thank you for asking this question, because it’s a great one! If you’re wondering where the locals go, it depends what they are looking for. My husband, who is a local, would go to the beach at Bonassola — and I think you should check out Bonassola too. If you’re travelling with two children and want to relax, Bonassola has a very safe (not steep or rocky) sandy beach. (I wouldn’t call it remote, but you don’t want my remote beach suggestions with a three and a seven year old!) The village is also stroller friendly, and I’ve personally stayed there with a mob of small children and we had an amazing time. My hot tip: there are a number of private beach clubs. Some have playgrounds right inside, so do yourself a favor and splurge on membership for the day. With the ocean, food, and a playground all within 20 steps, it’s easy breezy sanity : )

Have an amazing time! Wishing you all the best,
Bianca

Reply

Sarah E.

Hi Bianca,
My fiance and I are planning for our honeymoon to be in Italy, we’re traveling mid March and staying for 2 weeks.
We want to go to Cinque Terre for 2-4 nights and I was wondering if you had tips for us other than what you mentioned before. Which village should we stay at? Will the weather be bad? Will towns be fully functioning, given it won’t be season?
Of course, if you have tips in general about Italy, that would also help… Rome, Florence, Naples and Amalfi Coast (Sorrento and Positano), Sicily (Palermo) are the other places we are looking into. Getting to them all might be difficult given we’re there for only 2 weeks… so any tips/suggestions you might have will be helpful.
Thanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Sarah,

Congratulations on your wedding! Italy, of course, is an incredible place for a honeymoon. March can be rainy in this part of Italy, but if you don’t mind the spring showers, then enjoy! Many places will still be closed, as this is the north of Italy and the season doesn’t really get geared up until the middle of spring.

My best advice for people traveling to Italy — is to slow down. The beauty of travel is in the seeing and feeling, not in rushing or being over scheduled (we already do that at home). That’s just a personal travel style, but I think generally people try to see “everything.” And everything is too exhausting : ) For two weeks, decide how many times you would like to check in and check out of a hotel. For example, if the answer is four, then that will narrow down your home bases. Remember, Italy is compact, so you can still day trip to many places without actually sleeping in them all. I hope that helps!

When you’re in Italy, in love, you already have the perfect trip. All the rest is just a bonus round.

Love,
Bianca

Reply

Chris

Hi, Bianca
I´m going to Itay mid february (a few days from now), don´t you really recomend Cinq Terre in Feb? I´ve never went and i´m already in love with the region… Can you give me some advice?
Tks a lot :)

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Chris,

I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to answer your comment in time for your trip. Generally speaking, February is cold and rainy. What can be lovely is hiking on the trails if it’s not raining (if there’s heavy rain, skip them), as you’ll have them virtually to yourself and a couple other die-hards. Of course, getting cozied up in a restaurant for the day can be a fun local pastime as well.

I hope your trip was fab,
Bianca

Reply

Anna

Hi Bianca,
I enjoyed reading your Cinque Terre itinerary . My 22 yr old daughter did a day trip there last year while she spent her summer ‘ studying” in italy :) and her photos were breathtaking ! My husband and I are flying into Pisa , late Sept , early Oct this year and want to spend 3 nights in one of the villages . We planned on renting a car at the Pisa airport , but I’m reading on line that may not be the best thing to do . We plan on coming to Cinque terre first and then spending two weeks traveling through Tuscany by car , maybe have two locations to stay at so we can really enjoy the area and small towns . I understand Italian having grown up with parents from Isernia . I speak their dialect . Can we drive from the Pisa airport to a village where we can park a car and stay for 2-3 nights or should we go back to the airport and rent a car when we leave Cinque Terre .

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Anna,
You can do that, but since you won’t be using the car for the duration of your stay in the Cinque Terre, you could also just hop on a train for this portion (or hire a driver if you’re really bogged down with luggage), and then rent a car from La Spezia once you’re ready to head to Tuscany.
Sounds like you have a great trip planned out. Have fun!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Dani Davis

Hello!

I am currently planning a trip around Europe and Cinque Terre sparked my interest. However, we would be hitting the villages March 31 into the first week of April. Do you recommend that we come, or skip it? We are really into hiking, but do not want to miss out on seasonal restaurants and horrible weather. Thanks in advance!

Dani

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dani,
The weather in early April can be gorgeous. As with anywhere, spring is pretty hit-and-miss rain-wise, but if you really want to see the area, I would come. Restaurants are pretty much all already open by then, and the hiking paths are always open (unless they’ve been closed for things like landslides).
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Terrill

Hello,
I am planning a trip for next week in Italy, and I love the idea of hiking along small, coastal towns. This is why I was drawn to Cinque Terre. However, you said you don’t recommend going during the winter (it would be the first week in March) and you said I could email you for a list of other ideas. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for this travel time.
Thank you,
Terrill

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Terrill,
We generally recommend hitting other places in March (especially early March), because the weather can be so hit and miss at this time of year. This is the time to visit cities like Florence and Rome, where you can still enjoy a full day of activities even in rainy weather because a lot of attractions are indoors. The Cinque Terre is a very outdoorsy place, so when it rains, you run out of a lot of options.
The good news is that Italy is very small and you can get to practically any part of the country by train in no more than a day. If the weather if unusually nice when you arrive, be flexible! Swap out a day or two of museums for training it to the CT to hike.
Have a wonderful time!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Terrill

whoops! this the correct email address to reply on:)

Reply

Kelly

Hi from Vancouver Bianca,
We will be able to stay for three nights starting 10th of May. Still too early for Cinque Terre? Hope not. Weather cannot be any worse than the B.C. coast.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kelly, fellow Canadian :)
May is great for the Cinque Terre. Warm and sunny usually, but not hot. Also, not as busy as it can get in the summer months.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Sonya

Hi Bianca,
Unfortunately we only have 2 nights to spare to visit La Cinque Terre from 15 July 2014. Where do you suggest we try to book our accommodation in Vernazza. Do you have a day tour from there. After reading your Beginners Guide to La Cinque Terre I decided not to come for a day visit from Florence and instead spend 2 nights there. Unfortunately we don’t have more time as have to fly back to Australia from Milan.
Thanking you in advance
Sonya

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sonya,
Have a look at our post on making the most of a short amount of time in the Cinque Terre here: http://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
As for places to stay in Vernazza, try Casa Cato’ or Casa Vacanze Zia Maria.
Have a great time!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Lize

Hi Bianca
Lovely article!
We will be skiing in Val Gardena in the first week of March 2015 till Sat 7 March and have a week afterwards to spend somewhere in northern Italy (till Fri 13 March).
We were considering spending a few days in Cinque Terra and fly out from Genoa or Florence on Friday 13th. We love nature and hiking and the outdoors, and don’t mine roughing it a bit. But you mentioned that it might not be the best place to go at that time of the year and that you can recommend other places.
Would love to hear your suggestions.
Lize

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Lize,
As with anywhere, springtime can be temperamental in this part of the world. The good news is, it’s the low season, so you won’t have to book accommodations very far in advance, or in advance at all. Check out the weather when you’re in Val Gardena, and make your plans for your last week accordingly. It’s just a matter of hopping on a train, so pretty easy peasy!
Have a great time!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Jackie Faust

My husband and I are visiting my son in Milan. We will travel to Cinque Terre for two nights (3 days) and are wondering if you can offer an itinerary for that? Many thanks, Jackie

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

You can modify one of the itineraries we provide in these posts, Jackie:
http://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Jackie Faust

I forgot to mention the dates, April 14-16, 2014. We are planning on heading out to Lucca after that but can be flexible on the date to leave. We wanted to see Tuscany and have until the 17th when we need to meet up with a friend in Venice. Thank you in advance for your suggestions. Jackie

Reply

CC Curtis

Your suggestions and ideas are amazing! We are planning a 24 day trip in September/October of travel through Italy and I think your words are going to be my bible for the next few months. Venice, Florence, a drive to Pisa, only to catch a train into the Cinque Terre for three days and two nights, Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast… Cooking lessons in Florence reserved; any other personal touches you might add. We are staying in Vernazza at a small rental apartment right near the castle. We are enjoying your ideas so we think anything you might add to our trip would be perfection!!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Sounds like an amazing plan, CC! Have a look at these posts for some more CT ideas. I’m throwing in some Florence posts for you as well :)
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-in-florence/
http://www.italianfix.com/restaurants-in-florence/
Buon viaggio!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Norma,

We plan on being in Cinque Terra the first week of May. What is you experience weather wise?
Please advise, Thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Have a look at our weather post here, Norma: http://www.italianfix.com/italy-weather-when-to-go/
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Kimberly

Hi Bianca,

I’ll be traveling from Milan to Cinque Terre to Florence, which you said is easy to do by train. Do I need to book my train tickets way in advance, or will the prices stay relatively the same if I book it a day before? I don’t want the prices to go way up or sell out.

Thanks,
Kimberly

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kimberly,
Train ticket prices don’t fluctuate the way airline ticket prices do, and though in theory reserved-seat trains like the Intercity and Frecciabianca can sell out, it’s really very rare. You can save a little bit of money on some trains by booking online, but honestly train travel here is so affordable, I don’t tend to worry about it. Buy them when you get here.
Check out the trenitalia site (trenitalia.com) for schedules.
Have fun!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

donna

Hi Bianca,

Great Article!

I am planning to go to Cinque Terre this may for 10 to 12 nights, is this too long? i am 60yrs old female, i am very athletic and climbing the stairs is not a problem for me but will i find people my age?

Thanks
Donna

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Absolutely Donna. The general tourist demographic has really changed over the years. You used to see mostly students in this area, backpackers who had heard to come here by word of mouth. Now I would say that a good portion of visitors to the Cinque Terre are around your age.
Ten nights is a great amount of time to really get to know this place, and to enjoy it in a low-key, relaxed way. It also allows you to take day trips to some wonderful other towns and cities nearby like Portovenere, Portofino, Levanto and Bonassola. I think you’re going to love it!
Have a great time!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Frank

Hello,

I will be going to Cinque Terre for two nights. I will be driving in from Parma. Since I’m using a car, I think Monte Rosso is my best option. From there I can just take the train to explore the other towns.

Do you have any other suggestions for someone driving into cinque terre… Where to leave the car? Thank

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Frank,
You should be fine parking in Monterosso – it’s the biggest of the towns and has the biggest parking area. That being said, all of the parking areas in the Cinque Terre are relatively small because of the geography of the landscape, so busy periods can turn parking into a frustrating experience. If you find this is the case, consider backtracking to Levanto, where there is a parking area by the train station.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Aleena

Hi Bianca,
Thank you for this website it has been so helpful! I do have a question for you. My husband and I will be getting off a cruise ship in Venice on November 15th. I want to head to Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome. Do you have a suggestion on which order to see them in and how to go about travelling to each?

Thank you so much!
Aleena

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Aleena,
It only takes about two hours to get from Venice to Florence, whereas it takes between five and seven to get to the Cinque Terre from there (the two places aren’t on the same train line, so you have to switch three times). So I would do Venice to Florence, Florence to the Cinque Terre, and then Cinque Terre to Rome (via La Spezia).
Have a great trip!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Jane Brown

Hi Bianca,
Wow what an informative site you have. My husband and I are planning to spend a month in Italy March/April. We love walking/hiking and are too bothered about weather (we are not made of sugar). We plan to see Rome, Venice, Florence, do a cycling tour in Tuscany (unless you have a better recommendation) and will meet up with friends for a week of walking. We looked at the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre for that part, but after reading your blog, I was wondering if you would recommend either or do you have another suggestion. We are fit, love adventure and love getting off the beaten track. I can’t wait to explore Italy. Do you have any suggestions of what we could do?
Regards, Jane

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jane,
Both Amalfi and the Cinque Terre are gorgeous areas, and actually very similar. Think of Amalfi as a fancier, more polished version of the Cinque Terre, which is very rugged and down to earth. It sounds like what you’re after is an active week with your friends, in which case the Cinque Terre might be more up your alley. It’s known for its many hiking trails — Amalfi is more resorty. Both are just starting to “wake up” after a quiet winter in March/April too, but Amalfi might have better weather being further south.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Ann Grace

Love your style! We will be in Lucca for 3 days in late November so I’m thinking we might miss CT and ask your advice for some autumn weather alternatives. We are good social walkers. We are organised for the rest of our time in Florence and Rome.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Ann,
I love Lucca, and I’m sure you will too. It’s a nice, cozy choice for fall. The Cinque Terre can be wonderful in the fall too, as long as it doesn’t rain. And since you’ll be so close anyway, I’d suggest playing by ear whether to go or not. There won’t be a lot open in late November, but the magic of this area is all in the natural scenery. And if you’re interested in hiking, if it’s dry, it’s a great time to do that.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Jocelyn

Hi Bianca, your website is REALLY informative! My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in August. We will be flying in from Dusseldorf. During this coming trip, I would like to cover Venice than to your must-go Cirque Terre. May I ask, where is a more centralise city I should fly to for an overnight stay to “park some luggages”, inorder to train to Venice than head to CTerre. Florence?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jocelyn,
Yes, I would say Florence. The trip from there to either Venice or the Cinque Terre is relatively fast and easy.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Carmen

Hi! Thank you for your informative post. I really, really want to see cinque Terra in June, but unfortunately, I can only stay a night. Is it not worth it then? If there were 2 villages i could visit, which would you recommend?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Carmen,
We of course recommend two nights, three or more if possible. But of course not everyone can stay for that long, so we’ve created a blog post on how to make the most of a single day. Check it out here, and have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Hannah P.

Hi Bianca,

I’m a small Asian girl (who, like most all Asians, looks really young for her age) who will be traveling to CT in a couple weeks. I’m wondering how safe it is to travel alone, and whether I should stay at a hostel or a hotel. Are there other safety precautions you recommend?

