Note: This post has been updated for the 2020 season.

I love showing people the Cinque Terre for the first time.

I’m lucky enough to do that on my group trips to the Cinque Terre and private Cinque Terre tours, and I dig seeing their faces when they arrive.

I’ve spent a ton of time in the area as a resident, a tour guide and a traveler. Whenever someone asks me, “What should I do in the Cinque Terre?” my eyes light up and I start listing off all my favorite things.

Since I get asked a lot of questions about what to do in the Cinque Terre, I decided to post this free itinerary for you to steal. Use it to plan your trip.

My DIY Cinque Terre itinerary is for four days and three nights and you can see it below.

Don’t make this #1 Cinque Terre planning mistake.

Some people think the Cinque Terre is just one place — but that’s a mistake.

First, understand that the word is used to describe an area of land, not one place.

Don’t waste your time trying to find train schedules for the “Cinque Terre.”

Don’t get confused trying to book a hotel in the “Cinque Terre.”

Know that there are five main villages that make up the zone — so before you plan your stay you’ve gotta figure out which of the five villages you want to stay in.

There are also other villages surrounding the Cinque Terre, like Levanto and Portovenere, which are not technically part of the “five lands” but are still wonderful options for a home base.

If you’re looking at the map, the Cinque Terre is located just north of the Tuscan border and takes about three hours to get to on the train from either Florence (to the south) or Milan (to the north). If you’re flying into Italy and will be visiting the Cinque Terre first, the best airports are Pisa (easiest), Genoa or Milan.

A note to hikers: Some people imagine the villages as spread over a vast area, but this isn’t true. If you want to hike between all the villages, there is really no reason to walk with all your belongings to each of the villages and change hotels, pilgrimage style. That’s a pain in the ass and is just not done here. I recommend just doing day hikes between the villages (you could hike them all in one big day), and leaving your gear at your hotel.

Want to do it right? Check out our hiking Cinque Terre tours where we’ll lead the way through gorgeous trails (and end with a glass of vino). 

One last thing: The Cinque Terre is actually a national park, a protected waterway and a Unesco World Heritage site. Most vehicle traffic is restricted inside the villages. This explains why the area is preserved so well and has a way of transporting you to a simpler time… a time before neon McDonald’s signs and other eyesores of modern life.

Step One: Pick a village.

The first thing you gotta do to plan your Cinque Terre stay is to choose one of the villages as your home base.

Don’t get overly caught up in which village to stay in — they are all wonderful, and I’ll explain them better below.

As I mentioned before, all the villages are close. Like really close.  It takes between three and twenty-five minutes by train to travel between them. There are also walking trails that connect them. See my Hiking Cinque Terre Trail Tips.

The five Cinque Terre villages from south to north:

Riomaggiore has one main street, a harbor, a rocky beach, a castle, a church, a pharmacy, and a dozen restaurants. It also has good train connections and is the closest to the main city of La Spezia. I met my husband here a decade ago, and some of my best friends live here, so I’m completely biased when I say this: It’s my favorite village.

Heading north from Riomaggiore is the second village called Manarola. It’s also a one-street town, with a small harbor where you can swim. It has an incredible spit of land where the most famous Cinque Terre photos are taken from. It’s very similar to Riomaggiore, but has a more grown-up, chill vibe.

The baby of the family and smallest village is Corniglia.  She’s a rebel. She’s built far above the ocean on the cliffs. To arrive in Corniglia you’ve gotta hoof it up the 365 steps (one for each day of the year) to reach the center of town. If you have excessive luggage don’t stay here. But saying that, it’s where to go to get away from it all.

The beauty queen of the Cinque Terre is named Vernazza. This village is the most popular girl at school; everyone wants to hang out with her and be her friend. She’s incredibly photogenic. Vernazza is a one-street town with a church built on the water. She has a castle, the remains of the old wall that protected against pirates, a gorgeous waterfront piazza and a harbor with a spit of sand I would even call a beach. A bigger beach was carved out by the floods in 2011 too — one of the only positive things to come from that disaster.

The northernmost village is called Monterosso al Mare. She’s the biggest kid in the family, and has many streets and even (gasp) a few cars driving around there. Her landscape isn’t as vertical as her sisters’ — you could spend the entire day not climbing hills and stairs here. Monterosso is made up of an old town, a new town, lots of sandy beaches, some larger hotels and a long seaside promenade suitable for strollers too. If you want to avoid stairs and have a more “resort” feel to your vacation, then you should stay here.

Step Two: How long are you staying?

The second thing you gotta do to plan your Cinque Terre stay is decide how long you’re staying.

I recommend two nights minimum. My itinerary below is for four days and three nights.

If you’re traveling in the winter or really short on time, read my article, Should I Go to the Cinque Terre? or this guest post we wrote on traveling here in the off season.

If you’re just doing a day trip, read my article, One Day in Cinque Terre.

When I take people on my tours to the Cinque Terre, we stay for six nights. And no one ever wants to leave.

Step Three: Choose where to sleep.

The fanciest hotels are in Monterosso. A great option in the region is taking advantage of the many private apartments for rent. There are also B&Bs and hostels. You can rent an apartment for 60-200 euro a night. Truly, it’s amazing what you can get for 80 euros a night here, but book ahead. At the bottom of this article, you’ll see my recommended accommodations.

Steal this: Your 3-night, 4-day itinerary for the Cinque Terre.

Notes:

Day 1.

Arrival Day. Check in to your hotel.

If you’ve arrived early enough for lunch, head up Via T. Signorini, the street that winds up from the train station — this is the “residential,” back way up through the village and is so peaceful and pretty. Keep walking until you come to Fuori Rotta, our fave new “secret” place to sit and have a bite to eat with views of the whole village, the sea, and the hillside. This isn’t a proper restaurant with a full menu, but they do serve a handful of truly delicious dishes during the day — you can feel the love Stefano puts into each of his creations.

If instead you’ve had a big travel day and are arriving late, go stare at the ocean and drink a glass of local wine at:

This is my favorite drink spot in the whole world and a visit here is a mandatory part of your Cinque Terre experience. My recommended tipple is either local white wine, prosecco or the specialty from this area called sciacchetrà, a fortified wine made from dry grapes from the hillsides you’re surrounded by.

Day 2:

Rise and shine because it’s a beautiful day and you have nothing to do except enjoy it. Head down to the village and catch the morning action. Drink a coffee on the main (and only!) street. Then head to the beach in Riomaggiore for a morning swim.

For dinner, I recommend staying in Manarola and eating at Dal Billy. Bring your walking legs cause it’s up the hill, but the reward is a great view. They serve seafood.

Another Manarola option is on the main drag, with no stairs.

After dinner head down to the local hangout where they have live music most nights:

Train home. The walking path called Via dell’Amore is still closed as of now (current as of March 2018) and is unlikely to re-open for the next couple of years.

Day 3.

If you haven’t heard, the Cinque Terre is famous for its walking paths. Hiking the Cinque Terre trails is a wonderful thing to do, and there are trails weaving all over the region. Some are paid trails (a day pass costs 7.50), and some are not.

My favorite trails are: Riomaggiore to Portovenere (free but long) and Monterosso to Levanto (free). My other faves are Monterosso to Vernazza and Vernazza to Corniglia, but you’ll need a trail pass for these. They are both suited to beginners and lazy hikers, though promise me you’ll not wear flip flops on the trail. As the signs also say, don’t wear high heels. Glad they pointed that out.

If you just want a taste of the trails, I would suggest the section from Monterosso to Vernazza.

You can train it from Riomaggiore to Monterosso, visit the village of Monterosso, and then hike the trail to the next village of Vernazza. In Monterosso you can swim at the beach and visit the old and new parts of town. Bring a backpack and water for your hike. Live like a local and grab a piece of focaccia for lunch — try my favorite, focaccia di recco. Try the farinata too (it’s gluten-free).

Spend your hike afterglow in the village of Vernazza. It’s another one-street town, and it’s pretty interesting as it’s been under extensive repairs after a landslide and flood in 2011. It’s a lovely place to spend the afternoon.

For dinner, eat at my favorite seaside restaurant in all of the villages. You’ll find it down at the marina. If they have a spot on the lower balcony, take it. If not, there’s a higher one too. If the sea is rough you’ll be cooled off with sea spray.

Day 4.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

If you’re traveling today, a great idea is to buy your train ticket the day before. That way, when you show up at the station, it won’t matter if there’s a long line-up at the ticket office, you won’t miss it! Be sure to validate your ticket by inserting it into one of the machines on the platform on your day of travel, or you could risk a fine.

Before you head out though, you simply must have lunch at our new fave find — La Cantina del Macellaio on Riomaggiore’s main drag. Until 2018, this was the town’s butcher shop, and Lorraine and Gigi have decorated the restaurant beautifully with some of its traditional fixtures. The focus here is on meat, a welcome alternative to the seafood-focused menus everywhere else in town, and they prepare it to perfection.

If your travels take you north, to Milan, Turin, Genoa, or into France, then you should get off the train at Bonassola. It has an amazing beach and is an adorable town. I love spending an entire afternoon here; you can rent a beach umbrella and beach chair and love summer like the rest of the Italians. It is the most underrated town of the area and worth a visit.

Options and extras:

If you have more time to spend in the Cinque Terre my other suggestions are:

My accommodation recommendations.

In Riomaggiore, you can stay at a lovely sea-view property with incredible views from your own private patio at Christina and Alessandro’s place, I Limoni di Thule. If you’d like to rent an apartment, contact Amy at Riomaggiore Reservations. We also love Casa Lorenza and Allo Scalo dei Mille.

How I can help you go to the Cinque Terre.

Feel free to steal* this itinerary, share it with your friends, re-post it to your blog or print it out.

* Steal my itinerary for your own personal use. If you want to reprint this itinerary on your blog, awesome, but please link to this original. Grazie.

what_to_do_cinque_terre_3

 

Do you have a question or comment about the Cinque Terre? What is your favorite thing to do here?

Leave a comment below.

Baci + beaches,

Bianca

images by Leela Cyd

Thanks for checking out our blog!

Are you interested in travelling to the Cinque Terre with us on a current trip?

Check out our Day Tours of the Cinque Terre HERE!

(We’ve also got tours in Florence)

We’d love to see you in Italy!

1,195 Responses

      1. Thanks for all the tips. We have a group coming 1st week of Oct. what is typical weather? We are starting from Rome. Thanks

  1. Ha ha, love the bit about not wearing heels on the walking paths 🙂 Such a worthwhile destination to visit. Absolutely stunning and who wouldn’t love a seaside walk between villages. Great post, beautiful photos!

    1. Ciao Kristy,

      It’s hard not to laugh at that sign every time I see it — even if I’ve seen it a dozens times. It has an icon of a high heel (didn’t know there was such a thing!), and then a circular red “no” sign. It’s posted on bold signage before the trail heads and I’m not sure who it’s for! The Milanese on a day trip?

      Love, Bianca

  2. Cinque Terre sounds amazing!!! My boyfriend and I are planning to go to Italy in May and we want a little of everything but only really have the budget for 12 days. I’m moving the itinerary around constantly and I certainly want Cinque Terre in there somewhere (since we love walking and the beautiful scenery)! As always, it will just be me planning every element of this holiday (he’s a lazy little thing) and so I could do with your help. At the moment this is how it is:
    Day 1, 2 and 3 In Venice, on the third day a trip to Verona
    Day 4 and 5 in Cinque Terre
    Day 6, 7 and 8 in Florence
    Day 9, 10, 11 and 12 in Rome, one day dedicated to a trip to Pompeii and the volcano.

    Is this too ambitious? Initially it was going to 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence, 3 days in Rome and 3 days in Naples, but I wasn’t too sure we would gain as much from Naples. Do you think we should do one more day in Venice instead of Rome, or only 2 days in Florence and one more in Venice?

    Sorry for so many questions but I want to make the most of this trip and you seem to have a great idea of the joys of Italy!

    Any help would be amazing,

    Thanks, Kayleigh 🙂 -x-

    1. My itinerary is much similar to yours but with lesser days in Venice and Rome,and I am travelling this April.

      Waiting to see the response from Bianca !

      Can’t wait to hit Cinque Terre

    2. I recommend 2 days in Venice. We were able to see everything, granted I woke up at 0500 to beat the crowds. We are planning to head to Cinque Terre tomorrow depending on the weather.
      Ciao.

    3. Hi Kayleigh/Namita

      Please do let me know how your itinerary worked?

      Am thinking of doing the similar in October but in opposite direction.

      Any feedback will be appreciated.

      Thanks.

      Rohit

      1. Well, 2 nights in venice is more than enough. I did a one night, saw the night lighted venice, saw the sunrise, strolled , could do everything in a day. if u plan to go to islands like Burano then u would need an extra day……Again 2 nights in rome is all what u will need. florence has not got a lot of things to see but if u like museums with great artist then u might need an extra day, otherwise 2 days r good enough for here too. i would recommend u to stay in florence and go to small towns near to florence that will give u a tuscan feel. In your itinerary you don’t have rolling hills and meadows which r a must when u visit italy. let me know if u want to know more….i stayed in this area for 3 months….and am visiting again this june…

        1. Hey Aastha,

          Which part of Tuscany would you recommend for “rolling hills and meadows”? Am planning to go to Italy at the end of September and will be spending 4-5 days in Florence. Since I don’t want to drive, I am planning to keep Florence as a base and do day trips around Tuscany by bus/train.

          Bhooma

        2. 4 of us are planning on spending 3-4 days in Tuscany countryside, maybe near Siena….does anyone have recommendations on a villa, vineyard or small town to base our time out of there? Also, any recommendations on wine tours in that region?

          1. Hi Sean,
            I’d recommend you get in touch with Kate at bgprincipessa.com or Olga at chiantimania.com. Both are Tuscany experts and can help you arrange for just the kind of accommodations you’re looking for as well as any kind of Tuscan tour.
            Have a great trip!
            Kiiri

      2. Doing in October 2 night in rome two in Siena two in florenzi 2 in cinque terre 2 in milan and two in Venice

    4. Well, 2 nights in venice is more than enough. I did a one night, saw the night lighted venice, saw the sunrise, strolled , could do everything in a day. if u plan to go to islands like Burano then u would need an extra day……Again 2 nights in rome is all what u will need. florence has not got a lot of things to see but if u like museums with great artist then u might need an extra day, otherwise 2 days r good enough for here too. i would recommend u to stay in florence and go to small towns near to florence that will give u a tuscan feel. In your itinerary you don’t have rolling hills and meadows which r a must when u visit italy. let me know if u want to know more….i stayed in this area for 3 months….and am visiting again this june…

      1. Hi Aastha/Namita

        We have booked our family trip with two kids for Italy for 7 days.
        Venice 3 days
        Florence/Pisa 1 day and
        Rome 3 days.
        Please suggest me apart of Venice which other cities I should cover.We are not very interested in visiting museum and art gallery.

      2. hi there, planning on going to Northern italy in early august with 3 teens/tween for 10 days. flying into and out of Milan which includes venice. Can someone help me with an itinerary that includes a little bit of everything and not too taxing for the kids.

    5. Hi Kayleigh!
      Honestly, I think this itinerary is great! Dedicating an extra day to Rome is smart since it’s bigger than the other cities and more spread out. As other posters mentioned, let us know how it went, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

      1. I have just spent 4 nights in Rome and have not had any down time. I wouldn’t say i am a history buff but there is SO much to see and do. I expected my trip to Italy to be mostly about food wine and shopping, i have probably done 3 hours in total of “shipping” which was more just popping into shops as i walked streets for the next attraction. I was initially planning on spending my last 4 nights (after i do florence, Milan ane venice) on the amalfi coast but am contemplating swapping it for cinque terra…. im nervous as i hasn’t planned any of my trip incase i changed my mind along the way. I stumbled across as app called “visit a city” it then lists all the “attractions” and things to do in that area. This helped me figure out how long i wanted to stay in each place (even considering just doing a day trip to venice now instead of 2 night’s). The app is super helpful 🙂

    6. You definitely don’t need 3 days at Venice!
      I would also reduce Florence stay and book something in the middle of Tuscany! Like Siena!
      good luck

    7. Been 13 x and my hubby never plans either…lol! Less time in Naples…can do Venice in 2 days if you organize. My email is included… Feel free to write.

    8. Hello,

      My husband and I are travelling to Italy for the first time in June. We have a number of places we want to visit in a short period of time and I’m hoping you could please give me some advice on the best itinerary. I’ve been doing a lot of googling but I’m still not certain on the easiest route and we will be travelling via trains so the names of the stations would be a great help.
      We are going to fly into Venice and spend 2 nights then we wanted to go to Cinque Terre by train but thought to go via Bologna and spend the night or should we go via Milan? Spend two nights in Cinque Terre and then we want to see Tuscany. I’m unsure of where to base ourselves, we won’t have a car but I thought we could do day trips to Siena, San Gimingno, Florence etc and from there head to Rome for two nights and then down to the Almafi coast for two nights.
      Any advice you can give us would be greatly appreciated.

      Kind regards
      Lisa.

    9. Ive visited all of the cities you listed and my advice would be: cut out a day in venice, cut out at least one day in Rome. Rome was our least favorite of all of italy. You can do the vatican in a day and everything else in a day. Its all close together (Colloseum, ruins, etc) and is soooo touristy and crowded. And then a third day for pompei. If youre going all the way down to pompei I would shave a day off of venice and rome and spend two days in Positano, Capri, or Ravello. Lastly, I would switch three days in florence to one or 1.5 days in florence and 1.5-2 days in tuscany. Specifically Montalcino and Montepulciano. Just my personal opinions! Enjoy your trip!

    10. Kayleigh,

      Ive visited all of the cities you listed and my advice would be: cut out a day in venice, cut out at least one day in Rome. Rome was our least favorite of all of italy. You can do the vatican in a day and everything else in a day. Its all close together (Colloseum, ruins, etc) and is soooo touristy and crowded. And then a third day for pompei. If youre going all the way down to pompei I would shave a day off of venice and rome and spend two days in Positano, Capri, or Ravello. Lastly, I would switch three days in florence to one or 1.5 days in florence and 1.5-2 days in tuscany. Specifically Montalcino and Montepulciano. Just my personal opinions! Enjoy your trip!

  3. My husband and I are planning to fly to Milan and train it to La Spezia to start our Cinque Terre holiday early May, hoping that will be an ok time to go. We have 8-9days and will return to Milan. Like you, we like to just “be” in a place to soak up the atmosphere. I like the sound of your extras, but am unsure of where to stay, were thinking manorola? What do you think of a combination of walks, trains and boat trips between villages? Thanks, Sheryl

    1. Hi Sheryl!
      I love Manarola. It’s similar to Riomaggiore but a little more peaceful, a little more… grown up, almost… mature. Combining walks, trains and boat trips is, in my opinion, the best way to see the villages. You get the best of all worlds! Have a great trip 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  4. Ciao Bianca!
    I have loved reading your articles. My daughter is going to be an au pair for a family in Alba this summer and I will be visiting her. Cinque Terre definitely is a place we need to go. Ok, our favorite things to do is looking a beautiful places, shopping for clothes and shoes that aren’t too expensive, eating (me, wine), and going to the beach, so your information is invaluable to me. Thanks. Any more information is appreciated.

  5. This is the most practical post I’ve seen so far about Cinque Terre! Thanks so much. I’ve been looking into accommodations on Air BnB, and I came across a lovely apartment in Groppo – would that be a decent location? My husband and I are wanting to spend 4 nights and do a lot of hiking. Your thoughts would be appreciated 🙂

    1. Leigh Ann,
      Would you mind telling me if you ended up saying in an airnb while in cinque terre….if you liked where you stayed, will you please share the information. I will be traveling in May with my 22 year old twin daughters 🙂
      Thank you so much

    2. Hi Leigh Ann!
      Will you guys have a car? Many Groppo properties are listed as Cinque Terre because of the town’s proximity to the Cinque Terre, but it’s further inland and not one of the five villages. It doesn’t have a train station, so it can be difficult to get to without a vehicle of your own. Otherwise it’s a very cute little village though!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  6. Hello,
    My husband, my mom (75) and I will be spending 1 or 2 nights in 5T.
    I would like to know if you can help me:
    1) To find a hotel/apartment for not more that $100 in Riomaggiore. We have a car, our idea is to drive from Genoa, park the car at the hotel, and start from there.
    2) What should we do? Train to the North and boat back to the South? Or the opposite?
    3) Do I need to buy tickets in advance?
    4) Can you tell me the name/website of the train?
    5) Can you suggest me a non expensive boat?

    Thank you!!!!

    I love your blog!!

    Marcela

    1. Hi Marcela,
      I’d recommend checking out AirBnB for accommodations. You’re sure to find something that fits your budget for three people there. Don’t expect to park your car where you’re staying though. Parking is located at the top of the village, and most places to stay are not. Whether you take the train or the ferry towards Monterosso is really up to you, there’s no one way that’s better than the other. The Italian railway website is trenitalia.com, and the least expensive way to travel to each village by boat is on the ferry. Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  7. So excited, just found your website!!! I will be in northern Tuscany (near La Spezia) the last week of May. We will only be able to devote one day to Cinque Terre 🙁

    Here are my questions:
    Ferry over to Cinque Terre or train?
    We are all early 50’s but athletic and want to do a little hike and see beautiful scenery! We won’t be laying on the beach or swimming. We’d like to hike to a town…get a little beverage…poke around town about 1/2 to 1 1/2 hours and hike to another town…poke around town about 1/2 to 1 1/2 hour and get a nibble and hike to another town…repeat 🙂
    I’m guessing we will probably only get to 3 of the 5 towns???? Just want to make sure we hike with the most beautiful views on hike and approaching towns. Thoughts?????

    1. Hi Sharon!
      You’ll have to take the train in from Tuscany (there is no ferry from there). As for making the most of your day, I would head to Monterosso and work backwards towards Riomaggiore if you aren’t sure how much hiking you’ll get done in a day – the main trail is open between Monterosso and Vernazza and is one of the most spectacular. As you move towards Riomaggiore, the main path is closed in sections and you’ll have to take the secondary routes. These are no less beautiful, but can take longer, so if you find you have to skip the hike and take the train or ferry to the last couple of towns, you’ll have at least already done what is arguably the best leg. Have a wonderful time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  8. Hello Bianca,

    I would like to first say that your blog is awesome! Got so much help information from it. I will be visiting Cinque Terre in mid May. Wish I can hop on with you but already booked the ticket. 🙁

    Anyway, I have questions about parkings at CT. I will driving to CT from Venice, then to Pisa and finally to Florence. While I am at CT I am planning to drive as well. Tho, can I park at the train stations at Riomaggiore or Monterosso? On my first day I will eat at Ristorante Cappun Magru, do they have parkings available? I was actually planning to park my car there then walk down to Manarola. You think the owner will have a problem with it?

    I will be staying at Hotel Due Gemelli so it is kind of far from Riomaggiore. Also, I don’t want to rent the car for nothing.

    Looking forward to talk to you. Feel free to email me anytime. Thanks!

    Best,

    Maggie

    1. Hi Maggie
      We have a similar plan as yours- drive from Venice to CT and then to Rome. Can you share your experiences regarding car travel and parking around CT. We are planning this Vacation in June 1st week.

      Thanks in advance!

    2. Hi Maggie!
      Once you arrive in the Cinque Terre, you’ll want to park your car in one of the villages (if you’re staying at Due Gemelli, then Riomaggiore) and get around by train or ferry. Driving from village to village will literally take hours longer and can be kind of harrowing! (Think hairpin turns along steep cliffs and narrow roads.) There’s a reason this area is known for being mainly pedestrian 😉 Cappun Magru has unfortunately closed its doors this year. Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  9. Hi, i am helping to plan a birthday bash trip for 10-11 of my high school classmates who are turning 60 this year… we are working with Macs Adventures for lodging and self guided walking tours… i have been to Italy and feel comfortable in getting to Ciinque Terra… we would be staying in Monterossa for 4 night and moving to Portovenere for 2 then home bound… we are looking at Sept 3-9 th and have been urged to
    book right away… we need to book this week… what would you charge to book our trip, rooms,

    we all want to stay together ( 10 – 11 of us )…hike sho eat drink be happy !!! celebrate… would love to have YOU there but if you can support us that would be great!!!

    1. Hi Hilda!
      What a great idea for celebrating turning 60! We don’t currently offer tour operator services, so we don’t book trips for people. We create weeklong personally-hosted dream vacations for small groups in Italy at set times during the summer. We’ll keep you posted on future trips if you sign up for our mailing list at the top of the page. And keep checking back – we’re always adding services.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  10. Hi Bianca

    Love the look of I Limoni di Thule but they have no availability July 10-14. Can you recommend anywhere else with a similar feel?

    Thanks a million for all the great information!

    1. I Limoni was booked for me also. This is what the owner wrote back to me:

      Ciao,
      Sorry we are full for the dates you requested! I can recommend a beautiful place called alloscalo, its situated at the marina, so the views are breathtaking, and the interior of the rooms are finished with the highest standard.

      Contact Denise at http://www.alloscalo.com or info@alloscalo.com

      Let her know I recommend you so she knows what type of room you are looking for! Enjoy your time in the Cinque Terre!

      Regards
      Christina

    2. Hi Constantine!
      As Christina mentioned in her email to Katie, Allo Scalo dei Mille has great, beautifully restructured rooms with sea views right in the marina. Other fantastic options in Riomaggiore are Alla Marina and Casa Lorenza (a personal favourite of mine).
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  11. Hi Bianca,
    Thank you very much for your wonderful article and sharing so selflessly your tips about visiting Cinque Terre. My wife and I would love to visit here for a week during our 2.5 weeks Italian holiday around end of July-mid August. Firstly, how’s that time of the year? Will it be packed as other tourists are also coming around then?
    We’re thinking only of doing 1 week in CT, 1 week in Rome and maybe 1/2 week in the Tuscan region such as Siena/San Gimignano. We’ve both been to parts of Italy before and loved it. But neither of us has been to CT and we’ve read so much about it that we didn’t want to rush it but try to leisurely absorb as much of its culture and beauty in a week.
    One of our problem is trying to work out where to stay. Your article made it “harder” but it’s a lovely problem. We’ll take your advice about basing ourselves in 1 place and just take day trips around. Thanks also for your 4D/3N itinerary suggestion. We’d love to see your suggestion for a 7D/6N itinerary if possible. Thanks again and God bless.

    Thanks & blessings,
    Will & Jean

    1. Hi Will & Jean!
      July and August are very busy times of the year in the Cinque Terre. August is when Italians take their holidays, so the towns are visited by not only international tourists but local ones as well. That being said, we haven’t yet seen the kinds of crowds and congestion that places like Venice and Florence get at that time of the year, so don’t be discouraged. This is a wonderful place to come and relax and to soak up the scenery no matter what time of year it is. You’ll see!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  12. Hi
    Just wondered if you could recommend anywhere traditional to stay as the one you put on your website Is full
    I wanted to let you know your website is fab, very informative
    Regards lorraine

    1. Hi Lorraine!
      Riomaggiore Reservations is run by Amy, who’s an American ex-pat and can set you up with a “home away from home”-type experience in one of her apartments or rooms in town, which are situated side-by-side with the homes of real Riomaggioresi. You can’t get more traditional than that, right?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  13. hi, i’m interested in dog friendly hotels or apartments? any suggestions, awesome article!

    I live in Nice france, I should write something like this for people… 🙂

    1. Yes, that would be awesome, Trevor.
      We are 3 ladies from Canada travelling to Nice and CT in May/June of 2015. I’m having a hard time finding accommodation in both areas with 3 separate beds.
      But we’re going to do it!

      Bianca – Thank you so much for this itinerary! It looks amazing. I was in CT in 2013, so am taking 2 of my friends back in 2015. We stayed right in the marina in a 3 story – steep stepped couple of rooms, but LOVED every step! It was like living in a postcard.

      Thanks again for an awesome blog!