Thanks so much.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Hannah,
I think that the Cinque Terre is one of the best places you can come to as a single woman traveler. It’s super safe. I live here, and in twelve years have heard of maybe two scary/dangerous incidents, both involving other drunken tourists. It’s up to you whether you want to stay in a hostel or hotel — neither is safer than the other, really, so just choose the one you feel most comfortable about.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Morgan

Hi Bianca,

Would you recommend October 28-31? We are thinking of starting our trip in Cinque Terre and then heading south..to where I’m not sure. I’ve already done all of the touristy things (Venice, Rome, Florence). We looking for more of a real Italian experience for our honeymoon, if you have any suggestions that would be great!!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Morgan,
You’ll be getting here right at the tail end of the high season — generally you’ll see people out and about up until Halloween, and then like someone pulling a switch, everyone’s gone on November 1st. Stores and restaurants too stay open up until the 31st and then a lot of them close, so you’ll be here just in time. Check out this blog post for things to do while you’re here.

Reply

Sepideh

Hi Bianca,
2 years ago i was in Firenze, but was not able to make it Cinque Terre sadly. I share your love affair with Italy and as your blog said, i hope someday to move and sell lemons..
I will be traveling to Italy in September 15- 23. Do you think CT’s weather still be warm (you have mentioned skip CT if crappy weather).
My Itinerary for from USA is Milan, Venice , Maybe CT and then Florence. Does the sequence look good to you? Any other suggestions ?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sepideh,
September is a really beautiful month in the Cinque Terre — bright, warm and sunny, but not hot and sticky the way July and August can be — so it’s a great time to come. I’d switch around your order a bit though, since it’s a pain to get to the Cinque Terre from Venice. I’d do Milan, Cinque Terre, Florence and then Venice.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Andrew in Australia

Hi Bianca,

Love your enthusiasm and refreshing style. We will finish our 5 week Italian sojourn with 3 nights in Vernazza as our base for enjoying the CT. My question is, and I hope you can help, is it feasible to depart Vernazza to Milan (Malpensa) for a 1:15pm flight on the same day or should we plan to stay closer to Milan on our final night? We should be in Milan 2 hours before the flight leaves so really need to be around 11am. Doable or is that pushing our luck?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Andrew,
You’ll have to get up at an ungodly hour, but you can definitely make it to Malpensa by 11am from Vernazza. The first train leaves at 5:00 and gets to the airport at 10:16. Then there are a few other trains between 5 and 6am that will get you there before 11 — I wouldn’t take anything later than the 5:58, which gets you to Malpensa by 11:04. In fact, I always suggest taking one or two earlier than the one that will get you there on time, just to be safe. Italy is terrible when it comes to train delays, cancellations and strikes!
Happy travels!
Kiiri

Reply

Alex

Bianca, you have a fabulous website. As someone who will be experiencing the Cinque Terre (and Italy for that matter) for the very first time, this has all been very insightful.

I was wondering how soon I should look into booking for a two or three night stay with myself and 5 others. Along with that, do you recommend a hotel or an apartment to rent? Generally, what is the cheaper of the two? And what are the conditions of the hostels?

What would you say is the food of choice in the Cinque Terre? I’m sure it would vary by town, but generally speaking, what do you suggest?

How is the nightlife/weather in late August?

I appreciate your insight, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Alex

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Alex,
Your first trip, how exciting!
Definitely book as soon as you can. The Cinque Terre are no longer five towns you can show up in and hope to find a place to sleep with no reservation. And if you can’t find a place that sleeps five, consider splitting your group up into two places in the same town. The villages are so small that, with the exception of Monterosso, you won’t be any more than ten minutes from one another. (Accommodations are small here because of the way the town is built, so larger groups can have a harder time finding a place.) The hostels in Manarola and Corniglia are decent, but very basic. Apartments are generally cheaper than hotel rooms. The weather in late August is usually very hot, and if you’re looking for nightlife, the best town for it right now is Riomaggiore. A specialty here in terms of food is definitely anchovies — Monterosso is known for them, so try them at Trattoria Oscar or Ristorante Miky and you won’t be disappointed.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Will

Hi Bianca

My girlfriend and I are taking a couple of months to tour europe this summer in a car and we have Cinque Terre is a stop we want to include.

Unfortunatley we have only have a single night in the schedule, altough as active people we will make the most of the opportunity.

At the moment we are unsure of where where to stay taking into account of car and the limited time.

Do you have any suggedtions for a location / hotel we could bsae our selves at in late July please?

Regards

Will

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Will,
You’ll have to leave your car in the parking area at the top of the village no matter where you stay, so it doesn’t really matter which town you pick. Check out our descriptions of the villages in this blog post, and then go from there.
Have a great time!
Kiiri

Reply

Asad

Hi Bianca,
I am planning to go to Cinque Terre only for one night. Which is the best village to stay ? I know this is a very short time but I really want to see this place.
Regards,
Asad Farhan

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Asad,
There is no one best village to stay in — they are all lovely and awesome for their own reasons. Check out our descriptions of them here, and then choose the one that speaks to you. (Hint: You can’t choose wrong.)
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

nina solano

Hi Bianca,
I love your article about Cinque Terre. I’m planning a trip to Cinque Terre after my wedding this June to relax w my husband. We have an extra 5 days before we head back to work. We’re planning to stay for 2 nights then spend 2 more nights in Portofino after. I am interested in staying in Manarola…can you recommend a nice place there?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Nina,
We love Affittacamere Da Baranin, ManarolaVistaMare and La Torretta Lodge.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

John

What an informative post! I’m thinking of heading to the Cinque Terre for a night at the end of June, from Thursday afternoon til Friday night. Is there a particular village that you think would be well-suited to such a short time frame? Is there one which has better ferry connections than the others?
Thanks,
John

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi John,
All the villages are so close together, that a short stay here doesn’t affect which one you should stay in at all. Have a look at this post for descriptions of all five, and pick the one that speaks to you. (If you’re concerned about ferry connections, don’t choose Corniglia, as the ferry doesn’t stop there. All the others have are equal in terms of ferry connections.)
Have a great time!
Kiiri

Reply

Susan

Hi Bianca,
Thinking of traveling from Austria to Italy with my family. Makes sense to do Northern Italy but your article suggests that much of Como and Cinque Terre is closed. We have done Venice, Florence, Tuscany and Rome 2 years ago.You mentioned a list of places you’d recommend in January. I heard Sicily is a nightmare to drive around. Is that true?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Susan,
We don’t mention Como in this blog post, but it’s also an Easter to October, seasonal place and like in the Cinque Terre, a lot will be closed there then. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t see the north of Italy if that’s what more convenient — just choose places that are meant to be enjoyed in the winter, like skiing villages in the Alps or Christmas market towns like Bolzano.
If you do want to go way south, Sicily is not a nightmare to drive around. You should definitely have a GPS and paper map along, but we’ve never had any problems there.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Aeda

Hi Bianca,
First let me say I loved your websites! Very informative and useful. So I’m 56, have traveled/backpacked quite a bit in my 20’s and am now planning to join my son for 6 days while he is traveling around Europe. I have always wanted to go to the Cinque Terre area but now would only have one full day to spend there. He and his friends will stay for longer. So I had planned to stay in Genoa but now think it might be best to stay in one of the villages if I can get to one from Ventimiglia? I would plan to go with them to one of the villages, stay that night, do one of the short hikes and then head back to Genoa that evening to depart the following day on my flight. Do you think this is feasible and if so which village can I get to from Ventimiglia? I would appreciate any help and may take part in one of your trips one day. Many thanks Aeda

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Aeda,
Definitely feasible. And you can get to any of the villages from Ventimiglia, they’re all on the same train line. Check schedules at trenitalia.com, and have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Juliette from Vietnam

My husband and me will go to Cinque Terre at the beg of August. Our plan is to take a plane to Pisa (tickets are bought already) and then rent a scooter to go from Pisa to “Cinque Terre” area. But from what I understand now, we cannot access the villages with any transport, so am not sure renting a scooter is a good idea. Except that we’d like to go to Florence for the last day. How do you recommend we can transfer from Pisa to Cinque terre villages?
Thanks a lot
Juliette
(French living in Vietnam)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Juliette,
You can get to each of the villages by scooter, you just can’t drive down into them. You’ll have to park your vehicle at the top of the village in the parking area, and walk down to your accommodations.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Jeffrey Settineri

Bianca, thanks for sharing your love of the area with us. My family is thinking of renting a home for a month next summer in the 5terre region…might you have any recommendations on places we must consider to stay/homes we need to consider? I’m sending your site along to family for your tour consideration! Thanks so much!

Jeffrey

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jeffrey,
Most places don’t do rentals by the month, but get in touch with Amy at Riomaggiore Reservations as she might be able to work something out for you. Another option would be to get in touch with Immobiliare 5 Terre. They are a real estate agency but also deal with longer term rentals, and though a month isn’t really “long term”, you never know. Worth a try anyway!
In bocca al lupo,
Kiiri

Reply

Dee

Hello Bianca,
We are going to Cinque Terre in July for 7 nights. I loved reading your thoughts and advice about this beautiful region. We will need parking, therefore I booked 2 hotels and I am undecided whether to stay in Monterosso Al Mare at Hotel Albergo Suisse or in Levanto at Hotel Carla. We like to go for an early swim and an evening walk in town and to be close to the beach. The hotel in Monterosso is high on the cliff with a beautiful view, but not walking distance to the beach. The beach in Levanto is 10 min walk from the hotel and Bonasola (the beach you recommend) is also walking distance. Thank you for the 5 day itinerary you posted. I would be happy to read your advice and any recommendations.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dee,
Levanto is not part of the Cinque Terre — it’s the closest city outside of Monterosso — so that might help you to decide. It’s lovely, but it’s not a small town the way Monterosso and the other Cinque Terre villages are, so you’ll lose some of that cozy ambiance staying there. That being said, you might find it more convenient to be in a bigger place, and it is less crowded with tourists than Monterosso will be in July. In fact, you might find it feels more authentic for that reason — you’re likely to mostly meet Italians there, not other foreigners. And like you said, it’s a 30-minute walk from Bonassola too, which is another beautiful town.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Dawn

Hello Bianca,

Thanks for the article. Your 5 reasons are exactly the reason I’m drawn to Cinque Terre.

Am planning a trip there and I’m deciding between visiting in last week of October, or 3rd week of November. Am looking to hike and stay in the area for a few days.

May I know if you would suggest Oct or nov? I also can’t seem to find the opening timings for the hiking trails. Will the trails be open in Oct / Nov and will the ferries be operating still?

Am coming from Singapore and will need to purchase my plane tickets real soon.

Really appreciate any advice I can get from you. Thank you!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dawn,
I’d come in October. The high season traditionally ends at Halloween, so everything is still open until then. In November, a lot of places (restaurants, room rentals, stores) shut down for the winter or for a break. The trails don’t close, unless there’s a landslide or some other dangerous condition, and you won’t find current news about that on the internet. You just have to see when you get here what’s open and go from there. The ferries usually stop running at the beginning of October.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Katrina

Hi I found your site very useful for my upcoming trip to the Cinque Terre. Could you tell me how/where I get the ferry or boat trip to look at the 5 towns. We are staying in Monterosso. I will be traveling with my 2 children (4 and 9). Thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Katrina,
The ferry docks in or near the marina of each town, besides Corniglia which doesn’t have a port. Monterosso is bigger than the other towns, so just ask at your hotel when you get here to point you in the right direction. There’s a ticket booth set up near where the ferry docks.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Mark Lee

What a great site/resource for planning a trip Cinque Terre!

I am going to Italy for my honeymoon from September 21 – October 4. Do you think it will be warm enough to enjoy the beaches in Cinque Terre or will it be getting colder by then?

Thanks,

Mark

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mark,
It’s usually still warm enough to swim until the end of September, sometimes into October too. You’ll probably feel the first shock of getting into cooler water, but then you’ll get used to it very quickly and not feel cold at all.
Happy honeymoon!
Kiiri

Reply

Michael

Hey Bianca,

This page was amazingly helpful!

I am doing Italy SOLO and my friends say I should go there for the end of my trip to relax from the partying and adventure seeking. 😀

That being said I really want to go on long hikes, explore take pictures and enjoy some peace and quiet.

Money is not my biggest issue, but I want to know somewhere nice to stay that isn’t costing an arm and a leg but is clean, and perhaps with even a nice view.

If you have any suggestions on where to eat/sleep/visit during my travels that would be amazing! I am 26 and on vacation and willing to go anywhere and meet anyone.

Thanks so much!

Michael

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Michael,
We collected all of our best suggestions for places to stay, things to do, places to eat and more and put them into our Cinque Terre chapter in our digital guidebook, Gigi Guides. Feel free to check it out here.
Happy travels to you!
Kiiri

Reply

Pam

We plan to be in Cinque Terre Oct 9-12th. Wondering on weather that time of year. Is it warm enough for the beach and swimming?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Pam,
It really depends on the year. Some years have been warm enough to swim until the end of October, but usually it’s too cold. Pack a bathing suit just in case, but don’t count on it.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Sunanda

I have some time in Florence( the itinary, from India is already fixed}.Wondering if I can still do a day trip. Won’t be blessed to see the sun down, but now I’m looking for small mercies!
Very enchanting blog indeed!
Sunanda

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sunanda,
It takes about 2.5 hours to get to the Cinque Terre from Florence, so it’s definitely doable, even though it’ll be a tiring day involving a lot of train travel.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Susan

Enjoyed reading your site! Thank you for sharing.
Planning to travel to CT for 3-5 days around Oct 15th. Rick Steve’s book and video on CT say to walk around and look for rooms, apts to rent. No reservations necessary. That is frightening at our age. What would you recommend? The apt with 2 bedrooms, large deck sounded wonderful (Dave, Nov 2013). Do you advise going and staying in different place each town in CT?
Thank you!
Susan

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Susan,
When Rick Steves first came to the Cinque Terre you could do that. Those days are pretty much gone now and it’s sometimes hard to find availability even when booking ahead, so I’d recommend making reservations. We don’t advise staying in a different town every day — you’d spend most of your trip schlepping your stuff from hotel to hotel. Pick one place and stay there for the duration. You can travel from town to town quickly and easily, so no need to keep moving your home base.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Susan

Couldn’t pull your suggested itinerary up on tablet, but did on laptop. Questions answered. Thanks!