    2. Hi Trevor!
      Most places in the area don’t advertise whether they are dog-friendly or not, so you’ll have to just write to people and ask. Amy at Riomaggiore Reservations is a dog lover, and often works side-by-side with her French Bulldog, Gustavo, so I’d check with her for sure!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  14. Hi There!

    I’m headed to Italy end of June for a wedding in Tuscany. Fly into Rome the afternoon of the 21st – Need to be in Pienza by the afternoon of the 27th, def want to do Cinque Terre – love off the beaten track stuff – do you have any suggestions of places to go, see, eat, etc after Cinque Terre on the way to Tuscany? Then flying out of Naples on the 30th any suggestions on the yummiest place to eat there, and if it makes sense to go somewhere for the afternoon on the Amalfi? Thanks! Rachel Friedman

    1. Hi Rachel!
      The Cinque Terre is very close to the border between Liguria and Tuscany, but if you want to make a few stops along the way, I’d hit up Portovenere for sure, and Lucca. Be sure to take the ferry across to the island of Palmaria when you’re in Portovenere – stunning! If you’re short on time in Naples, consider taking a private car to the Amalfi Coast with a provider like Positano Car Service or Jack the Driver. As for food recommendations in Naples? I have one word for you: pizza.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  15. Hi bianca,your guidance ıs great but i still neden some advise.i was planning to stay 3 nights in portofino and travel to cınque terre from there since i read you.what would be the best plan for 3 nights?coming from genova..Thanks in advance…

    1. Hi Sezen!
      It takes about an hour to get from Portofino to the Cinque Terre, so you could spend one or even two of your three days exploring all five towns. Portofino is gorgeous and tiny, so one day is more than enough time to get to know it quite well.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  16. I will visit Cinque Terre this September.
    but trying to figure out how to get there and get out of there.

    I will arrive from Pisa.
    What is the best way to get to Cinque Terre?
    Do I get off at La Spezia?

    I will then head to Venice afterward.
    Do I also get on the train at La Spezia? or is there better methods?

    1. Hey Eva,

      Did you ever figure out the best way to get in and out of Cinque Terre?
      I will be arriving from Como, Italy and then heading to Rome.
      Is La Spezia the correct place to enter and exit? Any advice is much appreciated!
      Jessie

    2. Hi Eva!
      There is a train right at the airport at Pisa that will take you to Pisa Centrale. From there, head to La Spezia, and then in La Spezia, hop on a train to Riomaggiore, the first of the five towns in the Cinque Terre. And yes, to get to Venice, you’ll either have to take the train out of La Spezia or Monterosso. Train times and schedules are available here: http://www.trenitalia.com.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  17. Hi! Thank you so much for this information, I am planning a trip for May and will be taking your recommendations! One question – I am travelling from Bologna to Riomaggiore and would love some advice. Currently, I am planning on taking a few different trains, switching at Prat Centrale and Viareggio in order to arrive at La Spezia. First question – is this the most direct route? Secondly, I know that you can take a regional train from La Spezia Centrale to Riomaggiore – is there a schedule for this that I can access ahead of time? It sounds fairly easy to buy the tickets but just want to get a better idea of the timetable. Please let me know, thank you so much!

    1. Hi Virginia!
      Your best resource is the Trenitalia website: http://www.trenitalia.com. Remember to type in the names of the cities in Italian (Venezia instead of Venice, Roma instead of Rome), and then click on the arrow under Changes in the Duration column for each selection for specific information on schedules.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  18. Hi there,

    My boyfriend and I are coming to the area at the end of April for a Wednesday-Sunday trip, but we’re staying in a villa in Lerici. We will be flying into Milan – any idea what train we take to get there from Milan? Also, how would we go about getting to and from the Cinque Terre from Lerici? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Alicia!
      Everything you need to know is on trenitalia.com, including train times for getting from Lerici to the Cinque Terre. Buon viaggio!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  19. Hello, My husband, 22yr old son and I are coming to cinque terre in 2 weeks. We plan on staying for 2 nights and found a lovely looking place in Corniglia. I’m wondering if that’s a good location considering all the steps to come down in the morning and go back up each night. If we stay up there, should we plan to have dinner there instead of making our way back later in the evenings. We also found a less charming but still nice place in Vernazza. And with some of the trails closed, wondering which ones you’d recommend if we are average hikers. Thanks in advance for your advice, Jackie

    1. Hi Jackie!
      I love Corniglia – such a charming little village! You’re right, there are LOTS of steps (365 to be exact), but there’s also a bus that shuttles people from the train station into the village proper, so you won’t have to climb these every time you return to your accommodations. There are a few trails that are closed due to landslides, but there are secondary trails open between all five villages, so the entire hike can still be done. Ask at your hotel for recommendations based on your level of fitness. Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  20. Hi Bianca – I emailed you about a month ago. I will be arriving in Pisa on Mon, Oct 6th and staying in Cinque Terre for 3 nights . I’ve emailed I Limoni d Thule on three occassions – to request booking. but have not heard back. I would love to stay there . Do you have any other contact information for them ? Thanks so much. and I aprreciate your itinerary as well –

    1. Hi Anna,
      How strange that you didn’t hear back from I Limoni… Christina is very good about responding to requests. Perhaps there has been a glitch on their web page? Try this email address instead: info@limonicamere.it.
      Good luck!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  21. Hoping to visit in early Sept.2014. Is the weather still good then, are the schools in Europe back in session? My husband will not be able to hike the trails,but will a single person be ok hiking? He has leg problems , will he be ok to walk around the villages, meaning the rocks,paths, stairs and streets ok to maneuver?
    Any suggestions would be great. thanks

    1. Hi Diane!
      If your husband has mobility issues, I would recommend staying in Monterosso, the flattest of the villages and the one where you’re more likely to find accommodations with elevators. Keep in mind that even visiting Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia might be difficult for him because they are built on steep inclines or atop cliffs and involve a lot of climbing. You, on the other hand, will be perfectly safe walking the trails on your own. September is still very high season, so you won’t be alone. Italian school is on, but the weather is still gorgeous – it’s one of my favourite months in the Cinque Terre.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  22. Hi Bianca,

    Thank you for the website info. This is great!

    Question…are there any real beaches in this area?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sabina,
      Yes, absolutely! Monterosso has a large stretch of public and private beaches, and Vernazza has a new larger beach as well as a smaller sandy spit. Riomaggiore’s beach is small and rocky, not sandy, but the water there is beautiful. Corniglia and Manarola don’t have beaches, but Manarola has a swimming area where you can dive off of outcroppings of rock.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  23. You mention going when the weather is warm, would early May 2014 be too soon? I was looking to get good weather and smaller crowds.

    1. Hi Jenna,
      In May the weather is quite nice. You’re usually looking at sunny days in the low 20s.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  24. Hi i will be going to rome, florence and venice ….but i feel that cinque terra will be the highlight of the trip ..it is my first solo trip . How do you think i can fit cinque terra to my travel iteniary ?

    1) as a day trip from which city
    2) do i need to stay there for a night or two
    3) if i go cinque terra , can i skip the italian lakes

    pls advice …am travelling on for about 14 to 16 days and am planning on my own ..thanks

    1. Hi Jess, I am planning a trip with my husband and sister in law to Italy in 2015. Our trip sounds much like yours.
      Did you go already and do you have any tips on the sequence and duration of your trip?

    2. Hi Jess,
      You can’t do a day trip to the Cinque Terre from Venice, as you’re looking at 5 to 7 hours of train travel time one way. The fastest train from Rome takes about 3.5 hours, so not a great idea either. The fastest trains from Florence will get you here in about 2.5 hours, so that’s doable, but to really enjoy the laid-back vibe and beauty of this place, I would stay at least one night. The Lakes are a completely different place and experience. Skipping them because you’ve been to the Cinque Terre would be like skipping France because you’ve been to Italy. Apples and oranges 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  25. Hi Bianca, want to go to Cinque Terre in September 2015. there might be 8 or even 12 of us. My preference is to stay all together in a home that could sleep that many. Prefer Monterosso. Any suggestions?

    1. It’s the most practical website I have found, thank you so much for all the useful tips.

      We will be driving to CT probably from Siena, do you think the car will become a burden? Which town would be best to accommodate with the car?

      I so much look forward to visiting this beautiful place. Thanks a lot.

      Karina

      1. Karina,
        You should be fine; just book a hotel with car parking. The most car parking would be in Monterosso. Alternatively, you can park your car in the La Spezia underground parking at the train station.
        Bianca

    2. Hi Diane!
      If your top choice is Monterosso, then that’s perfect. It’s bigger and has larger, more conventional hotels, so you’ll have better luck accommodating a larger group all in the same place there than you would in smaller towns like Riomaggiore and Manarola.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  26. You are so sweet to have this blog with all of this advice! Thank you so much.

    PS I love a good love story, thanks for sharing yours!

  27. Thanks Bianca for this great piece of advice. As a first time traveler to Italy, I found it extremely helpful

  28. Thanks Bianca for great recommendations! I really didn’t have any idea what to do in CT. My husband and I will travel from Montpellier to Florence and lots of villages in between. I will just do what you suggested! I am so happy that I chose Riomaggiore for our hotel. Thank you!

  29. Guess you reply to us all individually? Thank you this is so helpful. Think we may book a tour with you and will look at your site. We wish to visit Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome – what order should we do this in and how many days do you recommend – we only have around 7 days for Italy and Venice is a priority and Cinque Terre though we would like to go to Rome very much. Is August or September better for these place please as we are flexible – coming all the way from New Zealand – would love to pop in to Milan as lived there as a child though would rather do fewer places well. Thanks so much for your help. All best and keep up your great work. Thank you Karen

    1. Hi Karen,
      If you only have seven days in Italy, then trying to fit Milan in on top of the other cities you’ve chosen is going to be really tight. The order you do the cities in is also best determined by where you’re coming from. Are you flying in? To which city? The simplest route would be Venice, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, only because there is a direct route that connects Venice and Rome, whereas Venice to CT usually means having to switch trains several times. August is the month Italians leave the cities to go to the seaside, so not only will a lot be closed in Rome and Florence that month, but the CT and Venice are busier. I would choose September, which is just as beautiful, but also not as muggy. All of these destinations deserve at least two days, but if you’re going to choose one to do in one day, it should probably be the Cinque Terre. Check out Bianca’s post on how to make the most of it here: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
      Have a wonderful trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  30. Hi Bianca
    I am heading to the Cinque Terre in 14 to 21 August 2014. Flying in to Genoa and then where I am not sure. My friend advised me to stay at the Suisse Hotel in Santa Margherita and do day trips from there. However after reading your suggestions I am unsure if this is a good plan. I am in my 60’s so I am not too keen on extremely hilly terrains or long treks. Could you advice of a suitable village and accommodation with character and the best way to get there from Genoa. Your advice would be very much appreciated Best wishes Susan

    1. Hi Susan!
      Santa Margherita is stunning, and right around the corner from Portofino, so you’ll feel like you’re vacationing in the lap of Italian luxury there. It’s an hour or so away from the Cinque Terre, so it’s convenient for day trips as well. If you do decide to stay in the Cinque Terre instead and want to avoid hilly terrain, choose Monterosso. It’s much bigger and so can feel less quaint than the other towns, but the Cinque Terre area is all about cliffs and steps and hills, and the other towns have those things in spades. Charming accommodations in Monterosso include La Casa di Zuecca, Stella della Marina and La Casa di Andrea. Train times from Genova can be found at trenitalia.com.
      Have a wonderful time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  31. I want to visit Cinque Terre in September. I suffer from arthritis in my feet do you have any suggestions regarding accommodation , easy access etc I know there are lots of steps but don’t want to give up my quest to visit. Your help would be appreciated

    1. Hi Sharon,
      The Cinque Terre isn’t a great place to come for people with mobility issues, but if you’re determined, then I would suggest staying in Monterosso. It’s the flattest of the villages, and the biggest, so you’re more likely to find accommodations with elevators and very little climbing.
      Here’s to quests fulfilled!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  32. Hi Bianca, My husband and I will only be able to do a day trip to Cinque Terre from our cruise line. Tell me what you would do. We will be stopping in all the 5 cities. How much time to allow and is it possible to see a little of the Via dell’Amore or how to get to it?

    Thank you,
    Linda

    1. Hi Linda,
      They’ve just opened a stretch of about 200 metres on the Via dell’Amore starting in Manarola, so you’ll be able to experience a little of it. As for the rest of your trip, have a look at our blog post on seeing the CT in a day: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
      Happy travels!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  33. Hello,

    My fiance and I are thinking about a trip to Italy for our honeymoon but it would be the last week of October and first week of November…we are a little worried about the weather that time of year, do you recommend Cinque Terre during that time? We were thinking of spending a few nights there and making our way down the coast…If you have any suggestions on nice places to stay in Cinque Terre for around $100USD that would be amazing!!

    1. Hi Morgan!
      The weather in October and November is particularly hit and miss here, so it’s impossible to know in advance whether you’re going to luck out with bright, sunny days or a week of rain. It’s a bit risky, but the upside of coming during the down season is having the place almost all to yourself, lower prices, and a real feel for the towns with only locals around. You also shouldn’t have any trouble finding a room for around $100 at that time of year – as long as the US dollar remains almost at par with the euro.
      Good luck!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  34. Hi Bianca,

    Unfortunately probably not enough to join you on your tours (I am staying in Nice, but will be in Cinque Terre only for two nights), but I just warned to say I found your website very helpful, thank you 🙂

    Hope you’re well.

    Neil x

  35. Hello –

    Two friends and I are coming by evening train from Rome and wish to stay in Cinque Terre for two nights. It is getting later – June 11-13 – any ideas for a b and b, hotel or apartment that is charming and fun for young adults?
    A lot of inquiries are filled.

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Cat,
      Have a look at the section on our accommodation recommendations above for our favourite places to stay, or check out AirBnB. There are a lot of great finds on there in all five of the towns.
      Best of luck!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  36. Hi Bianca,
    Such a refreshing site. I have only read a few pages and have really enjoyed your style and enthusiasm.

    We are spending July in Florence and then finishing our Italian sojourn in Cinque Terre in the first week of August. We are planning on staying three nights in Vernazza to use that as our base but have a flight out of Milan at 1:15 pm on the day of our departure. Is it feasible to travel from Vernazza to Milan Malpenza (train or bus) departing first thing that morning or should we plan to spend our final night closer to Milan?

    1. Hi Andrew!
      It is possible to get to Malpensa in time for your flight – there are trains leaving from Vernazza for Milano Centrale as early as around 4:50 am that get to Milan at just before 8:30. You’d have to then take the Malpensa Express to the airport, which can take from 45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes. Train service in Italy is notoriously unreliable, so whenever I have a flight to catch, I always take one train earlier than the one I should take, just in case. I would recommend the same to you, even if it means waking up at an ungodly hour 😉
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  37. hi – I am planning a trip for 4 days this June – picking up a car at Pisa. Unfortunately il Limeno is booked out – is there anywhere else you would recommend for a single woman with views preferably – I am reasonably fit so walking is not an issue – somewhere to leave my car is the main thing. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

    Soooo excited!

    Sonya

    1. Hi Sonya,
      All five of the towns have a public parking area, but you should check with whoever you stay with whether they have private spaces there, which is usually cheaper. If you’re looking to stay in Riomaggiore, try Allo Scalo dei Mille, Alla Marina or Casa Lorenza. Another alternative is to check AirBnB. A lot of properties have listed on there throughout the Cinque Terre, and there are some real gems!
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  38. I am looking forward to spending 2 nights in Vernazza in mid June with my 22 year old son. You mentioned in your blog that Vernazza suffered damage after the 2011 mudslide. We booked a room there, but should we reconsider and book elsewhere because of the damage? Or is it still worth it?
    Also, my son wants to cliff jump while in the Cinque Terre. Where would you think best for that? and safest?
    Also, any need to get train tickets ahead of time once we are there for going village to village and then the last day going to La Spezia to rent our car? Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Hi Jackie!
      No need to cancel your booking – Vernazza is virtually as good as new, and if you’ve never been there before, I think you’d be hard pressed to notice any damage. I have no doubt you’ll love staying there! As for cliff jumping, your son will want to go to Manarola where you can always find a gaggle of young daredevils perched on the rocky outcrops in the marina waiting their turn. Riomaggiore has some cliff jumping too he might enjoy. No need to buy train tickets in advance, you can pick them up as you go.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  39. Hi Bianca!

    Thank you so much for sharing your travel itinerary with us all! My boyfriend and I are heading to Turin for a few days for a work conference and then plan to go to Cinque Terre for 3 nights and then back to Turin for another day or so. We will be in Cinque Terre from May 29th-June 1st…I’ve reached out to Alessandro & Christina, but they are booked and have moved on to Amy’s Reservations. If she doesn’t have anything available, do you have any suggestions on hotels to stay in Riomaggiore? We are excited to check out the trails, but bummed to see that the Lover’s Walk is closed until 2015! Oh well, seems like there are good options. We considered staying in Monterosso but based on your descriptions it seems Rio is the best place to stay. One question I had was on the trains. I was looking at trenitalia from Torino P.N. to Monterosso, but then we’d have to what, take another train to Riomaggiore? Is there any alternative routes where we could go directly from Torino to Riomaggiore? Also, what are your thoughts in Bonossala? I know you suggested it, but wasn’t sure if it’s worth a whole night there or just a “stop by” on our way back to Turin? Again, we are traveling only by train.

    Thanks for helping with our trip!!!!

    1. Hi Danae!
      For accommodations in Riomaggiore, try Allo Scalo dei Mille, Alla Marina, and Casa Lorenza. As for the trains, only Regional ones stop in Riomaggiore, so if you’re coming from Torino on anything high-speed (Intercity, Frecciabianca etc…), then you will have to switch. Bonassola? LOVE IT. It’s a great alternative to the beaches in the Cinque Terre themselves, which can get busy in the high season. It’s about 45 minutes by train from Riomaggiore, so no need to spend the night. Grab your towel, throw some swimsuits on under your clothes and rent a lounge chair for a day of pure bliss.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  40. Ciao Bianca! Thank you so much for your tips and advice. Your post alone has helped me plan my entire Cinque Terre trip! I am very grateful! I can’t wait to visit =D

  41. I am heading to Riomaggiore next week and your article has been so helpful! Thank you so much! 🙂

  42. Hi! I’m traveling to Cinque Terre with my best friend and was wondering if you have a hostel or very cheap b&b recommendation. We’re 22 and 23 and thinking either Riomaggiore or Monterosso, but open to other suggestions. Thank you!

    1. Hey Nano!
      Both Manarola and Corniglia have youth hostels, so drop them a line for sure!
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  43. Hello Bianca,

    I have been reading your wonderful website and I love all the information you’ve provided. I will be traveling with my girlfriend and my best friend from May 30th – June 2nd. You mentioned on your website that cheap (€60 – €100) apartments for rent can be found. Is there a way to find these online? If not, do you have any recommendations of inexpensive hotels, hostels, or B&B’s? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Mike!
      Check AirBnB for accommodations in that price range – you’re sure to find something you like. Another great resource is Amy at Riomaggiore Reservations.
      Best of luck!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  44. Hello! I’ll be staying at riomaggiore 20 and 21 of september, I can’t find available accomodation. Somebody recommended mi Casa di Yuri but I do not find any comment or pictures on the web. Do you know it? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Sil,
      Yes, I do! It’s actually run by a Canadian girlfriend of mine and her Italian husband, is in the marina and has a great terrace with sea views.
      Happy travels!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  45. Hi Bianca,
    We will be driving from Savona to the Cinque Terra July 15th 2014.
    Do you have any recommendations on where to leave your car for 3 nights out side the 5 villages. We are planning to stay at either Riomaggiore or Manarola.
    I hear Levento is a possibility?

    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,
      If you’re staying in Riomaggiore and prefer to leave your car outside of the five villages, then your best bet is La Spezia. There is a parking garage at the train station.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  46. Dear Bianca,
    Thanks for a great blog. I am traveling to Levanto with my family (3 children age 5, 7 and 9) my husband and 2 grand mothers. We will be staying 7 days in Levanto, where we have rented a villa. We would like to stay 3 days in one of the nearby towns but it is really hard to decide which one as they all are so beautiful. Do you have any recommendations?

    Hope to hear from you
    All the best
    Aimée

    1. Hi Aimee,
      I have a personal preference for Bonassola. It has a beautiful beach and is a picturesque little town just twenty minutes from the Cinque Terre. And if you’re staying in Levanto beforehand, you can check out Bonassola by walking over along the sea through a series of old train tunnels that have been turned into a bike/walking path.
      Let us know what you chose and how it went!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  47. We will be in Cinque Terre for one day with four children ages 1-10. No serious hiking for us. Can you help us out with suggestions of what we can do to best enjoy the area? Thanks!!

  48. HI THERE. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE EASIEST WAY TO GET FROM NAPLES TO CINQUE TERRE? IS IT BETTER TO VISIT CINQUE FIRST AND THEN NAPLES (END DESTINATION BEING POSITANO). HOW FAR IS BARCELONA FROM CINQUE? WE WERE THINKING ORIGINALLY OF DOING SPAIN AND THEN POSITANO, NOT SURE WHAT IS BEST and most economical? Any suggestions would be great. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lucinda!
      Check out trenitalia.com for train schedules between Naples and the Cinque Terre. Whether you choose to do Naples first or vice versa is really just a matter of personal preference.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  49. Hi Bianca, very very helpful article. I’m even more excited to be visiting -and feel much more in control.

    Thanks, Lisa from NZ
    X

  50. Me and my bf will arrive Genoa this saturday 7th noon. We would like to spend a few days in CT right after and then head to Florence on Wednesday 11th. We confirmed our trip last minute, so we need some help on planning. Can you please suggest an itinerary for us, so that we can make good use of our trip?
    Many thanks in advance!

  51. Hi, I want to book one of the accomodations you recommended but some of the links aren’t working. Was wondering if you could help me find a good accommodation. We are two students.

    1. Hi ES,
      If you’re having trouble with the links, then just google the name of the accommodation to go straight to their site. As students on a budget, you might be interested in the hostels in Manarola and Corniglia too.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  52. Hi Bianca ,
    We’ planning to visit Cinque Terre region in two weeks for 2-3 days, which will be the part of our north Italy trip. We’ll be traveling with our 1,5 year old baby girl . I’ll be very happy if you could recommend us which village or town will be best for us to stay just to enjoy being with a stroller and not to miss the sites, and also which trails would suit a walk with a stroller. Thanks

    1. Hi Marina!
      Almost all of the Cinque Terre trails are narrow, rustic and full of steps – not stroller friendly at all. I would recommend bringing along a baby carrier and doing the hikes that way. As for which village to stay in, Monterosso is the flattest and therefore the most stroller-friendly.
      Have a wonderful time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  53. Hi! Your posts on Italy are amazing and can’t wait to use all your great insights this July. We are going to the Cinque Terre area for2 nights and wanting to stay in Monterosso… any recommendations of places to stay?

    1. Hi Ginni!
      There are some really charming places in Monterosso, and some very luxe places too. Check out La Casa di Zuecca, La Casa di Andrea, or Porto Roca if you’re looking to splurge 🙂
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  54. We have heard there is a ferry ride you can take…so hike one way and ferry back to your town. We heard the views from the water are beautiful. You have any advice or comments on this?

    1. Hi Iris!
      Yes, there is a ferry that travels to each of the towns except Corniglia, which doesn’t have a marina. Hiking from one end to the other and then ferrying back is a great way to see the Cinque Terre from two beautiful perspectives, so yes, totally recommend it! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  55. Hi Bianca , your notes on CT are awesome. I am getting there for my 50th birthday and I instantly tried to get the limoni thule place but they have no rooms in September on the dates that I plan to be there – Any other recommendation in Rio Maggiore that is as good or better – Please help, looking for your advice
    best – JAY

    1. Hi Jay,
      Happy birthday! Yes, there are a few places we love – Casa Lorenza, Allo Scalo dei Mille, Alla Marina, and Affittacamere Le Giare are all fantastic. Have a great trip! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  56. Hey Bianca,

    Thank your awesome description of the Cinque Terre area.

    Im planning to come and explore on Monday the 16th of June for 6 days from London.

    Do you have any tips for a single traveller?

    Cheers
    @digitalclaritys

    1. Hi @digitalclaritys,
      When I first came to the Cinque Terre 12 years ago, I was travelling alone and had the most magical summer of my life. I would say to be open to meeting people, including (especially?) locals, and to rest easy. This area is super safe and you can feel completely comfortable here on your own. Have a wonderful time! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  57. Hey Bianca,

    This is a great itinerary. My wife, will-be-6-month old and I are going to France (probably just Paris) and Italy from Oct 5-14. We want to spend 2-3 nights in the cinque terre (coming from Paris or from Paris to another Italian city and then cinque terre, and then heading to Rome) but were unsure which town to stay in with a baby, especially with Via dell’Amore being closed. Riomaggiore would have been our first pick, but not sure how great that would be with a stroller. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Ryan!
      I live in Riomaggiore with a toddler, so it’s definitely do-able, but my honest suggestion would be to stay in Monterosso. It’s flat there, whereas in Rio you have to contend with steep inclines and especially steps. Lugging a stroller up and down from your apartment/hotel room can be a huge pain – there are no elevators – and the place is just simply not stroller/wheelchair accessible. If you have one, I would definitely recommend packing a baby carrier or wrap as well. You’ll be able to get around Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia much more easily with that than with a stroller. Have a great time! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  58. Hi Bianca,

    We will be in Cinque Terra for two nights in a few weeks and we are staying in Monterosso. We will be coming from Florence via train. Any thoughts on how we should plan our time?

    Thanks!
    Jessica

    1. Have a look at the itinerary above for some ideas, Jessica 🙂 Have a great trip!

  59. Your website is wonderful! My husband and I are traveling to Italy mid August with our 18 year old daughter. We will have 9 days and 8 nights. We were planning on starting in Rome (3nights), then continuing on to Cinque Terre(3nights) and followed by two nights in Venice. What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks much!
    Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy!
      That sounds great. Rome and Venice are all about sightseeing, museums and monuments, whereas the Cinque Terre is all about nature, good food, and relaxation. It’ll be a nice break between the two cities.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  60. Hi,

    This is so helpful! I was wondering though, would the national park/trails be open on August 15th (I know its a national holiday in Italy)?

    Thanks,
    Sheila

    1. Hi Sheila,
      Definitely. August 15th is a holiday for Italians everywhere BUT in the Cinque Terre (or that’s what it can feel like!). For us it’s the busiest time of the year because everyone comes here for their vacation. Nothing, including the trails, is closed. Have a great time! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  61. Hi There,

    Great site. Couple of questions:
    Traveling with a family of 7. To adults and kids 20,19,18,17,16, and that’s the truth. First, which would be the best place to stay for young adults? Second, any thoughts on places to stay? (that will accomodate us) And lastly, is there really no train aceess?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey!
      Monterosso used to be known for its nightlife, but both it and Vernazza have become more upscale over the last decade or so and now tend to attract an older crowd. The towns on the other end (Rio, Manarola and Corniglia) still have hostels and budget accommodations, so young people tend to end up staying (or wanting to hang out) there. Riomaggiore also had an outdoor dance party every Saturday night all summer long this year.
      It is more difficult to find a single place that will accommodate 7 people in these tiny towns, but because the towns themselves are so small, splitting your group up into a couple of apartments is also an option. You will always be within walking distance of one another. And yes, there is definitely train access to and within the Cinque Terre. Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  62. Are you available for a few days or even an afternoon in late August this year? We are a group of 6 visiting and would love a guide. Also, are there any vineyards nearby that offer tours or tastings? Thanks!