Reply

Peishan

Hi Bianca,

I’m planning to include the Cinque Terre in my trip to Italy this October. Sounds like October won’t be too cold, but definitely far from summery. How’s the weather then and would it be too wet for a 2-day stay?

thanks!
Peishan (from Singapore!)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Peishan,
Some years it’s really warm and sunny in October, and some years it’s cool and rainy. It’s definitely a hit-and-miss month.
In bocca al lupo,
Kiiri

Reply

Marisa

Hi Bianca,

My husband and I are traveling to France and Italy during the holidays (Christmas). Cinque Terre was number one on our list — but it sounds like we should reconsider? We were mainly interested in the location for hiking and food (and staying away from major cities); what do you recommend? Would hiking still be feasible? Will accommodations/restaurants be open?

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Marisa

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Marisa,
As long as it’s not rainy, December can be a great time for hiking. It’s cool, and you’re likely to have the trails all to yourself. Most things are closed for most of December, but almost all the restaurants open up for the Christmas holidays, and you’ll be able to find room rentals and hotels that are open too.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Craig Adams

Bianca, We plan to travel from Bellagio to Cinque Terre on May 25, 2015 and spend 2 nights in the area before traveling to Florence. We will have a car. Where do you recommend we leave the car and catch the train? Where do you recommend we say? Will this trip feel too rushed?

Thanks,

Craig

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Craig,
Two nights is a decent amount of time to spend here. You will have to leave your car in the parking area at the top of the town you’re staying in and then walk down to your accommodations. The train stations are all at the bottom of the villages, near the water. Read this blog post for descriptions of the five villages and choose the one that most speaks to you.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Gabriela

Ciao Bianca!

A friend of mine and i are traveling to venice in mid march. We would like to go other places, too, and cinque terre sounds fabulous. we were wondering about the weather. Could you let me know if it is usually very rainy, or rainy enough to discourage activities? Also, are
Places open since it is not the peak of the season? Tante grazie in advance for your advise. Gabriela.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Gabriela,
March can be hit and miss weather wise, so it might be rainy, it might not. It’s kind of impossible to say for sure. Everything usually opens for the season at Easter, but before that there should always be at least one restaurant, one bar and one grocery store open. So while you won’t be spoiled for choice, you won’t be stranded either.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Hillary

I’m so happy I’ve stumbled across your blog!! My mother and I are traveling to Italy from the US in May 2015 for a 2 week Italian adventure. We are looking to add Cinque Terre to our travel plans. Which village would you recommend us stay in while we’re there for 2-3 days? Thank you for any helpful advice!
-Hillary

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Hillary,
Check out the descriptions of the villages we’ve written in this blog post. There’s no one that’s better than the other, so just choose the one that speaks to you.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Kathy

Bianca,

Very informative blog that helped me a lot with my Italy vacation planning. I was curious to ask if I only have time to visit Cinque Terre or Portofino, which one would you recommned I go with?

Thank you!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kathy,
Well, it depends on how little time you have. Portofino can be done in an afternoon, while the Cinque Terre really deserves two or three days in order to really experience it. So I’d figure out how much time I have to devote, and make my decision based on that.
Happy travels!
Kiiri

Reply

Karen Tay

Greetings from Singapore, Bianca!

My friend and I heading to Italy and France in Nov and are considering adding both Cinque Terre and Portofino to our plans with strong recommendations from friends who have been there.

Will Nov be too rainy/cold to visit? And do we really have to do an overnighter? Thot we maybe able to cover it in a day..

Like Kathy (above) if we only have time to visit Cinque Terre or Portofino, which one would you recommend?
Thanks in advance for your input and help.

Karen

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Karen,
If you’re only going to visit for a day and don’t want to stay overnight, go to Portofino. It’s doable in just an afternoon, whereas the Cinque Terre is a place best experienced fully. For that you need time, otherwise you become another tourist tramping through, checking this place off of a list, and then wondering what all the fuss is about.
That being said, November isn’t a great time to visit either, unfortunately. Most of the restaurants, bars, and stores will be closed, and as you mentioned, it could be rainy as well. Perhaps you should save this part of Italy for another time?
Hope that helps a bit!
Kiiri

Reply

Cindy

Hello Bianca —

A dear friend and I are planning some time in Liguria, considering 6 nights in Camogli or 3 there and 3 in CT. Can you give any recommendations? Of course we love places a bit off the beaten path but still accommodating.

Cindy

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Cindy,
Three and three sounds like a good split! Both are beautiful places :)
Kiiri

Reply

Katie

Hi Bianca!
Love your blog! It has been really helpful!
My husband and I are going to Italy in the beginning of November, as its the only time we could get off until next year and I didn’t want to wait that long. Do you have any suggestions on where to stay in Rome? I loved your Florence recommendations, and any help would be appreciated! The planning is a little overwhelming for Rome..
Thanks so much!!
-Katie

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Katie,
Rome is big, and it can get overwhelming for sure. We devoted a whole chapter to making the planning easy for you, including a section with all of our fave places to stay, in Gigi Guides. Check it out here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Dee

Hello Bianca,

My husband and I are planning to drive to Cinque Terre from Calenzano. My question is which of the 5 towns would we be able to park our car and then travel either by train or boat among the 5 towns?
Thank you so much
Dee

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dee,
All of them have parking areas right above town, so you can park at whichever one you choose and then walk down to your accommodations. There are train stations in each town, and the ferry docks in all of the towns except Corniglia.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Teagan

Hi Bianca, What a lovely read this was! I am heading to Italy with my boyfriend in October and we were looking at visiting Cinque Terre after Monaco and before Florence. We were looking at being there around the 27 October for a few nights but another friend said that 1 night would be plenty. What would you suggest? Is it still an ok time to visit in October? Thanks!!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Teagan,
We recommend two or three nights here to really make the most of it. Everything is still open until the beginning of October, so while you’re coming at the tail end of the season, you’ll still have access to all the restaurants and shops etc… The only risk is that is might rain, but it’s a chance you’ve got to take this time of the year.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Menon

Hi. We have 2 days in 5T and decided to stay near La Spezia Centrale. we will be CT after Rome & Florence and will have a couple of bags hence the decision to stay close to station as we have a train to venice from LS Centrale. Please let me know if this is a bad idea…. if yes, which village is bect connected to teh LS Centrale station?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Menon,
All of the villages are well-connected to La Spezia Centrale, but Riomaggiore is the closest, just 7 minutes away. Why not stay there? It’s definitely nicer to stay in the actual Cinque Terre.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Menon

Also, is it recommended to purchase Trenialia tickets in advance or can we purchase from station? im referring to tickets from CT to Venice

thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Menon,
Buying online can be convenient and sometimes cheaper, and because high-speed trains can sell out (though this is rare), it can make you feel more secure. Many tickets bought online are non-refundable and non-transferable though, so you should be really sure you’re going to make that train. If you’re a more flexible kind of traveler who likes to tweak his trip as he goes, spending another night in a town he ends up loving instead of sticking to a rigid schedule, buying at the station is the best bet. Remember that you can buy at the station the day before too, so that you don’t have to worry about line-ups and missing your train the day of, but can wait until almost the last minute to decide on a train too.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Andrea Vikarsdottir

Hi Bianca
We are 6 people from Iceland traveling to Cinque Terra in September for 4 days and we are staying in Levanto because we couldn’t get any accommadion in the other village and thats really a disappointment for us, but do you think we can hike from Levanto and how do you recommend we do best of the stay ?
Best regards Andrea

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Andrea,
Don’t be disappointed — Levanto is a very pretty little city! There’s also a great hike between Levanto and Monterosso I’m sure you’ll love. Ask at your hotel about how to get to the beginning of it. While you’re there, I’d also recommend walking through the coverted railroad tunnels to Bonassola on Levanto’s other side. For things to do in the Cinque Terre, check out blog post here.

Reply

Robert

Hi Bianca –
My wife and I just booked flights yesterday to arrive in Cinque Terre next weekend…but we can’t find any accommodations. Do you know of a place or a site we can access to find available rooms?
Grazie in advance.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Robert,
If you’re booking for next weekend, it could mean there really are no more rooms available — that’s pretty short notice during the high season. I would have a look at AirBnb — they usually have something available.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Joannah

Hello, I will be traveling to Italy with my fiancé for two weeks during the last week of October and frist week of November. We fly into and out of Milan, but we will focus on Tuscany, and include Rome and Florence. I spent my last year of art school in Italy over twenty years ago and have not been back since. My fiancé has never been there. My question is; do you think it is too cold to visit Cinque Terre during this time? Also, if you have other recommendations for towns or itinerary, I would be grateful. We plan to rent a car for towns outside of Florence when we visit towns, and we love out of the way places and delicious authentic food. Thank you so much for any help you might provide. Best, Joannah

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Joannah,
The weather might be a bit chilly that time of year, but that can be an advantage if you’re interested in hiking. Rain is the bigger issue, as there’s little to do in the Cinque Terre when it rains.
I would get in touch with Kate from bgprincipessa.com or Olga from chiantimania.com for advice on out-of-the-way towns and places to eat in Tuscany. These are two ladies who know their Tuscan stuff!
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Andrea

Hi! Love this post! I will be going tonItaly in November and would love to hear your other suggestions of places to visit as you mentioned above. Thank you so much for your insight as we have never been!!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Andrea,
I’d stick to the bigger cities this time of year, where you can spend whole days in museums and art galleries if it rains. If you’re going to be here in late November, consider visiting the Christmas market towns in the north, like Bolzano, or even the ski hills in the Alps.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Julie Madden

Hi Bianca,
My husband and I will be visiting Cinque Terra October 1st for 2 nights. We love the water but more to swim than only to look at. Can we stop anywhere along the hiking trails and just jump in or is swimming restricted to certain areas? Thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Julie,
You won’t get close enough to the water to swim from the trails that are currently open, which are higher up along the cliffside. (You could climb down from the Via dell’Amore, but that’s still closed.) If you want to take a dip from some “secret” spots, do the walk through the old railway tunnels between Levanto and Bonassola (just outside of the Cinque Terre). You can climb down onto some little natural beaches from the road and jump in :)
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Leisa Giguere

Hello Bianca. We are a family of 4 from California and will be in CT for 3 nights (after meeting up with one son who is studying abroad in Prague) Oct 26-28. I am trying to determine what town to stay in (I am trying to determine the quickest and best route via train from Venice). Really want to stay in hillside apartment near the sea, but we do have luggage as this the end of a 3 week trip. Looking at Manarola or Riomaggiore? Also want to take high speed train to Rome after 3 nights. What is the closest city to depart from to do this? Thank you so much for your informative site!
My best,
Leisa

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Leisa,
The towns are literally minutes apart from one another by train, and minutes from the closest cities, La Spezia and Levanto, so choosing one based on which is closer to Venice or Rome is really splitting hairs. If you want to be as close as you can be to La Spezia, where the most high-speed trains depart from, then stay in Riomaggiore. But again, you’re looking at shaving literally fifteen minutes from your travel time by choosing Rio instead of Monterosso all the way at the other end — less for the other towns in between.
Unfortunately any hillside apartment close to the sea is going to involve step climbing. I’d get in touch with the guys at Alla Marina in Riomaggiore — they help you carry your luggage to your apartment, so in this case they’re worth contacting just for that feature alone!
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Cecilia Marván

Hello Bianca we are going to Venice for two days and there we will rent a car to go to Verona for the day. I was planning to to to CT after visiting Verona, stay for a night in CT and leave the day after to Florence. Do you think is worthy just one day? We would arrive by car, leave it parked in a parking lot nearby Monterrosa and walk around the towns for the day. Is there a hop on hop off train in each of the 5 towns? Thank you
CM

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Cecilia,
We always recommend two or three nights here so that you really experience the place instead of rush through it, but if you really can’t dedicate more than the one night, have a look at our suggestions for making the most of your time in this post and this one.
If you get the Cinque Terre Card, you can hop on and off the train for the day as much as you like, and walk the Blue Trail too.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Mattie

HI there, love your page! Wondering if 2nd week of April is ok for Cinque Terre? Will restaurants be open or should we wait until June? We’re planning on staying for a week. We’re visiting from Australia and visiting time is dictated by school holidays. Thanks, Mattie

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mattie,
It depends on when Easter falls the year you’re planning on coming. Easter is traditionally the beginning of the high season, and from then on you can usually expect everything to be open. If the weather is particularly beautiful any given year, places might open up earlier than usual too. If you want to be sure you’ll have access to everything the Cinque Terre has to offer, come in June.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Linus

Hi and thanks for a good blog post!

I was just hoping you could answer a question for me.

I will be in Pisa for three days in october, would be useless to do a daytrip up to the walking trails? I was thinking about going to the northest one and the get to maybe Corneglia.

If you think its to much fuss, i might consider Florence for the day trip instead! :)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Linus,
You can definitely do the hike from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other in a single day, and the trip from Pisa only takes an hour and a half, so sure, a day trip is a great idea :)
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Eduardo Moreira

Bianca, I’m planning to visit the Cinqueterre in 21st of octuber, do you thinf it is a good time to go? Thank you!

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Eduardo,

Thanks for your question. It’s a bit of a roulette game with the weather. Saying that, I wouldn’t discourage you from going; pack for some showers and layers. Great time to hike the trails if it isn’t too wet! They are open all year.

Have a great trip!
Bianca

Reply

simone

Hello!

I am happy I came by your website. I want to make a
3 week vacation from January just by myself and Italy hit me as the first place I want to go to for a week or two. I am currently living in Copenhagen but I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela.

I saw that you wrote that January is not the best time to visit Cinque Terre. Can you recommend some other places ? I need some inspiration :-)

Lots of hugs from Copenhagen!

//Simone

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Simone,
We usually recommend visiting the bigger cities in months like January. That way, if the weather is bad you can still get a lot out of your holiday because there are lots of indoor activities available like museums and art galleries. If the weather IS nice, then consider popping up to the CT for a couple of days. As long as you’re not expecting lots of action and are happy to enjoy the spectacular natural scenery and hiking, it can be an amazing time to go.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

gabriel

Hello! I will be in Italy the first week of November and wanted to visit cinque terre for my honeymoon but I’ve been reading that November isn’t a good time to go. Could you please recommend another place for us to spend our honeymoom at? Thank you!

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Gabriel,

Congrats on your honeymoon! Italy is a perfect honeymoon destination of course. Because Italy is so diverse (city, country, mountains, ocean) just decide on what you like most. Then plan your trip around that. Cinque Terre could still work for you (especially of you really want to go!): a hotel on the promenade of Monterosso might be the best suited for that time of year.

Wherever you go, I would suggest two nights in each destination, minimum. That way you cut out the rush and the hassle of checking-in and checking-out of hotels.

Check out the weather stats in southern Italy too, like Puglia and Sicily for November, and that may help you refine some ideas.

Best of luck with all this planning. It’s very exciting!

Auguri,
Bianca

Reply

Julie

where should I go in Europe in February?

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Julie,

This is such a great question! You should decide what you like, and what would make your heart flutter. Is that art/cities, food, the country, the ocean, the mountains/ski hills? Once you decide what you prefer, I would search for those things. I like “slow travel,” myselff. Which means, wherever you go, just stay enough time to really see it instead of just checking in and out of many hotels. There is so much to “see” even in just a small town.

You might also find my Italy weather and when to go post useful.

I hope this helps,
Bianca

Reply

KRB

Hi Bianca-
We are excitedly planning a trip at the end of June 2015. Plan is to travel to Rome for 2 days, travel to Cinque Terra for 4-5? days, and fit Florence in too. Would love your recommendations for an itinerary! We will be 2 40 year olds travelling with a well travelled tween and teen!

All the best,
KRB

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi KRB,

Your plan sounds great! I would suggest a version of this: Rome, two nights, Florence two nights, Cinque Terre (same hotel) 4-5 nights. My best tip is to consider flying out from Genoa (1 hour train) or Pisa (best and easiest — 40 minute train), so you don’t have to backtrack from the Cinque Terre to Rome (4 hour train) for your departure flight. This is called an open jaw (in and out of different cities).

With four nights in Cinque Terre, check out my free itinerary in my post, What to do in the Cinque Terre. Here’s also some Florence tips here and here.

Let me know how it goes!
Bianca

Reply

Jan Ligman

My husband and I are thinking of going here Nov 10 for 3 nights. Where do you recommend we stay? You mentioned that there are apartments for rent. I’m hoping that the weather will be accommodating. It doesn’t have to be sunny, just hoping for no rain.

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Jan,

I’ll cross my fingers for the weather for you! Pack layers and a rain jacket just in case. 😉 I list my favorite places to stay in my what to do in the Cinque Terre post. They are all family run places, so seasonality may be an issue. If so, check this place as it’s more of a traditional hotel in Riomaggiore. November also may be a chance to check the bigger hotels on the promenade of Monterosso (the biggest village), like Hotel Pasquale.

Keep me in the loop about your trip!
Bianca

Reply

Patrice

Hi Bianca,
What is the weather like there in late October, early November? My family are looking into coming there around that time.
Thanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Patrice,

The weather in the Cinque Terre, right now (early November), is 18 and raining. Check out my Italy weather cheat sheet we’ve created to get a full picture of what you’re in for. Have a great trip, even with umbrellas and layers!

Let me know how it goes,
Bianca

Reply

Diana

Hello!

I see you mentioned you would be able to provide a list of places to go instead of Cinque Terre during the colder months. I plan on flying into Milan towards the end of Febuary for one week. Do you have any suggestions as to what would be some worthwhile destinations near Milan?

Thanks,

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Diana,

Yes, I absolutely have some ideas! I would try and stay in Milan for a night or two. So many great things to see and do in that city. It doesn’t cater to tourists at all, so it’s lovely to see a working city. If you like fashion and interiors, I love the two stores Spazio Rossana Orlandi and 10 Corso Como (which has a guesthouse too). A must-visit destination is the Duomo of course.

Have you considered the Lake District (Lake Como etc.)? That would be nice if you have a car as it’s only a quick trip from Milan. If you’re traveling by train, check out Turin, Genoa and Bologna (Bologna is loved by everyone!), as they’re all within a few hours from Milan. Since it’s the winter, I generally think sticking to the cities and bigger towns will offer you more to see and do than summer destinations like the Cinque Terre (although these villages are still so pretty even when deserted!).

For more help for your trip, jump over to these articles.
Our parks in Milan post.
This Italy Weather and when to go post.
Our How to Eat in Italy post.
The best hostels in Italy post.

Enjoy your stay and let me know how it goes on my Facebook page!

Love,
Bianca

Reply

Atli Arason

Hi Bianca

You said do not go to Cinque Terre in January but I, with my wife are going anyway. Plane arriving at Pisa 29.01.15 at 17:00 and leaving at the same time 01.02.15. How would your itinerary look like for a trip like that? We are in the sixties and like hiking.

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Atli,

Great! Glad to hear you’re following your instincts. I have a free itinerary to keep you busy for a few days on my What to Do in the Cinque Terre post. Since you have more time, make sure to spend a day in Levanto (the market is on Wednesday) and hop to La Spezia on a Friday (the market is just down from the train station Friday morning). I would also head for day-trip to Genoa (the biggest city) which is an hour north by train.

Go to all 5 villages, plus head up to Volastra and hike the high trail to Corniglia and Volastra. You can catch a bus to Volastra from Manarola (just outside the pharmacy). The hike between Monterosso and Levanto is also stunning.

Have an amazing trip! It sounds like you’re planning on it!

Keep in touch,
Bianca

Reply

Glenda

Hello. I plan to visit this area from 21-24 November 2014. Would you know how is the weather during that time. Cold is ok .. but do you think it will be wet and rainy?

Thanks!
Glenda

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hi Glenda,

Thanks for dropping by! It really depends on your luck. For that time of year expect the average temperature to hover from 13-16C/56-61F. Bring layers if you hit some rain. No matter what the weather, just pack a good attitude. That’s what I try to pack the most of; it allows every holiday to be a fab one.

Have a great trip,
Bianca

Reply

gina

Hi, I was thinking of going to CT around the middle of April with my Partner and two teenage daughters but we love swimming so shld we go in late June? Im just worried abt the crowds if we go then. Also are there stingers in the water?
And which Village would you recommend for us to stay in, probably thinking 5 nights..
Thank you so much and if yr ever thinking of coming to visit our Sydney beaches, feel free to ask for advice, cheers Gina

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Hey Gina,

The waters will be warmer in June, but you can still swim in April (the Italians think it’s too cold but I don’t agree). In my opinion June is a nicer time to travel compared to April. Italy is just busy in general, so don’t be put off too much. My philosophy is to embrace the frenetic European energy, and the crowds won’t bother you, whenever and wherever you go. Even in busy Cinque Terre, there are so many places that you can be in the middle of August, and not see a soul.

I don’t think any of the villages are “bad” villages. You could pick any single one and be thrilled. The skinny is that Vernazza is the most popular, and Corniglia is the least popular — so that should give you a start of where to look. Check out my other post, What To Do in The Cinque Terre for some more tips.

Have a great trip with your famiglia!
Bianca

Reply

Christine Minyo-Berger

Hi Bianca!

My husband and I are thinking of traveling to and staying in the Cinque Terre during the month of April. I don’t want to go when alot of tourists are there, and I certainly don’t want to go during the high heat season – (I hear many Italian hotels do not have air conditioning). We are looking for weather in the 60’s and 70’s. Would April be the right time?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Christine,
Yes, sounds like April would suit you — not hot yet, and not too crowded either.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

varsha

Hello!

We are travelling to Italy in the last week of December (after Christmas) for 10 days. You mentioned of having some suggestions on places to visit. We fly in Venice and fly out from Rome. WE plan to rent a car to go from one city to other. We are not keen on doing a lot of sight seeing but main attractions but would be highly keen on absorbing the local spirit. Your suggestions would be great help.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Varsha,
A lot of little towns in the north are beautiful around Christmastime, like Bolzano. Also, Verona is a pretty little city to visit in the winter. Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Ellie

Hi, thanks for your helpful advice in this article. My partner and I are thinking of going on a winter break to Italy in February-March. We are on a bit of a budget and thought it might be good time to see some of Italy’s beautiful scenery and amazing food but get the advantage of the off-season prices and fewer tourists. We were considering going to the Cinque Terre but can see that you advise against it as lots of places will be shut. Is there anywhere else you would recommend at this time of year? We have been to Florence, Milan and Tuscany before so would be keen to try somewhere different. Thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Ellie,
I would consider visiting some places that are best enjoyed in the winter months, like the Alps. Why not make it a ski holiday? If you’d prefer something a little warmer, head straight down to the other end and visit Sicily. The weather will just be starting to get nice around then, and everything will be in bloom.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Shashank Aggarwal

Hello Bianca,

I have to be in Monaco in late Jan for work and My wife and i are planning to take the first week of February off to visit Italy. I see you recommend sticking to the cities in cold weather. Would it be possible for us to travel by train from Nice to Florence, Rome and Naples? And since CT is on the way to Florence should we spend a couple of days there anyway even though weather might not be great? Thanks,

Shashank

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Shashank,
Yes, absolutely. Italy has a great train system, in that it’s extensive and you can get just about anywhere on it — certainly to the cities you’re planning on visiting. Check out schedules on trenitalia.com.
As for the CT, I’d play it by ear. If the weather is nice, then go for it. Most things will be closed then, but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the striking scenery and hiking trails — you’ll probably have them mostly to yourselves that time of year!
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Billy Ross

Hi Bianca,
I stumbled upon your page on ciqnue terre via web search :) anyway Im 38 year old married man taking my wife and 4 children ages 17,15,10,7 to Italy in Feb. My wife and I have been to Europe twice, but the kids never have. We are flying into Milan and wanted to check out cinque terre but I’ve been reading so much on how it’s really “closed down” during this time. I would like you suggestions on an Itenerary for my family visting italy for the first time. My dates are feb 12-20 , flying in and back out of Milan.
fyi…my wife really, really , really wants to see Venice :)

thanks so much ,
Billy Ross

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Billy,
We don’t provide personal trip planning services, but I would consider sticking to cities in the north that time of year, especially since you’re only in Italy for a week. I would recommend making your way over to Venice via Verona and Padua, two very pretty little northern cities.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Veronica Spera

Hi Bianca,
I stumbled upon your page and have thus far found it to be very helpful. I am currently a student in Bologna, i am here in Italy for 3 months, from November to February. I have some time off of school the first week of January and i’ve always dreamt of visiting le cinque terre. I obviously am aware this is not the most ideal time of year to go, is it completely insane if i went anyway? As you said a lot of places are closed during the off season, does that mean absolutely everywhere? maybe there is a way i can still find enjoyable ways to pass the days even with the cold weather. do you have suggestions? I am mainly interested in eating some great local food (pesto, trofie!) taking photos, and some walks, maybe a short hike if the weather would permit. Please get back to me when you can!

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Veronica,
All the things you want to do can be done in January! No hesitations! Just do it. :)
Bianca

Reply

Ellica Chu

Hi Bianca,
I loved your website! It was very informative. I’ve never traveled anywhere and finally booked tickets to Venice in mid march. I had planned on spening 4 nights in Cinque Terra (5 nights in Venice) but after reading your website, Im wondering if i need to change my plans? If so, do you have any suggestions? I would really appreciate any advice. Thanks!!

Ellica

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Ellica,
Congrats on your trip. Good for you. I think your plans sound good. Go for it!
Bianca

Reply

Barbara Twining

My son is taking me to Italy in may, he is very adventurous, me not so much. We are trying to decide where to go, we have 10 days, any suggestions?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Barbara,
Well, I’d definitely include the Cinque Terre in your plans. Your son can satisfy his wanderlust with some hiking while you enjoy a prosecco on a patio overlooking the sea. (We recommend Pie de Ma in Riomaggiore).
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Helen

Where would you go in Italy around March 11th for five nights. We want to hike, hang out in a cool town, and eat.
THanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Helen,
I would go to the Cinque Terre! Absolutely no hesitations. Stay in one place for 5 nights, and just day trip using my free tips on the site. Enjoy!
Bianca

Reply

lauren

Bianca,

my husband and i will be in Bologna next week. Although we have been to Italy many times we have never been to Cinque Terre.
We are not the biggest hikers but we want to take the train and stay 2 or 3 night starting on Feb 19.
Do you have any recommendations? hotels that would be open? restaurants? I know you don’t recommend Feb but this may be are only chance to get there. Any information is appreciated.
I love you review and passion for the area.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Lauren,
Usually in the winter there will be at least one restaurant, one bar and one grocery store open in each of the towns (barring Corniglia, where sometimes everything is closed), but they rotate, so it’s impossible to tell you which one it will be. You’ll just have to show up and see what’s available. As for places to stay, there are definitely places that stay open in the winter, but they will also take their holidays at varying times over these months. Your best bet is to contact places you like and ask if they’re open.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Alexa

Hi Bianca,

Loved reading your article. A friend and I will be visiting Cinque Terre (unsure where now after reading your article) but will be there from 25 Aug for x amount of days. Will you be around then and can do a tour with us? Or have any suggestions of other options?

Also we will be arriving from Paris. What is the best and easiest option to get here?

Thanks!

Alexa

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Alexa,
I’d fly from Paris into Pisa, and then take the train up from there.
I’m afraid we don’t do private tours, but you can get in touch with Bella Vita Travels. Their tour guides are ex-pats who actually live here, so they know all the best places to visit.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

lisa

hi! we are going august 1 through 4? do we need a place with ac? riomaggiore. help! need to decide tomorrow. thanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Lisa,
I never use A/C in Italy. The houses are stone and built to be cool.
Bianca

Reply

Siavash

Hello,

I came across your helpful website as I was looking for Cinque Terre attractions. I am visiting my italian girlfriend in Venice in late Feb, early March. I am looking for a romantic destination a bit more secluded like Cinque Terre but with more predictable weather, especially in late winter. We have been to Venice, Florence, Verona, Sicily. Could you please give me some advice? Thanks.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Siavash,
I’m afraid the weather in unpredictable all over the boot in February — it’s a season that can be quite cold and rainy… or not, so it’s not a great time to come if cold weather is going to disappoint you. I would recommend embracing the winter, and going somewhere made for cold weather, like a ski village in the Alps. Check out this post for a few suggestions.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Jasmine Aguilar

I will be living in Rome from March till June and I was wondering if May would be an okay time to visit Cinque Terre, missing out on the busy summer season but catching those early mornings near the beach at the same time? Also, I am planning to book a trip to Bologna, Genoa, Naples and Milan but you mentioned Sienna. Is there any particular reason why people always love Sienna and are there any other places that aren’t too far from Rome that I cannot miss out on?