    1. Hi Deb!
      Thanks for reaching out. Unfortunately all of our tours were in July of this year. Bianca spent August travelling south to Sicily with her family to prep and scout for next year’s schedule. The Cantina 5 Terre is a cooperative in Groppo (right above Manarola) that provides tastings and winery tours. You could also get in touch with Orlando, Francesco and Luigi at litan.it. They’re a small winery in Riomaggiore, and fantastic. Have fun! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  63. Hi Bianca,
    Thanks for this wonderful information. I will be staying with my husband and 12 yr old boy in Camogli near Portofino for a week next year. I thought it would be a lovely idea to train down to one of the towns and walk between a couple of villages. Due to the 365 steps at Corniglia I wondered about training to there and walking down to Riomaggiore. Is it better to walk the route south or North starting at Riomaggiore as far as views go? Are the tunnels etc along this stretch of the coast? Would I be missing out if I didn’t see Vernazzo? Many thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Hi!
      As far as views go, and as long as the Via dell’Amore between Manarola and Riomaggiore remains closed, I would walk in the opposite direction, towards Monterosso. The stretch between Vernazza and Monterosso is arguably the most striking view-wise and takes about two and a half hours. And there’s no reason you couldn’t take the train or ferry to see the remaining towns afterwards. They’re very close together 🙂 Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  64. The information you offer is wonderful..I am coming in May of 2015. I want to photography the iconic Mararola scene at sundown. If I stay in Vernazza can I train or take the ferry from Mararola to Vernazza at night after sunset? How convenient is it to travel between the villages at night and how late do the trains and/or ferries run? Thankyou for any help you can provide..Jean

    1. Absolutely you can, Jean. The trains run until at least 11:30 each night from Manarola, Corniglia and Vernazza – after midnight from Riomaggiore and Monterosso. Ferries stop running in the earlier evening, before sunset. For the best sunset shot of the town, head up to Nessun Dorma. That way you can enjoy a prosecco AND the view! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  65. The app sounds like a wonderful idea. I hope you will include something about photographing the iconic night shots and how to get from one town to the other for the photographers. Thanks

    1. Great idea, Jean! The lovely and uber-talented Leela Cyd – our friend and international pro-photographer – already co-hosts our Photoly Tour every summer… She would be a great resource for fleshing out a photography portion of our app. Mental note!

  66. HI. My husband and I are thinking of visiting Cinque Terre the middle of October this year. Whilst we know this is not the best time to visit, will it be too wet and cold for us to really enjoy it? Thanks.

    1. Hi Sue!
      That’s really hard to say. October can be absolutely gorgeous some years, and totally rained out others. It’s not usually that cold yet then, but you likely won’t be able to swim anymore. Hiking is great that time of year, but again, only if it isn’t raining. In bocca al lupo, whatever you decide! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  67. Hi,

    I’d like to ask you. i only have two nights in cinque terre. would it be better for me to stay in la spezia or vernazza? and do u think it’s better for me to just explore around cinque terre or do a day trip to portofino on the second day? much thanks in advance. and id be travelling in late july. that would still be summer right?

    1. Hi Linnnn 🙂
      If you can find a place to stay in the actual Cinque Terre, then I recommend that. If you’re looking to save some money, then you’ll likely find cheaper options in La Spezia, but otherwise, why stay outside of the place you want to spend time visiting? You can do the Cinque Terre in a day (see our blog post on that here: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/), which would allow you time to see Portofino too, but really making the most of the area generally requires two or three. Have a great time! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  68. i want to go! But the week i was hoping to go is march 8th and now I’m scared of weather. is that too early? Would one week later help? I could go the week of April 1st, but I’m nervous about the week before Easter?

    any advice much appreciated!

    1. Hi Jeanne,
      The season really starts the weekend of Easter, but in March the weather tends to already be quite nice. Too cold to swim yet, but you can do a hiking trip instead and enjoy a less busy version of the place than most get to see. Have a great time! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  69. Hi Bianca,

    Planning a trip, but I need to know if the Cinque Terre train runs to La Spezia on Ferragosto. If we’re driving to Florence that day, will we be able to eat on the way/buy gasoline?

    M

    1. Hi Matt,
      Absolutely. The trains don’t stop on holidays, and gas stations and places to eat along the highways will be open as well for the most part.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  70. Hi there

    Have been inspired by your site. We are travelling from pisa to portofino and thought we would stop one night in riomaggiore then take ferry to monterasso and then train to rapallo and then ferry to portofino does this sound viable or is there an easier way? J,x

    1. Hi Jackie,
      Sure, that sounds like a great way to make your way up there. Have a wonderful time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  71. Hello! I was just wondering what the most economic accommodation option would be in Riomaggiore for a solo traveler? And is Cinque Terre a good place to travel alone? I am planning to spend 5 days there this summer and will be going there from Florence and going from there to Rome–I understand that the trains cannot be bought in advance although I am having a hard time finding at least the schedules online!

    1. Email Enrico at Locanda del Sole and tell him I recommended you. We just spent 3-days there and it was an incredible value. Enrico is extremely helpful, courteous and he offers complimentary breakfast and parking. Its definitely an excellent place to start your 3-day tour offered by Bianca (see above), and he can work with your budget.

      info@locandadelsole.net

    2. Hi AP!
      If you’re looking for the most economical option you might want to try a hostel. Both Manarola and Corniglia have one. And travelling alone in the Cinque Terre is not only very safe, but it’s a great place to meet new people. For train schedules, check out the trenitalia site: trenitalia.com.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  72. Grazie mille Bianca! We followed your 3-day tour guide on our recent trip to Cinque Terre, and we had the most lovely vacation. You were right about everything — Riomaggiore was the best “home base” (we stayed at Locanda del Sole) and we had one of the best dinners of our life at Ristorante Belforte (Andrea waited on us at the “Lover’s Table”).

    Thank you for offering complimentary advice on your website. We are very grateful for your help!

    1. Hi Jared,
      That is so great, I’ll make sure Bianca sees this! Enrico is truly wonderful, I’m so glad you had a great time at Locanda del Sole.
      Thanks for coming back and letting us know how it went!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  73. Wonderful info on CT! We are taking train to CT from Rome in Sept.. 2014. only able to stay 1 night and have arthritic knees. Wondering best place to stay with minimal steps and near train station. also, is there a boat cruise you would recommend? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sue,
      The best town to stay in for anyone with mobility issues is Monterosso. It’s the flattest of the villages and you’re more likely to find accommodations there with elevators. There is one ferry line that runs between the villages, as well as nearby towns like Portovenere. Have a wonderful trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  74. Hi,

    Me and some friends are coming from Nice and have a car, but are unsure about how to get to CT. Do you have any suggestions about the fastest way to get to CT? I would rather drive in a car as far as possible than take a train the whole day. Should we drive to a certain point and drop off the car and then take the train? Thank you for your help and time!

    1. Hi Marni,
      You can drive to each of the villages of the Cinque Terre, but you’ll have to park your car at the top and then walk down to your accommodations since the towns are pedestrian-only. Once you’re here, the best way to get around is by train. You’ll save yourself a LOT of time, money and stress.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  75. Hi,
    This post is very useful thanks!
    I was wondering if you can recommend any good backpackers or B & Bs for 1 person with a budget of about 30-40 euros a night in early August ? I think Riomaggiore would be my preference but I’m not to fussed
    Thanks in advance

    1. Hi Tess,
      Even single rooms in regular establishments in the Cinque Terre rarely cost less than 50 euros a night (especially in August!), but there are two hostels – one in Manarola and one in Corniglia. They both also offer private rooms, so you may be able to find something there that fits your budget.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  76. Hi ,
    I have few questions concerning my stay in Monterosso :
    1- How to reach my hotel in monterosso from the train station if i have a travelling bag, knowing that i will be coming from Venice.
    2- Can we rent bikes to be able to turn the 5 villages in one day ??
    3 – do u recommend me to come directly from venice to la spezia or go first to florence then to cinque terre.

    thx u in advance for ur help..

    1. Hi Christine,
      You will have to walk from the train station to your hotel, as the Cinque Terre are pedestrian only. Depending on where you’re staying, you may be able to pre-arrange for your luggage to be picked up for you.
      Unless you’re an avid and I would even go so far as to say semi-professional cyclist, this is not the place to tackle with a bike. We’re talking hundreds of meters of VERY steep terrain just to get out of the villages onto the main road, and then hours of serious pedalling to get from town to town. Not for the faint of heart or amateurs!
      As for your route, getting from Venice to La Spezia takes anywhere from 5 to 7 hours. Breaking that up by stopping for a night in Florence might make the travel easier and more pleasant.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  77. hi there, Bianca! we are 6 adults planning to stay 2 nights in Monterrosso this August. we plan to land in Milan, stay 2 nights, train to CT then on to arezzo to rent a car. our schedule is flexible. can you recommend a couple of restaurants in Monterrosso And a fabulous restaurant for the night we plan to treat our hosts?
    is 2 nights enough? I CAN’T wait for your app!
    our friends have a home in Anghieri, tuscany, which will be our home base , but we want to go to awesome places! any suggestions?
    thank you kindly, jeanmarie

  78. Hi!

    I was just curious about arriving to Cinque Terre. We will be coming from Rome, so should we just get off at La Spezia? Do we have to hop a local train to get to Riomaggoire?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jarica,
      Only regional trains stop in Riomaggiore, and there are no regional trains you can take all the way from Rome. So you will have to hop off in La Spezia to get the train to Rio. It’s less than a ten-minute ride though, so you’ll be here in no time. Type in Roma Termini and Riomaggiore as your departure and arrival cities on trenitalia.com and it’ll give you all your options.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  79. Hey,

    I was really interested in staying in the limoni Di Thule place, but they haven’t replied to my emails.
    Are they still running?

    Thanks
    Hunna

    1. I also emailed them for accomodation in August and apparently they are not running at the moment…

    2. Hi Hunna,
      The owners were away for personal reasons in August, but they are still up and running. Shoot them another email, and if you don’t hear back, try Allo Scalo dei Mille, Casa Lorenza or Alla Marina, three other fabulous options in Riomaggiore.
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  80. Hi am travelling to Cinque terra in july and wandering what kind of clothing is appropriate. obviously no heels but is casual clothing ok does it get cold at night. also i heard a lot of mosquitoes is this true? i will be staying in manarola.

    1. Hi Anjli,
      July is usually hot, hot, hot! It’s always a good idea to have a sweater along just in case, but you’ll likely be wanting to peel off layers day and night, not put them on. There are mosquitos, but nothing crazy, in my opinion. If they tend to be attracted to you, bring along some spray.
      Have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  81. Hi
    What a great itinerary…just printed the WHOLE thing!!!! Good job
    My husband and I are fit seniors and hoping to spend some time in Cinque Terre after 3 weeks in Provence, France, Mid September, Mid October 2014
    We would need information as to how to get there from Nice France, via train…and we would like to stay 3-4 days.
    Any suggestions would be most welcome…thank you
    Janet

    1. Hi Janet,
      Go to trenitalia.com and type in “Nice ville” as your departure city and the town you plan to stay in in the Cinque Terre (ie. Monterosso) as your destination. All of your options will come up, including where you need to switch trains and when. The trip takes about 5.5 hours total.
      Have a wonderful trip, and so glad you like the itinerary! Hope you have fun with it 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  82. Hi
    I would like to perhaps do your two day trip at the end of september or first days of October.
    We will be in Venice then to Florence and could come to you from there. Do you pick up in Florence?
    What is the min. # of days for that area of cinque terre?
    and what is your fee for 2 people.
    Thank you! Nina

    1. Hi Nina,
      Our tours are weeklong group trips at set times of the year (May through July usually). Next year’s tours will be launched in the fall – sign up at the top of the page and you’ll be the first to know about them.
      Hope you can join us!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  83. Hi Bianca.
    Love the website – v. informative!
    I’m off to Cinque Terre later this month and wondering whether you have any last minute packing tips for me? I plan on lots of exploring, but I don’t speak any Italian – will this be a problem?
    Thanks for all your help already 🙂
    Amy

    1. Hey Amy,
      We have some great packing tips here:
      https://www.italianfix.com/6-things-not-to-bring-to-italy/
      Getting around in this area with no Italian is definitely possible, and in fact most tourists do just that. But it’s always fun to learn a few keys phrases and words in advance, and the Italians appreciate the effort too 🙂
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  84. Hi Bianca, what an awesome web-site. Thanks for all the info. My husband and I will be staying in Riomaggiore in September. Once we have completed our stay there, we will be heading to Switzerland via lake Como and Lugano. Do you have any recommendations as to the best route out of Italy? We thought of hiring a car, but if that is the best idea, where would be the closest town to Riomaggiore to rent a car? Really can’t wait to see Cinque Terre. It will be a dream come true for me. And thanks so much for all your advice.

    1. Hi Maria,
      The closest city to Riomaggiore where you can rent a car is La Spezia. Just ask at your hotel or room rental for a recommendation. The car rental place will also be able to recommend the best route for you to take.
      Sounds like an adventure – have a fabulous time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  85. I heard that there was a great deal of flooding in the last year and that sadly some of the villages have been wiped out. How should one adjust his itinerary accordingly?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi David,
      There was horrible flooding, devastating both Vernazza and Monterosso, but everything is back up and running as it was before, so no need to make adjustments.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  86. Many comments, but no answers. Is this the way it works because I have questions but can’t wait months for answers.

    1. Hi Michele,
      That is the way it works when you’re providing personalized travel advice to hundreds of people for free. We do our best 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  87. Which village do you recommend staying in if we are arriving by car to the Cinque Terre region (driving from Rome)

    Loved your article

    1. Hi Anna,
      If you want to stay in the first town you meet travelling from Rome, then that would be Riomaggiore. When you arrive, plan to leave your car in the parking area and get around for the rest of your stay by train, ferry or foot. It’s inconvenient, expensive and takes much, much longer to visit each town by car.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  88. I LOVE your website and have found it very useful. I’m sure like most people I have a ton of questions. My husband and I are heading to Italy for a quick 9-day holiday. We had plans to visit Rome, Naples, and Florence. After exploring your website Cinque Terre is a destination I’d really like to visit. So my question is, is it doable to go from Naples to Cinque Terre, then to Florence without being completely burnt out and or not being able to really appreciate one or the other.

    1. Hi Leonie,
      The Cinque Terre are actually a great place to come between bigger cities for a break and to relieve “tourist exhaustion.” There aren’t really any museums and monuments to run around seeing here, just the hills and the sea, and the five towns to stroll through. The trip from Naples is about 6-7 hours by train, so unless you want to make a day of travelling, you may want to split that up by visiting Florence first (Naples to Florence takes about two and a half hours).
      Have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  89. CIAO! Great post! Planning a trip to Cinque Terre in August. My fiance and I are looking for a studio with a view and a terrace/balcony, pretty much the most romantic thing we can think of. I think we are most interested in Vernazza then Riomaggiore. What other routes of finding accommodations then the one you listed would you suggest? Are dates are flexible we are more interested in finding the right place. Thanks

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      You can check booking.com and Trip Advisor to see the places that are getting the best reviews. Another options that’s really picking up steam here now is Airbnb. For more exclusive, luxe accommodations, Cinque Terre Riviera is a great resource.
      Here’s to a wonderfully romantic holiday!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

    1. Hi Yung,
      No need to be a hiker to enjoy the Cinque Terre. Just take the train or ferry to get from town to town, and enjoy lovely meals, sunsets, shopping, swimming and strolling around.
      Glad you’ve enjoyed the blog!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  90. Bianca –

    Thank you! I have six nights to travel at the end of my time here in Europe and this blog absolutely confirmed that Cinque Terre is where I will be!

    I am looking for economical housing for a student… a bit hard to navigate the B&Bs/hostels online… do you have any suggestions on that front?

    Thanks very much in advance!

    Best,
    Hannah

  91. Hello! My friend and I are backpacking (cheap hostel hopping) from Pisa –> Florence –> the Cinque Terre –> Genoa/Portofinio –> back to Pisa in 8 days. How many days would you spend in each? Also where would you recommend students on a budget to stay in the Cinque Terre? Basically what we want to do is hike, eat a lot of cheese, drink a lot of wine, and a swim. Maybe drink wine while swimming and hiking. Either way, we would love any advice. Thanks for your great post!

    1. Hey Sheridan,
      There is a hostel in each of Manarola and Corniglia in the Cinque Terre – you’ll find the cheapest accommodation in the area there.
      As for portioning out your days, I would do one day in Pisa, three in Florence, two in CT and one in each of Genoa and Portofino.
      What you like to do is what we like to do, so I’m sure you’re going to love it here 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  92. I found your site after I had arrived in CT (based myself in Riomaggiore) and cannot say enough about how helpful it was. I wish I had found it sooner. Such wonderful first hand information on the place.

    Highly second La Laterna (the gnocci is to die for) and Billy’s (amazing food and wonderful staff).

    Can’t wait to go back and discover more of your special places!!

    1. So glad you had such a good time, Amy! Thanks for coming back and letting us know 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  93. Hi! Great, generous, thorough info. about CT. Thanks.
    You are going to cringe when you hear this but we are doing a day trip to CT out of Florence sometime between Aug. 30-Sept 1st 2014. Which city do you recommend to leave the car in and jump on a train….that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

    Thanks, Deb

    1. Hi Deb,
      So glad you’ve gotten so much out of our site!
      I’d leave the car in La Spezia (there is parking at the train station) and train it from there. There is also parking in Riomaggiore (the first town in), but it tends to be packed and you can end up wasting a lot of time waiting for a spot.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  94. Bianca, I love your site. I would be interested in your view but am mindful that we will be in the “angry day tripper” category. We will be visiting Viareggio for a week in September and wanted to visit the Cinque Terre on 2 (not consecutive) days during the week. Are we mad and what would the best way of doing this. I would be very grateful for your advice. Thank youooo J

    1. Hey J,
      Totally do-able. Viareggio is close, so you’re looking at about an hour of travel each way. You can get a lot into each day you visit if you leave early and go back late, so I think you’ll have a great time! And you’ll love Viareggio too 🙂
      Have a wonderful trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  95. Bianca,

    Thank you for all your very helpful information. We will be in CT in early September, and I was wondering how far in advance we should be making reservations? Especially for Cappun Magru. We wanted to eat there for Sunday lunch on September 7th. If we wait until we get to Italy on Sept 3, will that be sufficient, or should we try and call earlier? Thanks so much in advance.

    1. Hi there,
      I would recommend booking earlier than that. This restaurant is really small – I think they have eight tables total – so they fill up fast.
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  96. Hi there, Great article and a great website. Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to make this available for everyone. I am thinking of going to the Cinque Terre during the first week of May (2015) spending 4-5 days there and then taking the boat to Sardinia. Are all of the places and travel connections operating then or is it too early in the season?

    1. Hi Mark,
      Thank you so much, we’re glad you’ve enjoyed the site!
      There are ferries that run to Sardina from Genoa and from Livorno (each about an hour and a half away) year round, but since the high season doesn’t really start for them until June, they won’t be as frequent in early May. As for what’s open and running in Sardinia at that time of year, it all depends on where you’re going. Most things should be operational though.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  97. Hi there,

    Thanks a lot for all these helpful and sensible informations.
    I am planning to go there beginning of October with my son for 4 days.
    What do you think weatherwise?
    Thank you,

    Beatrice

    1. Hi Beatrice,
      It’s hard to say as October can be hit and miss. We’ve had some of the worst rain in history in October (the floods that devastated Vernazza and Monterosso happened at the end of that month), and we’ve had some beautiful sunny weather also that time of year. The beginning of October is usually still pretty safe (September is one of the most gorgeous months of the year here) so you should be ok.
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

    1. Hi Tee,
      Not necessarily – it depends on what kind of trip you’re looking to have, and of course the weather. November can be rainy, but if it isn’t, you can expect to experience a more authentic version of the Cinque Terre than you will in the busier summer months. A lot is closed (though there will always be at least one restaurant, one grocery store and one bar open per town), but what is open is populated mainly by the actual townsfolk, the Italians who live here (and a few of us ex-pats). It’s intimate, quiet, and I think really beautiful this time of year.
      Do come back and let us know how it went 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  98. Hello! If we have a car (driving from Switzerland), where can we park? Is there an overnight parking outside of Cinque Terre? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      Each of the towns has a parking area above it where you can leave your car for the duration of your stay.
      Happy travels!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  99. I am here with my 13 year old daughter now. We are staying in Monterosso – Can’t wait to try your suggestions.

  100. Hi! I just stumbled upon this article and am SO happy I did! I’ll be traveling through Italy all of September as a solo female mid-20s backpacker. I want to spend about 3 nights in Cinque Terre, but all the accommodations I’ve found are hotel or apartment style. I’m looking for a hostel atmosphere where I can meet other travelers and be social while I’m there. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Charlotte,
      There is an official hostel in Manarola as well as one in Corniglia. Riomaggiore has a few dorm bed options as well – just google “dorm beds riomaggiore.”
      This is a great place for meeting people, so have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  101. Hello!! We are a family with 2 children 9 & 12 looking to visit CT next summer. History says we will have a ton of baggage, so i’m looking for recommendations on family-friendly hotels accessible from train station without lets of steps (or with taxi). [don’t want to make same mistake when we went to venice and had to shlep luggage everywhere.] thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi Hardy,
      I don’t want to burst your bubble, but this is not the place to come with lots of luggage – add a million steps to your Venice experience and you’ll get the picture. The towns are built into steep cliffs, are traffic-free (ie. no cabs), and in most cases accommodations are located at least a bit of a walk from the station. The flattest of the towns is Monterosso, so if you have wheeled baggage, it’s likely to be the easiest. Give it a try, and try to pack light 😉
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  102. Ciao Bianca,

    You and this website are fantastic! Thank you so much for your amazing tips 🙂

    My boyfriend and I will be travelling to CT towards the end of September, however we will only be able to dedicate one night 🙁

    I would love to hear your ideas on the best places to see/stay in our short time.

    I have fallen in love with this place already and I haven’t even been there!

    Can’t wait.

    Grazie, Ro x

    1. I also forgot to mention that we are hiring a car and driving through Italy, can you please suggest the best place for us to leave our car before we head into the area?

      Thank you!!!

      Ro

      1. Hi Rowena,
        Each of the towns in the Cinque Terre has a parking area.
        Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  103. Bianca I must appreciate that is really a very helpful article. There are various websites and pages but at the end you end up getting confused.. This is very simple and precise information page…im in phase of making my itinerary and seek your help once i make a first draft.
    Do you have such pages for other zones in Italy as well?? venice/ Rome/ Tuscany (specially country side)/ South Italy… if not can you share best info pages that matches your level of detailing.

    Thanks a Ton
    harshita

    1. Hi Harshita,
      We have several blog posts about Florence (Bianca used to live there), and we’re in the process of fleshing Italian Fix out to include other areas as well (next up – the south!).
      Stay tuned!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  104. Dear Bianca,
    First of all, many compliments on the lovely compilation of this website, its very insightful. 🙂

    I would like to ask you something regarding my trip ti the 5 terre. i will be arriving by train on 29th at about 22,00hrs at la spezia, and have my train back on 31st in at 14,30 hrs from la spezia.

    i am confused in choosing the accommodation. Riomaggiore or Monterosso al Mare. besides i would like to spend both the nights at the same place, but i am not sure if there will be some mode of transport available at 22,30 to travel from la spezia to the villages.
    Lastly i would be travelling with my boyfriend.

    Looking forward to your views.
    Thank you,
    Regards
    Rujuta

    1. Hi Rujuta,
      There are trains running to both Riomaggiore and Monterosso from La Spezia until after midnight, so you’ll be fine. As for where to stay, go with your gut, and don’t worry too much about it. The towns are all just a quick train ride from one another, so you can spend all day in your favorite and just head back to where you’re staying to sleep.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  105. Hi Forum members

    So my Itinerary looks like this:

    1. 4th Oct: Land in Milan in the evening. Overnight stay in Milan
    2. 5th Oct: Lake Como. Stay in Varenna or Bellagio
    3. 6th Oct: Head to Venice
    4. 7th Oct: Venice
    5. 8th Oct: leave for Cinque Terre. Take ocean feel stay in Vernazza.
    6. 9th Oct: Hike to Monterosso. Spend day and take the train back.
    7. 10th Oct: Head Florence via PISA . Evening in Florence.
    8. 11th Oct: Tuscan country side- May be a day trip to Chianti
    9. 12th Oct: Tuscan country side- val D’orcia
    10. 13th Oct: Rome
    11. 14th Oct: half day Rome and head back Home

    See i have 9 and a half days in Italy and i want to do so much in that. i cant miss Venice.. i cant miss cinque Terre even before reading this article.
    Now, i need help in Tuscany. I have 3 days and i want to spend most of time in countryside. I can chuck Pisa on the ways to Florence
    shall i allot one more day to Rome and chuck lake como??
    Also, suggest things to do in Venice.. Bianca has mentioned about kayaking on another page but my physical fitness levels are not great so kayaking is not for me..

    Thanks a ton
    Harshita

    1. Hi Harshita,
      I think this itinerary sounds good, and honestly no one but you can decide what’s worth skipping and what isn’t. You can get through a lot of Rome’s major sights in just a day, so you don’t necessarily have to skip Como. Then again, I’m not a huge fan of racing through a trip to anywhere just to check things off of a list – seen that, and that, and that. Consider paring down and enjoying more time in the places that capture your imagination the most. All it means is that you’ll just have to come back someday, and that’s not such a bad thing, is it?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  106. Sorry I didn’t have time to read through all the comments to see if you had answered this question already, but I was wondering what the standard check-in time for places to stay in the Cinque Terre (CT) was. We are flying into Nice and will stay in Antibes a few days…and then take the train to the CT. I am looking at the train schedule and if we leave in the late afternoon that will put us in one of the CT towns close to midnight. I am assuming they aren’t like American hotels were you can come in at all hours. Just wondering what time we need to shoot for getting into the CT. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Julie,
      You’re right, there aren’t a lot of places around here that will accept guests that late. Many places, in fact, will not accept guests past the early evening, and if you arrive later than that, you’re out of luck. Make sure you talk to the hotel in advance about your time of arrival so that you have time to look elsewhere if they’re not cool with it.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  107. Bianca,

    Love the info, thanks for posting about CT!!

    I wanted to get your professional opinion on where to stay/base out of while I will be in CT in September. My current itinerary has me leaving Rome and heading up to CT from Florence on Wednesday evening, September 17th. I’ll be there Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and head back to Rome via train on Saturday afternoon/evening.

    Would love any and all insight as far as where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc…

    Thanks so much!!

    Stephen

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Bianca has loads of suggestions about just these things in this and a few other blog posts about the CT on this site. Have a look around and enjoy!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  108. i am definitely stealing this itenerary, it is perfect because we planned 3 nights and 4 days! we will be there sept 15-18 this year, I heard some of the trails are closed. any advice here? we are looking forward to hiking! do you have any suggestions for like a vineyard tour/tasting or a little bakery for breakfast in riomaggiore?

    1. Hi Deeann,
      So great that our itinerary matches your trip! Some of the trails – including the famous Via dell’Amore – are in fact closed, but don’t despair. Every trail that’s closed has an alternate trail to get you where you want to go. You may have to hike a bit further up into the hills, but that just means better views 😉
      Give the boys at litan.it a shout about wine tasting and vineyard tours – they’re awesome. And you can grab some sweets at the Panificio in Riomaggiore, but you’re better off having breakfast at one of the bars in town like the Italians do. Most places have their pastries baked fresh and delivered every morning.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  109. Lovetty love love! Thank you Google, for sending me over here. Five friends an I have decided on Italy for a trip in October of 2014. I. Have. Never. Been.

    We plan to rent a villa in Tuscany – perhaps near Pisa – and rent a car. It seems, however, that Cinque Terre is further from the area than I realized. Is Pisa too far for a day trip? I read your articles – the most tragic thing about this trip is already realizing that we cannot possibly Do It All.

    Looking forward to more Italy in my inbox! Cheers.