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Yes! Go to Cinque Terre in May — sounds fantastic! People love Sienna for many reasons … the amazing piazza is a real draw. I don’t think it’s a must-see, however (but like art, this is totally subjective). I think Bologna and Genoa are awesome choices. When you’re in Rome you’ll get a sense of where Romans go for a quick trip near the city. You’ll be spoiled for choice. :)

Have an amazing stay!

xx
Bianca

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Jasmine,
Sounds amazing! I was a student in Italy too. I think you should stick to your exact plan. Sounds great! Skip Sienna. :)
Bianca

Reply

Jhs

Hello- my husband and I will be traveling for 8 days in Italy in early May – and trying to decide on an itenerary. He wants to see pompei- is it worth it? Otherwise we’re interested in expierencing Tuscany and cinque terre. Any advice on how many days we need in Tuscany and whether cinque terre is worth squeezing in? Or shod we stay longer in Tuscany? For Tuscany- any places youd recomend for good home bases? ( we’re thinking small b&bs). Also – for Tuscany – where is the best place to pick up a car?

Thanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Congrats on your upcoming trip with your hubs. I have never been to Pompeii but it sounds worth seeing, especially if he has a fascination about it. I would add Herculaneum to your visit as it’s close (Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD). You can likely see that area, then wander into Tuscany and Cinque Terre in a week to ten days (of course the longer the better). Logistically, you could fly into Rome, go down to Pompeii and then up, into Tuscany. After Toscana, head north to Cinque Terre. When you’re leaving Italy, choose a flight departing Pisa (it’s the closest airport to Cinque Terre). As far as B&B’s in Tuscany — most Italian hotels always serve you breakfast so they are ALL B&B’s in reality!

Tuscany is a very large geographical area, which includes Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano, Sienna. Decide what city or town you want to see first, and then make that your home base. You can travel by car for the beginning portion of your trip, and then drop your car off before you head to Cinque Terre as you won’t need it there. I hope this helps!

Buon viaggio,
Bianca

Reply

Cara

Hi Bianca,

I am traveling to Italy with my best girl friend and her sister and I am dying to visit the Cinque Terre! I read this article (and many of your other articles) about whether I should go or not and I am looking for confirmation either way. We are limited on time, we are staying one night in Cinque Terre but will be there all Saturday and Sunday. We are traveling there for the very last weekend in March (March 29-30). From what I have seen and read, I would really like to stay in Vernazza. All that being said, is our short visit to the Cinque Terre feasible? Any recommendations of where three, mid-twenties girls-on-a-budget, should stay? I really do have my heart set on it.

Thanks for your advice!
Cara

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Cara,
Follow your heart and go!
There is a hostel in Manarola — but with 3 of you sharing a room you should be able to go pretty el cheapo sharing an apartment in Vernazza. Pro tip: Search “camere visto mare Vernaazza” to get some budget friendly options that are Italian “wallet savvy” approved. 😉
Bianca

Reply

Nicole

Hello!

I was planning on going to Cinque Terre after Florence during the second week in March. Since you said you don’t recommend march but you can recommend other places…What other places do you recommend?

Is there a good day trip from Florence? Thank you : )

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Nicole,
March can be touch and go — April is usually the time when most places open. I think sticking to the cities during off season is good — so if it rains you can still spend hours wandering inside. Try Genoa, Lucca, Florence.
Happy travels,
Bianca

Reply

David

I fly into Venice on 5/2 early morning(but jet lagged), and leave Rome on 5/17. Was going to do the standard Rome, Florence, Venice trip. Not a huge art person and now want to do the Cinque Terre region. What is the best way from Venice, and is it worth cutting out Florence area? My Fiance and I are very into the outdoors and I think a glass of wine looking out our balcony here could beat any big city in the world!

Reply

Bianca Gignac

David,
It sounds like the Cinque Terre would suit you. You have over two weeks — so enough time. The way the trains run — if you go to Venice you’ll have to leave and return from Florence. Then you can head up to the Cinque Terre. I wouldn’t skip Florence. It’s wonderful, but if you like to get off the beaten path stay in Oltrarno. Here’s some hotel recs: http://www.italianfix.com/where-to-stay-in-florence/
Bianca

Reply

Reema

Hi there, thanks for your article – it was a great help! Unfortunately for me, I am travelling to Italy in March and was planning to stay in Cinque Terre 16 – 18 march (2 nights). Do you think I should reconsider my visit? I’m going with my sisters, we enjoy long walks but are not hikers. I’ve just heard so much about this place and the pics look amazing, but I don’t want to go if restaurants will be closed and steps slippery etc. Should I just do a day trip from Florence? Anywhere else you recommend I go?
Thanks,

Reemz

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Reema,
I think if you’re really excited to go– just go! Pack for the weather, and walk some of the easier hikes I list here: http://www.italianfix.com/hiking-cinque-terre-trails/
Bianca

Reply

stuart

how is the weather in Cinque Terre in late September/early October?

And what questions should I ask for a hiking trip?
i.e., how many and what trails are open/closed

What airport is better to fly into to take the train to CT, and is Sienna an option to visit or too far or inconvenient?

Same for Florence for a 2-3 trip?

Thank you

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Sam,
Here’s the weather:
http://www.italianfix.com/italy-weather-when-to-go/
And more tips for hiking:
http://www.italianfix.com/hiking-cinque-terre-trails/
The closest airport to the Cinque Terre is Pisa. As far as Sienna, that’s a daytrip from Florence (no trains run there).
Have a great trip!
Bianca

Reply

Zoe

Hi Bianca,

My friend and I are dying to visit Cinque Terre, but the only time we have to go is the end of March. Do you think the “not so ideal” weather will prevent us from having a magical experience like you describe?

This is the only time we will have to go, and we each would love to visit!

Thank you!!
Zoe

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Zoe,
A great attitude let’s you enjoy anything! I think you have it — so just go!
Bianca

Reply

Michele

My husband and I will drive a car to Cinque Terr area. We will stay 1 night in one of the 5 towns. What’s your recommendation on how to manage the car, park and vist for the day and a half?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Michele,
You can park at the top of whichever village you’re staying at, in the parking area. You can find suggestions for how to make the most of one day in the Cinque Terre here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Debra Sarokin

I don’t see a suggestion for where to stay in Vernazza. Maybe I missed it……any help appreciated!

Debra

We will be there three nights May 22-25, 2015

Thanks!

Reply

Bianca Gignac
Irene

Two of,us are am planning on visiting Cinque Terra at the end of May for two nights. (Driving from England). Should we stay there or should we stay for eg: in La Spezia or Porto Venere or further north and then take the train to the villages. I am a walker so my plan is to walk the trails. My friend is not as interested in the walk/hike side of things and is more of a city person. Nanny suggestions on where the best places to stay would be? Thanks- Irene

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Irene,
My instinct would be to stay right in Cinque Terre. Monterosso will have a lot of hotels to park your car. You can walk — and he doesn’t have to. Portovenere is very nice too! If you like less “busyness”, stay there. You can walk on Palmaria island to get your fitness — Italy style!
Bianca

Reply

Cris

Hi Bianca,

I’m am coming to Cinque Terre with my boyfriend at the beginning of April and I’d like to spend at least one night there. I’m looking for a really cheap place to stay in one of the five villages, a hostel maybe? (we’re students). We would like to start from either Riomaggiore to Monterosso or the other way around. Do you have any suggestions on accommodation and from where would be best to start from?

Grazie,
Cristina

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Cristina,
All the villages are really close — so you can start your trip from anywhere with a quick train trip. The hostel is in Manarola.
Enjoy!
Bianca

Reply

Dianne

Hi Bianca,
My husband and I are visiting Italy, flying from Australia and arriving in Milan 1st week Sept. We are in our early 60’s. I am a walker but he isn’t as eager. Could you please give me yr thoughts on where we should stay for 2 nights and what to see and do in the 2 days in Cinque Terre. Then yout thoughts on where to stay in Florence, Tuscany countryside (maybe B And B’s) for 3 days and Rome for 3 days. We have no knowledge of anything Bianca apart from all the main sites to visit from the Internet.. On 24th we will take a fab 10 day cruise from Rome to Amalfi, Sorrento, Pompeii and Herculaneum and then 1 day in Sicily, and day stops from there and finally last stop in Venice. 2 days 1 night on ship in Venice and cruise finishes 8am on our 2nd and unfortunately last day in Venice and Italy.

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Dianne,
You can see all the Cinque Terre villages in 2 days — and you can stay in any villge as they are very close.
I have more tips for you here:
http://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-cinque-terre/
http://www.italianfix.com/hiking-cinque-terre-trails/
For Florence hotels, here are my faves:
http://www.italianfix.com/where-to-stay-in-florence/
Have a great cruise!
Bianca

Reply

nadine leila

Hi,
I am traveling to Italy in April. Is that a good month to visit Cinque Terre? We plan to be there on the 21st of April for 2 nights.
Thanks

Reply

Bianca Gignac

Nadine, Go for it! Have a great time. :)
Bianca

Reply

Senada

Hej
We are a family of 4 with to kids of 10 qnd 6 and would like to visit cinque terre from the 31.03-03.04.15. But we dont now where to stay. Have you an idea. Our budget is not so good, så it shouldn’t be very expensive and with breakfast if its possible? We hve our own car with us.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Senada,
Try Ciao Bella in Riomaggiore. Owner Stefano rents rooms with shared bathroom on the cheap, and owns a couple of eateries in town, so vouchers for breakfast there are included with your stay.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Simon

Traveling solo through Italy (9 days). Was planning on going to CT from (april 8-10) from Rome and then to Florence and flying out of Venice. Is it worth it to go to cinque terre? Will I likely run in to all day rain? Replacement suggestions?
Thanks!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Simon,
The weather in April can be hit and miss, and… it’s the weather, it’s impossible to say whether it will be rainy or not. I would play it by ear. Make solid plans for Florence, with room for a day trip (or a couple of nights) in the Cinque Terre if things are looking good. If not, skip it.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Soon ailansoon

Hi Bianca, we plan to be at cinque terre for 2nights traveling in from Florence. Would you have a recommended itinerary and which village would be best to form the hub.
Many thanks
PS. We’re not much of a beach bumb. Hiking is good!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi there,
Check out this post and this one for our recommended itineraries.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Sam

Bianca:

Looking to plan a girlfriend trip to Cinque Terre October 2015. Might you have a tour at that time?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

I’m afraid not, Sam. Our tours generally happen in earlier summer. Click on TOURS at the top of the page for more info.

Reply

Angela

Hi Bianca, I love your website I found while researching Cinque de Terre, one of my biggest regrets 10 years ago when visiting Italy 10 yrs ago I didn’t go there, I now have a chance to visit in July 15 & I am fit & healthy and walk a lot but my knees are no good with stairs and hills otherwise I would be booking one of your tours, can you please suggest how someone with bad knees can make the most of this beautiful place? Walking is not an issue.
thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Angela,
Unfortunately most of this place is all hills and stairs… The exception is Monterosso, where it’s mostly flat. And Vernazza is pretty flat too. Corniglia has 365 steps to get up to it, but if you wait for the bus to bring you up, once you’re at the top it’s pretty flat. Riomaggiore and Manarola are both built on a steep incline, so they might be no-gos for you. I would book accommodations in Monterosso, but be sure to ask whether there are lots of steps to reach your room. Elevators are almost non-existent in these parts.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Dior

Hi Bianca! Such helpful information you’ve enlisted here! My husband and I will be going to Italy this October. First stop would be Rome. After that, we want to go to Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice and Milan. What would be the most efficient route and city sequence after Rome?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dior,
I would do Rome, Cinque Terre, Florence, Venice, Milan. That way you avoid the Cinque Terre to Venice (or vice versa) trip, which takes about 6 hours. Spacing them out this way means the longest train trip you’ll have is Rome to Cinque Terre, and there are some trains that can do it in 3 hours.
Have great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Debbie Clark

Six of us are going to Italy in September 2015 to rent a villa for three weeks by Castillio Del Lago. (http://www.casaalessandra.biz). We want to go to the Cinque Terre and we can spend a couple nights there. We want to beautiful place to stay, thinking more of the beauty than the price. Do you know of a couple good suggestions? It looks like the best town to stay in is Vernazza, as we don’t want the beach scene, we are all in our 50s and 60s. and love to eat and drink!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Debbie,
I love September in the Cinque Terre, and I’m sure you will too! Vernazza actually has two beaches, but don’t worry. The vibe is still very much cobblestones and caffe lattes, only with sweeping sea views! Our favorite places to stay here include Casa Cato, MB Sisters Glam Rooms, and Camere Fontanavecchia. Have fun indulging in the best that Italy has to offer!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Rachel

Thank you so much for the advice!! Your page has been invaluable to me.

Reply

Melissa Cruz

Hi Bianca,

I was wondering what you would recommend if I will be in Cinque Terre for two nights and three days in mid Sep. What city should we start in, stay in, and end in?

Cheers!
Melissa

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Melissa,
The towns in the Cinque Terre are not very far apart at all – 5 to 10 minutes by train from one to the other is all it takes. That means it’s possible to hike the entire stretch in one day, or to train it from one to the other easily. People generally start at one end (Riomaggiore or Monterosso) and finish at the other, but you could see the villages in any order you like and stay wherever you like. I would recommend not town hopping when it comes to where you’re planning to sleep – that only leads to spending too much of your vacation time lugging luggage from one hotel to the next. Pick a home base, and spend your time exploring the breathtaking scenery!
Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Reply

Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run

My mom and I will be Cinque Terre at the end of September (our first time)! Do you have recommednations of where to stay? Is the water/weather warm enough to swim in this time of year?