    1. Hey Adelle,
      Yay! We love helping to get people excited about their trips! Pisa is super close (just over an hour driving and an hour and a half by train) so you can definitely do a Cinque Terre day trip or two from there.
      Have a blast!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

    1. Hi Barbara,
      The ferries stop running around October 5th generally.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  110. Hello,
    Thank you for your interesting website. It has been very helpful. We are a couple traveling to cinq terre from the 9th to the 12th of October. We were wondering where would be the best place to stay? We had found a residence .. a kind of monestery with pink walls .. But lost the link .. anyway if you have suggestions for us that would be great. We were leaning towards staying in Riomaggiore if possible.

    Thanks for your help.

    Carl Uhland

    1. Ciao Carl,
      Did you try the suggestions in our post above? If so and they were full, give Casa Lorenza or Allo Scalo dei Mille a try. They’re excellent.
      Have a great stay!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  111. With such a great amount of excellence in such a consolidated region,Cinque Terre italy is an unquestionable requirement see terminus. Regardless of where you choose to stay in Cinque Terre you are certain to have a moderate and vital excursion

  112. Bianca, scusami. Andremo con un gruppo di 23 studentesse da Firenze a settembre. È meglio andare di sabato o di domenica?

    1. Ciao Joseph,
      Se volete trovare il posto un po’ più tranquillo, consiglierei la domenica, quando la maggior parte dei turisti italiani tornano a casa. Se volete un po’ di vita, meglio venire sabato.
      Divertitevi!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  113. What is the weather like at the end of October beginning of November. Is it too windy on the coast?
    Or should we go for it?

    1. Hi Yechiel,
      Rain is sometimes more of an issue that time of year than wind, but as with weather anywhere, it’s impossible to predict very far in advance. I happen to love the quiet and tranquility in late October and November, especially after a busy season, so if you think that that might also be your cup of tea then definitely, go for it 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  114. My husband and I are staying in Volastra, just above Manarola. We are here now, and were hoping to go hiking on some trails and maybe a sailboat excursion. We have woken up to rain. Do you have suggestions for how to enjoy the area in rainy weather?

    1. Hi Emily,
      That’s kind of a tough one – this area is all about being outside, so rainy days can leave you at a loss. Zio Bramante in Manarola is a cozy place to sip a caffe latte and read a book until the worst passes. They have live music in the evenings too. Check out some more of our rainy day tips here: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
      Hope you had a great time despite the weather!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

    1. Hey Gaby,
      Thank you! Bianca will love reading this 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  115. The best most wonderful “scoop” about CT.
    Do you have a recommendation for lodging in Monterosso ( or Vernazza )?

    Also any suggestions on how we get down to Amalfi .
    Most likely by train, what is the quickest possible way.
    Through Florence or Rome?

    Many thanks in advance. Your info on CT …absolutely indispensable !!

    1. Hey Arnie,
      In Monterosso we like Il Portico, Pietre di Mare, Zia Letizia and La Casa di Zuecca. Try Casa Cato’ in Vernazza. As for getting down to Amalfi, trenitalia.com is an excellent resource. It’ll pull up the most efficient options for you once you’ve typed in your departure and arrival cities.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  116. Amazing summary and suggestions, so glad I found this, hoping to go next week from Lucca, no idea what I’m doing. So this helped so much! 🙂 grazie!

  117. Hi — Can you advise about going to Cinque Terre in early November of this year? We could be there from November 4-6. It seems the ferry will be closed by then and the trails could be closed if it’s raining? Some people recommend at that time of year it’s better go stay in Portovenere, and make a trip over to Cinque Terre if the weather is good. (I don’t mind walking in the rain — just trying to assess if restaurants and trails will be open. If you do think it’s a good time to go, where would you suggest staying at that time? I was most interested in staying in Manarola or Riomaggiore.) Thank you in advance.

    1. Hey Jenny,
      Really it’s impossible to say very far in advance how the weather is going to be, as you know. Trails will still be open unless it rains and there are mudslides, but the ferries will no longer be running. You can still visit all five towns by train though, and though a few establishments do close at this time, there will still be restaurants and bars and grocery stores open. Staying in Portovenere is also nice, but no different from staying here at that time of year really. Same goes for the differences between towns – no one town is more tourist-friendly than the others once the season ends.
      Have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  118. Your blog is wonderful!! Thank you!!

    Would you let me know your thoughts on driving vs taking the train in Italy? I am traveling with my mother (64 years old) and aunt (69 years old) in 2 weeks. We are flying into Rome and will either rent a car or train to Arezzo (or any other charming, quaint town in Tuscany where we can take in the vineyards and quiet, beautiful scernery)… then on to La Spezia where we will either park the car or board the other train to get to Cinque Terre. We will have 3 nights there before continuing on to Lake Como then Milan before flying back to the US.
    Would appreciate your thoughts or recommendations on transportation in October (off season?). We are up for adventure and are going more off the beaten path this trip to Italy..

    Many thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Becky,

      Thanks for dropping by and great question! It’s an age old one. 🙂 I typically recommend train travel (simpler), but it sounds like a car would be suited to you, as you want to go off the beaten path. San Gimignano, for example is an very charming Tuscan hill town that is only car reachable. Your aunts may also appreciate the lift.

      Yes, you can use the car park in La Spezia, or just book a hotel in the Cinque Terre that has space for your car. Always ask, if they have one it usually is 10 euro per night fee, which is worth it!

      Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear,
      Bianca

    1. Hi Gabriela,

      Thanks so much for your comment Gaby and adorable post too! I did laugh 🙂

      Keep in touch,
      Bianca

  119. Hi Bianca,

    Wondering if you would take 6 year old twin girls on this trip or wait until they are older?

    Thanks,
    Melissa

    1. Hi Melissa,

      I would definitely take six year old twins to the Cinque Terre. My daughter is six too; I know that age well! It may be more relaxing for you to book a hotel on the promenade of Monterosso. It’s right on the beach, and close to the train station. The added bonus is that Monterosso has less stairs, so you will be less of a pack mule. What’s awesome about the villages, is that they’re mostly car free. This is such a bonus when packing kids around Europe because you can have peace of mind they can play freely without tight spaces and car traffic. Don’t miss the beach town of Bonassola with the kids too. Definitely my fave spot (wide traffic free main boulevard designed for parents to drink cocktails while kids run wild — molto Italiano). 🙂

      Divertitevi in Italia con le bambine,
      Bianca

  120. Hi Bianca,

    I am planning on bringing my wife to Italy for her 50th birthday. We are planning on traveling between May 12th and the 29th. I was hoping to spend a few days in Paris, then to Florence as a home base for about a week or so (would like to venture to Rome and perhaps Venice for a couple days), with our final week or so in Cinque Terre. I was looking at VRBO for our rentals and was hoping to get your input. Which city would you suggest we use as a home base in Cinque Terre? I would prefer to have our final week be more of a “vacation” than the adventure that will precede it!

    I would appreciate any thoughts and or suggestions you might be able to give me.

    Thanks!

    Kevin

    1. Kevin,
      Congrats on your trip! Why not check out VRBo rentals in Levanto. It’s a bigger town with more choice — and right next door to Cinque Terre!

      Bianca

  121. Hi!
    I will be in Cinque Terre in June for about 3 days. I was wondering if there are day trips to areas around Cinque Terre you would recommend? Perhaps a boat trip some where?
    Thanks!

    1. Terri,
      Absolutely! Call my friend Giancarlo at Agriturismo Villanova. I always bring my clients there!
      Bianca

  122. Hi there

    My boyfriend and I found your articles really interesting. We want to come to cinque terre late may and were wondering if the weather will be good enough to wear shorts and costumes etc or when is the best time to come? We want to avoid busy tourist season if possible.

    Thank you

  123. Hello! I am planning to spend about a week in Cinque Terre in April and was wondering if you could recommend the best places to stay on a budget as I am a student traveling?

    Grazie!

    1. Hi Marissa,
      I’m never short on ideas 😉
      Check out my friend Jacomo’s place called La Dolce Vita in Riomaggiore. It’s called a hostel but it’s really just private apartment rentals at a budget! Also, the hostel in Manarola is lovely. Have a great trip!
      Bianca

  124. We are two active senior couples travelling from Venice to Cinque Terra in May. Any recommendations for apt. for four nights. Trying to keeps costs down. Appreciate all your advice.

  125. Hi there!
    My husband and I are planning just one night somewhere in Cinque Terre. We will be arriving sometime around mid May 2015 and because we are coming in from Florence, I thought we may be better off staying in Monterosso?? Do you have any recommendations where to stay in that town?? I would love a “room with a view”!!! But not too expensive.. 🙂

    1. Hi Theresa,
      Monterosso is lovely! A room with a view would be any hotel along the promenade. A few are Hotel Baia or Hotel Pasquale. They are pretty popular and could be pricey. Pro Tip: You could search for the Italian term “camere visto mare Monterosso” and you’ll see a listing of places that price concious Italians choose. Good luck! Bianca

  126. Hello Bianca,
    I am enjoying reading your information on Cinque Terre. My husband and 2 children (aged 13 and 12) are planning a trip to Italy and hoping to stay in Riomaggiore around the start to mid September. Is the weather generally ok at this time of year? As we are a family of 4 will we need to pre-book accomodation before we arrive or would it be easy to find somewhere to stay once we get there (we are not sure of our dates as are planning on hiring a car and just driving for a couple of weeks)? Would you recommend driving around Italy for tourists or would it be better to use train travel (we have had conflicting advice)? We are planning on starting in Venice then travelling to Florence, Riomaggiore, Rome and Positano (roughly). Thank you for your time – I look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Jodi,
      Yes, weather is great! You should definitely pre-book accommodation for your entire trip as September is very busy still. For all the towns you are listing, train travel will work for you. It’s easy to travel by train, and cheaper too!
      Bianca
      P.S. If you’re craving a car rental, why not rent one in Positano for tow days so you can whip around to the out of the way places. I would do that!

  127. Hi!!!

    So excited to find this site. Cinque Terre was recommended to us by a few friends. We love love walking, nature & site seeing. We will be flying into Pisa at the end of March & then would like to head to Cinque Terre and spend at least 2 nights. Here are my questions…

    I saw that you don’t necessarily recommend Cinque Terre in March. What will the weather be like?
    If we decide to give it a go – Is the train reasonable from Pisa?
    Our daughter will be 7 months at the time of travel – any places (restaurants,beaches) you have noticed to be baby friendly?
    What other areas do you recommend – we have about 10 days total?

    Thx look forward to hearing from you!!!

  128. Hello, It’s wonderful that people like you still exist on the terra and “cinque terre”. Thank you for existing.
    My wife and me prepare for a trip in Liguria Riviera. We are well over 70!!. We plan ab. ten days for the full tour and two nights (almost two days) in “Parco di cinque terre”. What can I remove from your plan without destroying it and ourselves (though we are quite fit!)?
    Thanks

    1. Theodore,
      Thanks for your sweet words. Glad you exist on the “terra” too! So great to see you enjoying life in your 70’s and filling your time with more memories.
      I think you should avoid the bigger walks I mention. Also, save walking muscles and take the ferry boat between the towns, as the view from the water is lovely (ferries are seasonal). Apart from that — you might also enjoy some tips I mention here: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/
      Best, Bianca

  129. Hi Bianca!
    I was looking for some help with ‘Cinque Terre’ portion of my Italy trip, when I stumbled upon your blog. I am travelling alone (backpacking) and have 2 nights to spend in Cinque Terre.
    I am really interested in doing the Cinque Terre Alta Via/Sentiero Rosso or the ‘The High Trail’. Could you suggest which village would be best to set base in, and how to go about hiking the best portions of the High Trail in 2 nights.
    I leave will be there sometime in early April this year will be arriving into Cinque Terre from Florence.
    Eagerly awaiting your response.

    Thanks,
    Aditya

  130. Hi Bianca,
    Love your blog!
    My husband and I are planning to spend 3 nights around the Cinque Terra from 21 April. Is it a good time to be there? Where is the best place? What do you think about staying in Rapallo?
    Many thanks
    Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Rapallo is less than an hour away, so it’s a great place to stay just outside of the Cinque Terre. End of April is the very beginning of the season here, so everyone is bright-eyed and bushy tailed and happy to see tourists again. It’s usually already warm out, but not hot, so it’s a great time to visit.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  131. Hi, Bianca,

    My wife are traveling to Italy in June and plan on spending three nights in the Cinque Terre. We were considering Cinque Terre Residences for our stay, but guess who has all of the rooms booked? You! (I’m just guessing it’s you since you have a tour on those days).

    Anyway, my wife and I are both perfectly mobile with the exception that she has trouble going down a lot of steps (she’s okay with walking downhill but not so good with steps down). Can we still enjoy the Cinque Terre with this limitation? And would Monterosso be our best choice for a place to stay considering this?

    Thanks,
    Dave

    1. Hi Dave,
      I would say yes, go for Monterosso instead of Rio. There are a LOT of steps here and the whole town is built on a pretty steep incline, whereas Monterosso is flat. And consider the fact that Residence was booked out a blessing in disguise! It’s at the very top of Riomaggiore, so getting up and down every day might have been too hard on your wife.
      Have the most fabulous trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  132. Thank you so much for this great information.
    I an a Senior Travel Consultant in Montreal, Quebec and my clients are looking to travel to Cinque Terre for 2 weeks.
    This is one of the regions in Italy that I have yet to discover so your insights have been wonderful.

    Many thanks !

    Sophie 🙂

    1. So glad we could help out, Sophie! And hopefully one day you can come enjoy the area yourself too 🙂

  133. Hello,

    Me and my girlfriend plan to travel to Cinque Terre in the end of May or in the beginning of June? Do you think that this period is suitable and still not so overcrowded like in August and we can have enough sunny days? And one more thing we plan to stay in Monterosso at Eremo di S.M. Maddalena do you have any opinion of this place? And last but not at least we plan to come by car from Bulgaria can we reach Monterosso and this villa there by the car itself and we will leave the car there and will start exploring this beautiful region by walking and hiking? I highly appreciate your answer! Thank you in advance!
    Best Regards

    1. Ciao Andrey,
      May and June are very nice times of the year to visit the Cinque Terre. The weather is usually already quite nice and it isn’t as busy as it tends to get later in the summer. Ere di SM Maddalena is absolutely beautiful – a stay in Italy right out of a romantic movie – but it isn’t right in Monterosso. It’s about 3 km away, so you’ll need to drive to get into the village itself, or you could hike there.
      Do come back and tell us how it went!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  134. Hi
    I’m traveling to Italy in early March and planned on going to Cinque Terre. It appears you suggest we don’t go due to the possible weather. I’m an amateur photographer and really wanted to go, is it really so bad in the early spring? Also I’m traveling with others who are more interested in museums so I’m breaking away from the group for one night to check out Cinque Terre. Let me know if you think this is really not advisable.