Where can I find your itinerary? Thanks!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Hillary,
Check out this blog post for descriptions of each of the towns, and then choose the one you like best. (You can’t go wrong — they’re all special in their own way.) Our sample itinerary is in the same post. September is usually sunny and warm still, and people are usually still swimming all the way to the end of the month (and sometimes into October!).

Reply

Alexander

Great article! I am an American working in Milan at the Expo. Looking to get away to some beaches and exploring in July. Cinque Terre seems amazing! Hoping you have some suggestions on beaches, where to swim, etc. Thank you!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Alexander,
How cool, working at the Expo!
The longest sand beach here (by far) is in Monterosso. Vernazza has a little spit of sand in front of its main piazza, and a longer stretch to the side, that was left there as a result of the flooding that happened here in 2011 (about the only good thing to come out of that disaster). Corniglia is perched high up on a cliff and has no accessible beach. Manarola has rocky outcroppings that people sunbathe on and jump into the water from, and Riomaggiore has a rocky beach.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Maryann

Hi Bianca, we are planning a CT visit in the week before Christmas with our 12 & 10 year old kids for 2 or maybe 3 nights. Which village would you recommend we stay at this time of year? Appreciate your reply. Maryann

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Maryann,
There isn’t a lot open in any of the towns that time of year, but there should be at least one restaurant, one bar and one grocery store in each available to you. I would suggest staying in Monterosso, since it’s the biggest and will have the most selection (and probability of more things being up and running).
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Rose

Hi Bianca
I love your blog. We are planning to visit Cinque Terre with family & friends in July 2016. I’ve probably contacted all the B&B’s inquiring available accommodations. I am surprised that I am getting ‘no available rooms’ responses. Do you have any hotel or B&B recommendations in Vernezza?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Rose,
Vernazza is the most popular of the five towns — it’s the most picturesque and has traditionally been the one most written about by guidebooks (it’s Rick Steves’ favorite, as an example). That also means that it gets booked up the fastest. That being said, I’m surprised too that you’re getting that response an entire year in advance. I would suggest that it’s because hotels and B&Bs haven’t yet organized themselves that far in advance — they likely haven’t decided on prices and are so focused on the current season that they won’t be planning for the next until the fall. I would book in a different town for the time being just to be safe (if you can — they also might not be taking reservations this far in advance), and then check again around October or November. You might find that things have opened up suddenly.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Cheryl

Hi Bianca,
We’re active seniors wandering around Europe this coming March and April 2016 – Wondering if you can help with a couple questions. First–Venice the first week in March? Been there before, but later in the Spring. Would stay a week and mostly want to wander around and have another look at things. Loved the city and photographing it.
From there we head for Cairo and the Nile and then on to Istanbul.
Then we have a couple weeks to fill. Would like to return to the Cinque Terre and then down to Rome. (We spent two nights in Monterosso a few years ago and then a night in Manarola. Did some hiking but had to leave as we were with a tour. This time we are on our own.)
So–the plan would be to arrive in Manarola March 29 and stay four nights, leaving for Rome on April 2. We could add another day. We know the end of March isn’t prime weather if you want to do sea activities, but that’s okay as we are more into serious hiking and photography. What is your take on visiting then, given our desire to hike? We seem to remember the boats will start up mid-March, depending on weather–always nice as give another photographic perspective on the villages from the sea.
Would love any thoughts you might wish to share about our plans for Italy–Venice, Cinque Terre, Rome.
Thanks!
Cheryl & Ron

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Cheryl,
The concern with both Venice and the Cinque Terre is weather — it can be unpredictable this time of year, so you just have to take your chances, hope for the best, and manage your expectations. That being said, the weather can of course be beautiful this time of year, even if it will likely still be a little chilly. As long as it’s not raining, it can be a great time of year to visit. There are marginally fewer people in Venice in March, and quite a bit fewer in the Cinque Terre compared with the summer months. This time of year can be great for hiking in the Cinque Terre too, and you might find you have the place almost all to yourselves.
Ferries in the Cinque Terre usually start up around Easter, as long as the sea isn’t rough and the weather is nice, so it all depends.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Pip Campbell

Hi I loved the information you have on this website. My family (2 adults & 3 kids 15, 13 & 10yearsold) are planning a trip to Italy next year. I am wondering if it is worth going to Cinque Terre very end of March or too cold? Love walking & coast. Which village should we stay in? Thanks in advance Pip

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Pip,
The weather can be unpredictable in March, but as long as your expectations are managed, it can be a great time to go, especially if what you’re looking forward to is walking and taking in the gorgeous scenery. Check out this post where we’ve described each village, and pick the one you feel suits you best. You can’t go wrong.
Kiiri

Reply

marilena nascarella

Hi Bianca.
I loved reading your beautiful experience in cinque terra and your story.
You have offered so many people so much generous advice.
I will be traveling to Cinque Terra 3-5th October.
with my wonderful husband and gorgeous girls aged 10 & 6
I am just a little worried about getting around once we arrive at La Spezia where we will drop of our hire car.
We plan on staying at Monterosso (no accom booked yet)but are unsure of where? Close to train station and somewhere not too far once we get off at Monterosso with luggage and children.
When we arrive at la spezia do you recommend bus or train to Mrosso…should we pre book tickets for the transport from home?
Thank you for reading my email – look forward to hearing from you.
regards,
marilena ( Williamstown Melbourne Australia)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Marilena,
You can’t get to Monterosso from La Spezia by bus, so plan on taking the train. Check trenitalia.com for schedules if you like, but know that there are lots of trains headed to Monterosso from La Spezia all day long. No need to pre-book — just buy the tickets when you get here. Know that you can also park right in Monterosso if you like — there’s a parking area above town.
Some places have shuttle service to the hotel (like Porto Roca) while others will send someone to the train station or parking area to help you when you arrive, so check with them before you make the reservation.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Beth Palmer

Hello,

I am travelling to Genoa and Livorno on a cruise ship in August. I would love to visit Cinque Terre but reading your site I’m not sure I will have time. This is an area I am not likely to visit again any time soon, so if there is anyway to make it possible I would love to do it. We will have from around 8am – 5pm from either Genoa or Livorno. Any advice would be hugely appreciated!

Thanks,

Beth

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Beth,
It takes about two hours (sometimes less, sometimes more) to get from either Livorno or Genova to Monterosso, so technically it is doable. The question is, is it worth it? We recommend spending a few days here to really experience it. The concern with coming in for a few hours during the hours when all the other cruise ship traffic is tramping through is that you will leave with the impression that this place is overcrowded and not all it’s cracked up to be. That’s a shame, because despite how popular they have the become, the Cinque Terre are still heartbreakingly beautiful and magical, when you have the time to breathe, really “be here,” and find the magic. When they become a place to march through and tick off your list of things to see, you can miss the point. But that’s the case with any place, isn’t it?
If this is the only time you’ll be able to see the Cinque Terre and your heart is set, then by all means, come. But I would suggest perhaps visiting just a couple of the towns — Manarola or Riomaggiore and Monterosso would be a good sampling — and to try to remember to slow down instead of feeling rushed by your schedule. Just a little taste until you can come back again, but a taste you don’t forget to savor.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Cindy O'Keeffe

Bianca,
Do you think accommodations with no air conditioning for two nights in early September would be a mistake? Do you prefer Vernazza one Montrosso? Thanks so much!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Cindy,
While it’s usually still quite warm in September, the oppressive heat of July/August has passed and you don’t really need A/C anymore. You should be fine.
As for Vernazza vs Monterosso, I would once have said Vernazza, but not anymore. It’s the most picturesque of the villages and so very charming, but the last couple of years it has become overrun by tourists and that has taken a lot of the enjoyment out. The issue is really around the train station, which is tiny and is having a hard time accommodating the hordes. Evenings and early mornings are still gorgeous here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Linda

Hello Bianca! We are traveling from Canada to Italy and will be in Cinque Terre from Oct. 10-12 and staying at info@hotelsouvenirmonterosso. Your website has proven to be most helpful. I would like to inquire about hiring a walking guide and what your recommendations would be. We are three couples travelling together, who would like to spend some quality time in the area, in spite of it only being two days. We hope to arrive early on the 10th and leave later on the 12th. Thank you for your input.

Linda

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Linda,
Nice to hear from a fellow Canadian!
If you’re looking for a guide to taking you hiking on the trails, get in touch with Marco Brizzi or Pall Forloney. If you’re looking for someone to show you around the villages, get in touch with Bella Vita Travels.
Have a fab time!
Kiiri

Reply

Lisa

Would love your input – my 22 year old daughter and I would like to visit cinque terre for 2 nights, early September and make the most of our time. Doing the village to village trail sounds great – we are fit and would enjoy that – but also want to have an authentic experience of the area and would appreciate suggestions on how best to organize this – where to stay, etc etc. I also want her to have fun. Many thanks, love your blog. Your Sicily trip sounds great too.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Lisa,
Get in touch with Bella Vita Travels. Kate Little, one of their tour guides, is an ex-pat from the States who has lived here for twenty-five years. She makes a point of showing her clients the most beautiful corners of these five villages so that they can really experience the best of the area. As for where to stay, we have lists for each of the towns with our top accommodations picks in Gigi Guides. You can check it out here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Gerowyn

Hi Bianca

We will be in the Genoa/Cinque Terre area in early January (we have 1 week to travel from France to Venice). Is it worth visiting the CInque Terre at that time in winter? Or do you suggest places more suitable to winter?

Thanks, Gerowyn

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Gerowyn,
There have been Januaries here that have been spectacular weather-wise — sunny, warm enough to wear short sleeves in the sun, and perfect for hiking. There have also been full-on blizzards in January, so if you want to come, you have to be ready for anything. If you’re going to be in the area anyway, I’d suggest playing it be ear. If the weather is nice, head down. If not, consider heading north to places, like you said, more suitable to winter. The Alps is a great destination during the winter months, for example.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Anna

Hi Bianca,

I am a solo female traveler and want to head to Cinque Terre for all the reasons you listed above and more! I would be there the last week of October – is that still a good time to go weather wise? Also, I plan on staying in a hostel Biassi which apparently quite close by. Do you recommend staying in one village and visiting the others by doing day trips?

Thanks for all your help!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Anna,
Biassa is a town further inland from the Cinque Terre, and while it’s cute, it can be a pain to stay in if you don’t have a car. There’s no train station there, so you will be relying on the bus to get to the Cinque Terre, and at the end of October that probably won’t be running as frequently. I would check with them about whether they have a shuttle at that time of the year, and if they do, how frequently it runs. Otherwise, consider staying right in the Cinque Terre (there are hostels in both Manarola and Corniglia too), sleeping in one town and traveling to the others by train.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Pati

Hi,
First of all many thanks for sharing all these advice! My family (including two kids of 1,5 and 3,5 yo) and I are thinking about visiting Cinque Terre in the begining of October – do you think it is a good idea to come at this part of the year? and bring the kids along (not that we have other option:))? If you have any advice about coming to this part of Italy with toddlers, I will be more than gratefull if you could share it with us!

Best regards,

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Pati,
You probably won’t be able to swim anymore at that time of year, but bring your bathing suits anyway. Some years people have been swimming all the way up to Halloween.
I have a toddler and an infant and though I live in Riomaggiore, I would recommend you book somewhere in Monterosso. It’s the flattest of the towns, and so you can go all over the place there easily with a stroller. There are also two playgrounds. Just make sure you ask your hotel how many steps you have to climb to get to your room, and if you can safely leave the stroller on the ground floor somewhere. Lugging it up and down stairs every time you get home is not going to be fun, trust me. If you have a carrier for your 1.5-year old, you’ll find that helpful as well. And be sure to visit the playground on Punta Bonfiglio in Manarola — the view from there is out of this world, and there’s an outside bar right underneath. Fun for the whole family!
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Sue

Hi,

We will be in Italy the first week of October. Is this a good time to visit the cinque terre or can we expect bad weather?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sue,
It really depends on the year, but early October is generally still quite nice.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Diana

Hi Bianca!
Thank You for your wonderful blog.
I have two questions: Is the weather going to be somewhat nice at the end of october? Or can I just expect rain?
An die Framura dar away from the other cities like Monterosso for example?
Mann thanks in advance!

Diana

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Diana,
It’s really impossible to say, since the weather in October can be pretty hit and miss. As for Framura, it’s about an hour away by train.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Kimmy

Hi Bianca

Our family of 3 are planning to visit Italy end Nov this year n planned to stay 2 nights in Cinque Terre. We don’t plan to trek but rather visiting these unique beautiful villages by train n foot, will it be safe n advisable during that period? If it is, which village in Cinque Terre will recommended to stay?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Kimmy,
It’s definitely safe year-round, but end of November isn’t the best time to come to the Cinque Terre for other reasons. Almost everything will be closed then, and the weather may not be great. That being said, there is always at least one restaurant, one bar and one grocery store open in each of the towns (with the exception sometimes of Corniglia) so while you won’t be spoiled for choice, you won’t be stranded either. If the weather is nice, it can be a great time to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Viktor

Thank you!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

You’re welcome, Viktor!

Reply

Simona

Your story is so helpful and interesting to be read. Thank you! We are leaving tomorrow for cinque terre, for 7 days and I am so afraid it will be rainy and empty and we wont get the right impression, and we’re waiting for this holiday for whole year :(
Anyway, tnx for ur tips
Bests
S.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Simona,
October can be hit and miss weather wise, but you never know — sometimes it’s absolutely beautiful! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you :)
Kiiri

Reply

Madeline Tofanelli

Hi! I’m studying abroad in Spain next semester, and because of my Italian heritage I am planning a couple week solo trip after I finish my studies. I would be traveling the country starting mid May, and really want to spend a few days in Cinque Terre. Do you have any advice on whether I should start in the south and work my way north or vice versa?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Madeline,
It really doesn’t matter. The towns are literally minutes apart by train, so you could visit them moving from north to south one day, and the next day go south to north. Even hiking — that’s how close they are. And the trails are all up-and-down, so it’s not like coming in one direction saves you having to climb. It’s just as strenuous a hike no matter which way you go.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Madeline

Hello,

I am planning a trip to Italy in the winter & it says above to contact you for a list of places to go in the winter. It will be in January. Also, would a day trip to Cirque Terre be a bad idea in January?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Madeline,
We usually recommend sticking to the bigger cities during the winter months, because if the weather is bad, there’s still lots to do. Places like the Cinque Terre all but shut down completely this time of year, so if the weather is bad there is pretty much nothing to do. If you can appreciate the beauty in things like rough seas, rainy days and ghost towns, then you might love it this time of year. It’s still just as beautiful as ever. But if you need your days to be filled with activities, love a good selection of restaurants and think you’ll find no people around more depressing than lucky, then save your trip there for the summer.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Rose

Hi,

I will be visiting the Tuscany region the beginning of December this year. We were thinking of taking a day trip to the Cinque Terre Villages. Is that a bad idea? Should we stay the night? Please impart your wisdom on our trip idea! It would be most appreciated! Thank you!