    1. Hi Sue,
      March can be hit or miss weather-wise, but if you’re in the area with friends anyway, then definitely take a day trip in! Sometimes the weather is just gorgeous that time of year 🙂
      Have a great trip, and feel free to post some of your photos on our Facebook page!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  135. Thanks so much for this fantastic post, it really has been hard to find useful information on the Cinque Terre!
    I plan on travelling to cinque terre in early October. Just wondering what the weather is like there during that time. I have heard mixed things and am hoping that it will be nice weather.
    Also we will be travelling from Florence to the cinque terre by train, do you have any tips?
    Thanks so much!
    Jess

    1. Hi Jess,
      Yes, the Cinque Terre is very confusing and I’ve built amazing insider tours for small groups because it’s such a confusing place to travel. Here are my trips:
      https://www.italianfix.com/travel/
      I think you should travel in October no problemo. The weather will be nice. Here are the temps:
      https://www.italianfix.com/italy-weather-when-to-go/
      As far as getting between Florence and the Cinque Terre — it couldn’t be easier on the train. More tips for you!
      https://www.italianfix.com/what-to-do-tuscany/
      Have a great trip!
      Bianca

  136. Thank you so much for explaining each of the towns. It is so hard to choose just one but this post certainly helped. Question: is the Cinque Terre area still worth going to in early March?

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  137. Hello,

    I reserved a room in Monterosso because of the large beach, now I don’t know if it is ok, I also like Riomagiore but I do not know if is enough space where to take a bath in the sea and have a little sun.

  138. 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

    1. 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

  139. Hi Bianca!! I plan on visiting this beautiful place with three of my best girl friends! We’re all mid-20s. This itinerary sounds amazing. Quick question though.. We will be visiting at the beginning of October. How is the weather during this time usually??

    1. Amanda,
      You’ll be blessed with good weather probably. It’s a nice time to go. 🙂
      Bianca

  140. Great Article!! We are currently coming from Germany and planning on driving, i have heard Levanto would be a great starting spot (hotel and to leave the car) and than take the train into a new village each day, is that something you would recommend as well? Its already a killer drive so trying to avoid going further south just to travel up those days. Thanks for the detailed article

    1. Ciao Autumn,
      Levanto is a great place to make your home base. It’s only five minutes by train to Monterosso, so really not that much more driving to get right into the Cinque Terre, but if you prefer something a little less busy, then go for it.
      Have a wonderful trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  141. My wife collects beach stones. Which beach in Cinque Terre has the best (i.e., smoothest, most colorful and/or most striated) stones?

  142. Hi Bianca,

    Awesome write-up! I only wish my friends and I could join one of your group tours! However, we have already booked our tickets and will be visiting Italy from 2-16 April. Question for you: will it be too cold to visit Cinque Terre during this time of year? We will be starting in Milan and plan to travel to Florence. Any advice from you would be much appreciated!

    Cheers,
    Van

    1. Van,
      Hopefully next time! Sign up for my mailing list so we can stay connected. 🙂
      I think you could have a great time in Cinque Terre in April. You would stop in the Cinque Terre before you hit Florence. I hope this helps.
      Bianca

  143. Hi Biancia. Thanks for your amazing info. 6 of us (3 couples) are planning to visit Cinque Terre from 20 – 26th Sept this year. We want to be in one of the 5 villages. Our problem is finding a place that can gives us three double rooms, even if not together close by? Also we coming from South Africa are paying 15 South African rand foe 1 Euro so we have a budget of max 100€ per couple per night. Any help or advise would be appreciated. Thanks Gail

  144. Lovely article my husband n me are looking to travel to Italy during aug my itinerary is 2 days naples with half a day at pompie 1 night cinque terre 1 night bologna 1 night triest since both of us have been to the biggies we are looking at going to smaller towns. Can u guide me at cinque terre??

    1. Hi Poormina,
      This summer, I just offer weeklong itineraries that are already organized. Thank you for asking however!
      Bianca

  145. Hi Bianca,
    Love your beginner’s guide. My wife and I are planning a fly drive to Italy this fall. We are planning to arrive in Cinque Terre on 9/28 for 3 nights by car. Would you be able to help us with guide services?

    Brad

    1. Ciao Brad,
      Our tours are already wrapped up for this year, unfortunately, but sign up for updates at the top of this page and you’ll be the first to find out about next year’s offerings 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  146. hi Bianca,

    We booked a trip with 7 girls to cinque terre 3-7 juni 2015. We stay in Monterosso. We like hiking, eating, drinking, relaxing. Do you have a suggestion for Some more difficult hikes in cinque terre? We like the combination of it all.

    Greetings from Holland
    Vivi

    1. Ciao Vivi,
      The hike between Monterosso and Vernazza is the most difficult section of the Sentiero Azzurro (the main trail), but if you’re looking for even more of a challenge, you can just head up further into the hills. Another option is to hike from Riomaggiore to Portovenere, or up to Telegrafo, an almost vertical climb at some points (or at least it seems like it!). The Park’s information offices will be able to help you out with specifics.
      Have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  147. This is such a helpful article. You are kind to share – it shows how much you love the area. I do have one question – Im looking for a place to stay in Vernazza and didn’t see a suggestion in the link at the end of the article. Anything you recommend? Three nights and I’d like something nice. Going late May…

    thanks so much!

    debra

    1. Hey Debra,
      Try Casa Cato’ or Casa Vacanze Zia Maria. Both are beloved by past guests.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  148. Hi Bianca,

    My wife and I want to sneak in a short 2 day trip to Cinque Terre to conclude our European (London, Paris, Rome) vacation. We’ll be coming from Rome and will take one of the trains. Any travel tips?
    Also, Can you recommend a condensed itinerary for 2 days. We wish we had more time, but we have to fly back to London to catch a flight back to the US.
    We are active and like hiking and sight seeing.

    Thanks,
    Joshua & Joanna

  149. Bianca,
    Loved your article can’t wait to go. We will be on a cruise coming into La Spezia cruise port on May 14, 2015 from 7A M – 7 P M. Please advise if we should take a tour or do it on our own. We would like to do it on our own so we can see and do things as we please. I am not sure if this could be done in a 8-9 hr span as we want to make sure we get back to the ship on time. Can you please give me suggestions on how I should plan my day and see as much as we can. Also, how would we get to Cinque Terre on our own? Thank you for your assistance in this matter. If you don’t think we can do it on our own can you recommend a tour group to use? Thanks again, Patty Shorr

  150. Thank you for your great information! Would you recommend me a few great, local restaurants with delicious, home cook food or seafood. I am thinking of Vernazza as my home base, do you have any lodging recommendation?

  151. What a wonderful blog ! Thanks for the detailed info, we surely are going to try it out on our next trip in May 2015. Cheers Ana

  152. In regards to shoes, would comfortable sandals be okay to walk around in or are running shoes a must?

    I will be backpacking Europe and Cinque Terre is only a day trip for us, so I would hate to pack running shoes if not necessary as I will not be wearing them again.

  153. Sounds like a great itinerary! I’m thankful for your tips. I’m going there in mid-May for 4 days. Just wondering, I’ll be there Saturday-Tuesday. The 2 fulls days I’m there are Sunday and Monday. Do you think I’ll have any trouble finding places that are open? Mostly restaurants is what I mean. I read those might be the likely days that places are closed. Thanks 🙂

    1. Amanda,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Not everything will be open — but lots will be. The locals need to eat too. 🙂
      Bianca

  154. hi, this is a great blog thank you!
    I am concerned now as our travel agent has plonked us in Sestri Levante for the 3 days whilst visiting the area :-/ is this going to work? We are training it from Venice and were hoping just to be in one place and do day trips either by train or hikes. Would love to hear your thoughts on this
    cheers

    1. Sue,
      Sestri Levante is very nice, but it’s NOT Cinque Terre — about 30 mins away by train. It has a very different feel. More city-like. But it would be fine for day trips to the hiking.
      Looking forward to hearing more from you,
      Bianca

  155. We will be leaving Rome flying to Genoa.
    We have booked a hotel in Monterosso for 3 nights.
    We want to take a train out of Monterosso to Turin.
    Have been VERY confused about the train system.
    We will be flying out of Turin so need to nail the train schedule before booking our flight out of Turin.
    Any help you can give would be appreciated.

    1. Sheryl,
      You can look at the train schedules here: http://www.trenitalia.com/
      Trains leave all day everyday to Turin, so you should have no problem. Pro Tip: catch the train before the one you’ll need. Trains can be late, or you can miss a connection. For flights, I never take chances and always get there EXTRA early. I hope this helps.
      Bianca

  156. Hi Bianca!

    I’m making a short trip to Italy and much prefer outside large cities/ some greenery. I doubt my ability to use the train system in Italy, so are there any tours you recommend for trips from Florence to Cinque Terre even if it is a day trip?
    Thank you!
    Kristen

    1. Hi Kristen,
      We don’t have any off-hand that we recommend, but don’t give up on taking the train on your own before you’ve tried. It really is quite easy once you get the hang of how it works. Check out trenitalia.com, type in a couple of arrival and departure cities, and you’ll start to get an idea of what to expect. Then ask your hotel front desk in Florence for a tutorial before venturing out, or join forces with other tourists you see at the station. There will be a lot coming from Florence to the CT!
      In bocca al lupo, and do let us know how it went, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  157. Hi Bianca. I was wondering. .. my husband and I booked an appt on Riomaggorie on June 24 but I just learned the’re is a festival that day. Is this going to be a berry crowded time and would it be better to stay in a different town?

    1. Ciao Lauren,
      June 24th is the celebration dedicated to San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), the patron saint of Riomaggiore. They do a religious procession down to the marina and bless the sea in the evening, but that’s really all there is to it. There’s no big party or anything, and it isn’t any busier than usual that day. It’s a great event to experience, actually!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  158. Hi Bianca,
    We are starting our trip in the cinque Terre. We are a family with twin 4 year olds, and grandparents. so 6 of us. we want a good base to stay and then the ability to do some of the hikes. can you recommend a 2 day/night itinerary and accommodations? probably prefer a hotel, but are open to other options.
    thank you, neil

  159. Hi Bianca,
    Thank you!!! I’ve been wanting to go to Cinque for 20 years and am finally going on the 27th-30th of this month. I had been looking for any info on how/what to do, and getting sidetracked at every hotel, village, tour, etc. Then I found your info, and as offered, I’m stealing it. Will send photos & review upon return.
    Ciao

  160. Hi Bianca! (& anyone else who may be able to help) =)
    I have decided to travel to the Cinque Terre alone for a week followed by a train trip to Lucca in Tuscany and ending up in Florence (as per your wonderful suggestions). I am in my 4th year of medical school and will be starting my residency training in July therefore am on a smaller budget than what I think most people travel with, so I was wondering if anyone had suggestions for nice, but affordable accommodations in the towns of Monterosso and Vernazza? I have noted the recommendations for Riogmaggiore. Thank you! =)

    1. Hi Courtney,
      Monterosso and Vernazza have been catering to a more and more well-heeled crowd over the last several years and this is reflected in what it tends to cost to stay there. If you’re looking to save, you’re more likely to find something decent for less in Riomaggiore, Manarola and Corniglia. If you really want to go budget, look into the private rooms the hostels in Manarola and Corniglia offer. They’re simple, but cheap.
      Come back and let us know how it all went, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  161. Hi
    Bianca, thank you so much for this itinerary. We are using the whole 4 day plan for our trip here in August. We added on one extra day and we will most likely do Bonassola. Where do you recommend we eat lunch and dinner? Nothing expensive, a “locals” place would be great! Thank you

    Cheryl

    1. Ciao Cheryl,
      For a casual lunch people in the area travel to Bonassola for, you must try the focaccia at Focacceria Atica Liguria Da Marisa. You can make a day of it too by renting a lounge chair and umbrella at one of the private beach resorts, where they serve delicious buffet lunches by the sea. (A favourite is the one at the second entrance to the beach coming from the train station, on the right.) For a wonderfully authentic experience (think your Italian nonna’s kitchen), try Ristorante degli Aranci for dinner.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  162. Bonjour Bianca,
    En ayant Gignac comme nom de famille, mon petit doigt me dit que vous êtes Québécoise, je me trompe? 😉
    En tout cas, je serai en Italie pendant deux semaines au début du mois de mai, et votre blogue vient de changer tout mon itinéraire! En fait, des amis m’avaient vivement conseillé de passer par là, mais c’est vous qui m’avez convaincu. Pour le moment, ce que j’espère, c’est pouvoir trouver un lieu où dormir dont le prix ne sera pas exhorbitant…
    Merci pour vos suggestions, c’est sûr que je vais en tenir compte!
    Simon

  163. My wife and I are going to spend our honeymoon in Italy this summer. Because of this article, we have dedicated 5 days to Cinque Terre!

    I went to inquire if Christina’s place is available during our stay, but she said that it is unfortunately fully-booked the whole summer.

    Do you have any other suggestions of a place similar to “I Limoni di Thule” (gorgeous sea-view from a high balcony) anywhere else in Cinque Terre?

    We are desperate. We need that beautiful view from a balcony!

    1. Hi Roland,
      Try Casa Lorenza – you won’t be disappointed. Not only does she have panoramic views of the village and sea, one of her apartments has a little garden area to sit in as well.
      Have a wonderful time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  164. Hi Bianca,

    Very useful info, many thanks for sharing. Is it OK to set up the base in Forte dei Marmi and then travel to the Cinque Terre villages 2-3 days?

    Any recommendations much appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. Ciao Roxana