Rose

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Rose,
If you’re going to be in Tuscany anyway, play it by ear. If the weather is really nice, yes, definitely consider visiting. And spend the night too. There’s not a lot going on here during the winter, but it’s still beautiful and it’s a great time to enjoy the hikes. If you get here and it’s rainy, I’d say skip it. This time of year you can make a booking at a hotel last minute, no problem.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Lim

Hi Bianca,

Thank you for your wonderful articles. My girlfriend and me will be travel to Italy in this December(end of December to early of January) and we’re still considering Cinque Terre. We will make the day to Cinque Terre flexible so that if the weather goes bad we can change smoothly.

We are travelling along from Venice to Rome by train. So in December what’s your take on other destinations?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Lim,
If you’re traveling down to Rome from Venice anyway, Florence is a great stop to make if you haven’t been there before — or even if you have. If the weather is crappy, there are so many museums to cover, shopping to do and restaurants to hit up, you can’t get bored.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Jan Owen

We will probably be going to northern Italy in late March because my cousin will be teaching in Vicenza and that is when my break is. I know it’s not the optimal time to visit but I have always wanted to visit the Cinque Terre. Suggestions? I will be traveling with my parents who are in their 70s and I don’t want to move around a ton. We will see Venice for sure, and I was thinking of the mountains perhaps ? We only have about 8 days….

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jan,
If you only have 8 days, I think I’d skip the Cinque Terre this time around. Vicenza/Venice is not well-connected to the Cinque Terre by train, so you’re looking at around 6 hours travel time with two or three train changes as well. A pretty long day of traveling, in other words, to a place that will only just be waking up after a winter slumber. I would suggest a city like Verona instead (make it a V-themed trip) 😉 or as you mentioned, a mountain village. I’d also recommend not trying to pack too much into your trip. You’ll enjoy it so much more, and I imagine your parents will as well.
Have a great time!
Kiiri

Reply

may

hi,
i was hoping to visit cinque terre in early feb but it seems like this may not be the best option. which other areas do you recommend that have fantastic food and culture but not overly populated by tourists?
thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi May,
The good news about February is that any place is unlikely to be overpopulated by tourists. We recommend checking out cities in the winter, where there’s more to do if the weather is crappy. The old standbys — Florence, Rome, Venice — are great, as are some perhaps less-popular spots like Bologna and Verona.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Jillian

So glad I read this! We were just about to book a trip to Cinque Terre in January, and now I’m thinking maybe that’s a bad move. I’d love to hear your alternative suggestions.

Thanks for sharing this info!

Reply

rob

Hi
Love your blog and the great tips – Thanks!

We are travelling from Australia and have a tight schedule. Looking to spend 3 or 4 nights in Cinque Terre in the last week of March. Do you think we have a chance for some good weather?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Rob,
Sure, you definitely have a chance — March is often very warm and sunny. It’s just that it’s an unpredictable month weather-wise, as it is in many other four-season places. You have to go in knowing you might get unlucky and hit with rain.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Rishabh

Thank you for your wonderful article. Planning a visit to CT in MArch, but I heard the weather isnt really good during that time. Would you suggest CT for March ?

Thank you :)

Reply

Becky

Hi-My daughter is studying in florence this semester. Our family is coming to Italy for my sons spring break. It’s the week starting March 20th. We were thinking about doing the first weekend in cinque terre-is it too early. Do you have any other weekend options that would be a train ride from florence.? We will be in florence during the week and are planning a few day trips from there.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Becky,
Not everything will be open, but the area is just starting to wake up around then, so if you see that the weather is nice, go. Other great day trips from Florence are Lucca, Siena and Cortona.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Prachee

Hi Bianca,

I just came to your page while i was googling it and glad i did, your article makes everything so nice and simple to understand. I know you have said Cinque Terre is not recommended in winter…but we are visiting Italy in mid feb, and thought of visiting Cinque Terre for a day or two? So what do you think, will it be better in February?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Prachee,
February is about as dead of winter as you can get, so sure, you might luck out and get some nice weather then, but you also might not. Also, almost everything is closed that time of year. If you just want to see the Cinque Terre, hike, and appreciate the scenery, and don’t care if there’s not really much to do other than that, then I would recommend you go. If you’re looking for a happening resort town full of life, you will be disappointed.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Celestine

Hi Bianca
i will be coming to Florence on this march, i was just checking out all information about tuscany hills, chianti and san gimignano. then i also plan to see Cinque terre. but as you mention on top, its not suitable to come there on cold weather is it ?
should i just stick with my first plan , i coming from milan. will like spend few nights ( 4nights ) to explore florence, chianti and san gimignano. i love to see the countryside and the famous tuscany hills. can you recommend me any great hotel to stay ? and should i rent a car ? im coming with elderly (wheel chair).

thank you.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Celestine,
I would get in touch with Kate from bgprincipessa.com or Olga from chiantimania.com for help with the Tuscan leg of your trip. As for the Cinque Terre, off-season considerations aside, you may want to rethink visiting if you are traveling with someone with mobility issues. Unfortunately the Cinque Terre are not wheelchair accessible, and are quite challenging for even young people who aren’t used to the inclines and steps. If you do go, I would stay in Monterosso, the flattest of the towns.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Leslie

We want to plan a trip for late May-June for 2 weeks to Italy. Our first trip there.
We were planning 3 days in Rome, 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence and then the rest on the Amalfi coast but everyone is saying to not miss Cinque Terre. Now I am wondering if we should alter things a bit-perhaps not go to Positano at all (though I’ve always want to) and do Cinque Terre instead. Where would you suggest we put this in and perhaps take out?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Leslie,
The Amalfi Coast is like a fancier, more polished version of the Cinque Terre, which is more rugged and down to earth. It’s true that it’s out of the way compared to much of the rest of your trip, but if you’re including Rome anyway, you’re already almost there. I say skip the Cinque Terre this time and see Amalfi if it’s a place you’ve always dreamed of. Like I said, they have a very similar geography, so you won’t be missing too much.
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Rodney

Hello
My wife and I will be traveling in Europe in mid April. We would love to include Cinqueterra on our trip. We would be there around April 24 for four days.
We would love to visit but are worried about April not being a good time. I understand it’s not swimming wether. What do you think?
Thank you.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Rodney,
It’s not quite swimming weather yet (though of course you can try), but end of April is a great time to come. Everything will be up and running by then, but it won’t be too hot to hike and explore the towns.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Peggy Christian

My husband & I are arriving in Rome on May 11, 2016 and want to visit Cinque Terre for 4 nights. We need to be back in Rome on May 15. Do you have any recommendations? We have never been to Italy and really want to visit Cinque Terre, as it is not included in the tour we have planned for May 10-29. We are not very comfortable with traveling on our own by train from Rome and want to maximize the time spent in Cinque Terre.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Peggy,
I would check out our digital guidebook, Gigi Guides. It covers the Cinque Terre and Rome (as well as Venice and Florence), but it also has a great chapter covering the basics, including a section on taking the train in Italy. It walks you through the train system here step by step and explains in detail how it all works. I’m sure it will help tons in making you feel more comfortable with that aspect of your trip. Also, check out our post called A Beginner’s Guide to the Cinque Terre.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Jess

Hi Bianca,

Thank you for your great articles; they have been really helpful in planning my trip to the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore) in May 2016.

I am planning on doing some hiking, but as you mentioned in one of the articles, there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about trail closures. Is there a reliable bulletin somewhere in town or on the internet that provides up-to-date information on trail closures, or do you just rock up and see when you get there?

Thanks :)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Jess,
No, there’s nothing too reliable on the internet since things can change daily (sometimes a trail will be closed for a couple of days for maintenance or because of landslides), but you can check at tourist information when you’re here. We recommend not stressing too much about it pre-trip. Just show up, find out what’s available, and head out. If one trail is closed, there will almost always be an alternative route so really, no biggie.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Zarut

Hi there,

I’m travelling from Bangkok and will be in CT from October 23rd to October 25th. I will be travelling by a car from Milan in early morning and have a boat ride at Portofino around noon on the 23rd, so I’ll get to CT around 15.00.

Here are my questions
1. Since I have a car, which town out of five should I be staying? I’m thinking if it is a good idea to stay at Vernazza or Corniglia because I’m driving from Milan and heading towards Florence. Since these two towns are located in the middle, what I could do is to travel one or two cities on the 23rd and the rest on the 24th. However, I don’t know if driving in intermediate car to those towns would be a problem.
2. How long does it take to travel from Monterosso to Riomaggiore? Will there be a train travelling from town to town? If I walk through all five town, will one full day be enough?
3. I’m travelling with my parents. My mom knees are not the best shape, so I would like to know what to avoid? I understand that there are certain towns that I can walk, so I’m wondering if that could be a problem.
4. I will be travelling Portofino a bit and the reason for it is because I’m told that this is the place where inspired the people who made Disney Sea (Disneyland Tokyo), but I don’t know what to do there. Is there a certain that I could go to? I know many people usually take a boat ride, but how long does that take and what else is there to do?

Please advise and thank you so much!
Zarut

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Zarut,
The best thing to do if you’re driving to the Cinque Terre is to park your car in the parking area of the town you’re staying in and leave it there until it’s time to leave. You’re best off traveling from town to town by train or ferry or hiking (and yes, you can hike from one end to the other in a single day). It takes less than 15 minutes to travel from Monterosso to Riomaggiore by train, whereas it will take you over an hour by car.
If you plan to continue on to Florence by car afterwards, I would stay in either Monterosso or Riomaggiore, which are the bookend towns and directly connected to Levanto and La Spezia, which are connected to the highway. Staying in the middle will mean having to drive back out to Levanto or La Spezia from the middle, and will take more time.
The Cinque Terre is really not the place to come if you have mobility issues, and especially issues with your knees, which can make walking uphill and up and down stairs difficult. Monterosso is the flattest of the towns, so between Riomaggiore (which is all inclines and steps) and Monterosso I’d choose the latter, but make sure you ask your hotel for a room that doesn’t require a lot of step climbing to get to.
Portofino is a town that you can do in an afternoon. You can visit the lighthouse and Castello Brown, but the main thing to do there is shop in very high-end stores, and eat fancy lunches outdoors while admiring the giant yachts docked in the harbor and people watching (you may very well spot a celeb!).
Hope that helps!
Kiiri

Reply

Virginia

Hi-
My 20 year old son and I are doing a quick trip to Italy. My friends have encouraged me to make a stop in Cinque Terre. Only problem is we only have one day/overnight on our way from Rome to Florence. Do you think it’s worth it? If yes, what would be your recommendation on logistics be.
Thanks so much.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Virginia,
Sure, one overnight is doable. Check out our blog post on making the most of a single day there here.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Salima

Hi,
My friend and I would love to visit the Cinque Terre, we like hiking and are seeking beautiful sightseeing … we are planning to come in mid of March, is it a good period or should we forget about it as you mentioned in point n°2?
Thank you in advance.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Salima,
March is an unpredictable month weather-wise, as it is in many other four-season places. You have to go in knowing you might get unlucky and hit with rain. You could just as easily get great sunny days though — depends on the year.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

Karen Sylvia

Hello….thank you for the great information. I will be travelling to Florence in mid-late April and was thinking of visiting Cinque Terre…first of all I was wondering how the weather would be at that time in general? Secondly, with the new restrictions coming on travel to the area, would I be affected or is it more for the summer tourists? I could not seem to find a site online which said anything specific about ticketing or dates or purchasing a pass. Thank you for your help!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Karen,
Check out our post on weather here and our post on the proposed cap on tourists here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Teri

Dear Bianca, my husband and I will be in cinque terre in August. What places do you recommend? We are staying for 6 nights and would like a small apartment in Manarola or Riomaggiore. We would love a sea view and nice terrace as you mentioned in one of your comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Reply

Teri

Dear Bianca, my husband and I will be in cinque terre in August. What places do you recommend? We are staying for 6 nights and would like a small apartment in Manarola or Riomaggiore. We would love a sea view and nice terrace as you mentioned in one of your comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Teri,
We collected all of our best picks for places to stay in each of the five towns in our new digital guidebook, Gigi Guides. You can have a look here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Sara

Amazing website honestly! I love the way you talk about things in an honest way, rather than bragging about it like every other site. Thanks to you I’m not confused anymore on where I should go this summer!

Reply

Lisa Estrada

would mid October still be a good time to go? I’m going to Italy for the first time and will only be there for about 9 days. We plan on going to Rome for 3 and them we we’re going to go to Florence, but the Cinque Terre sounds so intriguing.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Lisa,
October can be hit and miss weather wise, so it’ll be a gamble. Sometimes you luck out with gorgeous sunny days, sometimes you get rain.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

etty Barak

Hi ,

We are planning to be in Italy in January, it sounds like we should avoid the Cinque terre area in January?

Reply

Serge Goyette

My girlfriend & I are desperate to squeeze some time in Cinque Terre on our trip tto Italy at Xmas time. Our plan is to fly to Venice after a day or two go to Verona(Valpoliciella visit), where we would take a train to Florence to explore that city & then a one day to Pisa and two to three days for Cinq-Terre. However, Cinque Terre has been a mysterious to us, since someone highly recommended it. My questions to you are (1) how should we get there ? (I’ve read some reviews that the train ride is only about 90 minutes from Pisa to La Spezia). (2) How is the most affordable way to do this? (3) Is 2 nights enough? ). We realy want to enjoy coastal Italy & aren’t too keen on majorly crowded cities. Cinque Terre looks like its full of nature, and so much more!
Thank you in advance! :)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Serge,
Yes, the train is the easiest and most convenient way to get there, and Pisa to La Spezia takes about an hour and a half. Check out train schedules at trenitalia.com. And two nights is a good amount of time — if you’re interested in taking in the scenery and nature of the area, this is a great time of year to do it.
Have a great time!
Kiiri

Reply

Janice

I will be in Firenze in early November for an Angels of the Mud reunion and would like to visit the Cinque Terre region beforehand. Is the weather okay then?

Love your articles. You have such a pleasant sense of humor.

Thanks,
Janice

Reply

Vikki mann

Hi Bianca, everything you wrote is so helpful and it’s easy to feel the love you have for this area :-)
We will be staying in Nice and would like to drive to Cinque Terre and stay for one night. We are travelling with our 4 month old baby.
Since all your info is so helpful I would like to ask your advice- where would it be best to stay and I presume leave our car? And if we only have two days what are the must sees?
Vikki :-)

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Vikki,
If you have a baby (and a stroller) I would stay in Monterosso. It’s the flattest and therefore easiest to get around that way (in Riomaggiore, for example, you have to go up and down steps to get to places like the marina).
As for things to do, check out our blog post here.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Siddharth

Hi Bianca,
Are there good options for vegetarian people on Cinque Terre? I am a strict vegetarian and like pastas… so would you recommend Cinque Terre for travellers like me.
Regards,
Siddharth

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Siddarth,
There are no vegetarian restaurants per se in the Cinque Terre, but there are veggie and vegan options on the menu at Maite in Riomaggiore. Otherwise, you should be able to find vegetarian options on most menus in Italy, mainly among the pasta selections.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Maneesh

Why CT is crowded in July and August …. Is it good time to see the beauty of CT in July bcz we planned to travel in 3rd week of July ….

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Maneesh,
I suppose it’s crowded then because the majority of people want to visit when it’s warmest and they can be on the beach and swim. You have to expect there to be lots of people here then, but there is still lots of beauty and magic to be found as long as you’re willing to explore and to be in the moment. It also helps a lot to actually stay here for a few days instead of march through on a day tour.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Maneesha

We planned to stay for 6nights at CT… And wanting to stay where we can enjoy the best view… As u r well known to the place would like to take ur suggestion on the place (hotel) where we can enjoy CT

Reply

Maneesha

Missed the time Of stay it’s in July 3rd week

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Maneesha, we have lists of all of our tops picks for places to stay in each of the villages in our Cinque Terre chapter in Gigi Guides. Check it out here.

Reply

Mireille Mansour

Hi Bianca , my husband and i will arrive in july to la spezia via a cruise for one day stop till 8pm . we are planning to go to cinqterre and spend the day , any suggestions where to and how to take the best route? thanks.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mireille,
Check out our post on how to make the most of a single day in the Cinque Terre here.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Carmen

Hi,

We are planning to visit Cinque Terre for 4 nights in Mid September, 19-23. Is it worthy? How is the weather? We would like to do some trekking and maybe to stay on the beach. Any answer will be appreciated. Thanks

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Carmen,
September is a great month to visit the area. It’s still quite beautiful weather-wise, but not as stifling hot as July and August can be.
Have a great time!
Kiiri

Reply

Laurie

Hi Bianca,

My husband and I are taking a two week Mediterranean cruise in September that ends in Rome. We have been to Rome, Venice and Florence. We will have 4 days on our own at end of cruise before flying home. We are thinking two days in Orvieto and one or two days in Cinque Terre. Looking for a little advice. How is Cinque Terre end of September? Is one overnight enough time? Can we train between all 5 villages? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Laurie,
We recommend at least two nights, but if you can only swing one, have a look here for some suggestions on making the most of a short stay. End of September is still usually quite nice, and yes, you can take the train from village to village.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Teresa Granados

Hi, we are planning an 8 day family vacation the first week of november. Originally, we were thinking about Cinque terre, Tuscany and one undefined city, but after reading your article we are having second thoughts because of the time of the year.
What would you recommend? Our arriving destination is Florence because my daughter is studying there.
Could you help me plan a wonderful trip?

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Teresa,
If you’re going to be in Tuscany anyway, I’d play the Cinque Terre part of your trip by ear. See what the weather is like when you’re here — if it’s nice, go. If not, skip it. Don’t expect a lot to be open, but you will definitely be able to enjoy some gorgeous scenery with not a lot of other tourists around.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Melissa

Hi Bianca, I love your insights on Cinque Terre. My mom and I are traveling to Italy in late October. We are spending 5 days in Chianti region and I have 4 more days to spend in either Cinque Terre or Sicily. Is the last week of October too cold and wet to visit Cinque Terre? Thank you!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Melissa,
The season traditionally ends here at the end of October, so pretty much everything will still be open then. Weather is more hit and miss, so it’s impossible to say whether it will be nice or not. That’s a chance you’re going to have to take if you come.
In bocca al lupo!
Kiiri

Reply

moahmmed

Hi,
I would like some advice as my family and I are visiting Italy this SEP. I am hoping we can leave by train from Florence to Cinque Terre in the early morning and get there around 10:30 am and stay for one night. Is it worth it?? will we have enough time to make the hike and visit the small towns??
we have a tight schedule since we are leaving to Venice, Milan and then Switzerland.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mohammed,
You might not be able to hike between all of the towns, but you’ll definitely have enough time to visit them. I would train it (or mix it up with some ferry rides as well) from Riomaggiore to Corniglia, stopping at all of the towns along the way, and then hike from Corniglia to Monterosso. The views along that stretch are spectacular. It’ll take about 3 or 4 hours, so take that into consideration when planning your timing.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Nick

Hi Bianca,

We’re planning our first trip to Italy next March. I love your posts. Cinque Terre is a place I definitely want to go after visiting Cogorno and Lasagna (where my ancestors are from/buried). Anyway I’m leaning towards making Riomagiore my base. We are booking about half hotels and half Airbnbs and wondered about your mention of apartments. We are currently looking at 3 or 4 nights to give ourselves plenty of time to hike and enjoy all 5 towns. Also would the trenitala carnets be of use or just hop on a train to go to Monterososo and start hiking down. Many thanks for your helpful guidance.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Nick,
Sounds like you’ve got a great trip planned, and how exciting to go back to your roots!
You can check AirBnb for apartments in the Cinque Terre too, or get in touch with our friend Amy at Riomaggiore Reservations. She’s got a nice selection. Another great resource for apartments in all five villages is Cinque Terre Riviera.
The Trenitalia carnets are good for the high-speed, Freccia trains, which don’t stop in the Cinque Terre villages, so they are useless here. Just buy your tickets when you get here.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

samina

Hi Bianca

Great site!

I am planning to travel alone for 5/6 days the last week of September and trying to decide where to go. I am driven to water and somewhere with some culture. Would you recommend Cinque Terre at that time of year and which village there would you recommend for a solo traveller who wants to treat herself?! If a bad time of year is there elsewhere in Italy you would recommend?
Many Thanks
Samina

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Samina,
September is a great time to visit the Cinque Terre, and the Cinque Terre is a great place to visit as a solo traveler. Check out our descriptions of the villages here, and then choose whichever speaks to you. There’s no one town that’s better than the other for people traveling alone.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Dominique

Hi Bianca!

I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve been thinking about going to Cinque Terre ever since I knew I’d be going to Italy for my Masters (I am here for a year, based in Bologna).

My problem now is both time and money. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t really have much time to plan ahead when and where exactly I’d be going, but I suddenly realized that, if I want to spend a good amount of time at Cinque Terre, it might be best for me to go this September just before my semester actually begins. But, that would mean going less than 2 weeks from now. Do you think that’s enough time to plan an itinerary? :) And do you think that’ll be a good time to go? If I decide to push back the date a bit more, say around October, is that still a good time to go to the Cinque Terre?

Thanks in advance for all your help! I’m really looking forward to going!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Dominique,
September is a great time to visit the Cinque Terre, and October can be as well, especially early in the month. September is still high season, so make sure you book a room instead of just showing up. You might get lucky, but it’s still busy enough that you might now. Check out this blog post for things to do while you’re here.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Mayte

Hi, I’m from Peru. I love your web. I need to know if it is ok to go Cinque Terre in middle may.
I would love to swim in those beaches.
Thanks a lot, and congrats.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mayte,
The water might still be a bit cold in May, but you can definitely try!
Kiiri

Reply

Sarah sadowski

Hi Bianca!
I am planning an entire Italy trip and I could really use some insight. My trip starts in Rome, then to Naples where I plan on renting a car to drive up to Tuscany. I am staying in several small towns in Tuscany and then return my rental car in Florence. I, like many others, have always wanted to visit the villages of Cinque Terre. So, here is where the advice part comes in…
1. Should I even go? – I would arrive at the very beginning of October. I love to hike and be outside, but this is kind of the in between the seasons time.
2. Should I drive from Livorno (my last Tuscan Town) to Cinque Terre and then return the car in Florence after or should I go return the rental in Florence, spend a few days there and then take a train to Cinque Terre around the 4-5 of October? I plan on traveling to Venice afterwards, so I would also need to be able to take a train from Cinque Terre to Venice.

Thank you for your advice and all of your blogs/guides!

Sarah

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sarah,
The season doesn’t really end here until the end of October, so everything will still be open and there’s a good chance the weather will still be nice too. You might not want to swim, but the hiking is great this time of year if it doesn’t rain.
Bringing your car here will mean spending upwards of 24 euro a day just to park it the whole time. I’d come after you’ve dropped it off in Florence.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Mandy

Hello,

Lovely read on Cinque Terre! My boyfriend and I are looking for somewhere different to spend New Years 2016/2017. Having always wanted to visit, we wondered how Cinque Terre celebrated the new year? Do each of the villages do something different?

I know you mentioned it’s quite cold this time of year, but I’ve read else where they do nativity lights in the hills and have a traditional new years party?? Would love if you could add to this – have you spend new years here?

Thanks

Mandy

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Mandy,
Manarola will have its hillside nativity scene up — it’s the biggest in the world and quite beautiful to behold. There’s no one New Year’s celebration, but quite a few Italians come to celebrate here, and of course the locals are all out celebrating as well. What people usually do is have a nice long dinner at one of the restaurants (most open up again around the Christmas/New Year holidays — make sure you make a reservation) and then there are fireworks in the marina (at least this is how they do it in Riomaggiore — not sure about the fireworks in the other towns). It’s fun!
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

pamela Behrend

Thank you for all the info. We are flying in to Rome. Is this too far to travel? Can we catch a train from Rom to Cinque Terrre?

Thanks!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Pamela,
No, not too far at all. It’s only a 3 to 5 hour train ride, depending on how high-speed you go. I would spend at least a night in Rome first though. It’s not fun to get off of an overseas flight only to have to travel for several more hours to get to where you want to go.
Have fun!
Kiiri

Reply

Sonal Jha

Hi Bianca,
Loved chancing upon your blog :)

I have so many questions to ask you – but I’d like to stick with one, for starters!

We intend to spend three nights to see Cinque Terre – at the end of October. Should we stay in La Spezia, Monterosso or Portofino. My concern being (train) connectivity! I’d love to get some advice from you, before we decide!

Many Thanks!
Sonal

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Sonal,
If you want to be well connected by train, don’t stay in Portofino. The closest train station to that town is Santa Margherita Ligure, and then you have to take a bus (ferries won’t be running anymore at the end of October). Both Monterosso and La Spezia have train stations, but why come all the way to the Cinque Terre only to stay right outside of it? I’d book in Monterosso.
Have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Matthew Holt

Hi,
Thanks for the really informative article! I’m going to be in Scotland for work, and decided to tack on 2 weeks extra in Europe and work remotely. I’m really looking for a great view, good internet (or good mobile sim options), and some decent restaurants/touristy things (but not expecting too much, as I only have time at night and on the weekends).

Originally booked Santorini, Greece, and have been trying to decide if I should stay 2 weeks there, or maybe 1 week in Cinque Terre and 1 week in Milan or Florence.

Have you been to both? What would you recommend doing yourself (I realize this is a hard to answer/personal question, my apologies!).. Thank you again!

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Matthew,
We haven’t been to Santorini, so I’m afraid we can’t help you with that decision! Between Milan and Florence, though, I’d choose Milan. We have lists of our top picks for places to stay in both the Cinque Terre and Florence in our digital guidebook, Gigi Guides (along with a whole lot of other insider info). Check it out here, and have a great trip!
Kiiri

Reply

Eve

Hi Bianca, I’d like to go to Cinque Terre for a special birthday and my dream would be to do 1 village per day and do all 5. I’d like to hike to each one. I’m bringing a husband and a friend and both have a concern of having to carry their stuff hiking. My question to you is – is there any sort of a service available to your knowledge that you could walk from village to another yourself but your stuff would be transported for you? Would very much appreciate if you happen to know.

Reply

Kiiri @ Italian Fix

Hi Eve,
This isn’t how the Cinque Terre works — you don’t hike from village to village with your luggage the way you do on the Camino de Santiago in Spain, for instance. We also don’t recommend staying in a different town each day. These villages are very close together, and you can see them — even hiking from one end to the other — in a single day. Taking time out of your trip to pack up, take the train to the next hotel, check in, settle in, and get your bearings every single day is simply time wasted and will be an exercise in frustration. Choose one village, find a hotel, apartment or room rental you like there, and stay there the whole time. Then you can travel back and forth via train, ferry or by hiking to all the other villages as much as you like.
Have a great trip, and happy birthday!
Kiiri

Reply

Colette Fair

Hi Bianca,

Is mid October a suitable time to visit Cinque Terre?
Regards
Colette

Reply

Mandie Lynn

Hi,
I was hoping to check out CT in February. I’m curious what I might be in for weather wise. I’m not to fussed about things being open, more about whether or not I’ll be able to find accommodations for myself. I do not speak a word of italian, yet…
Thanks in advance,
Mandie

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: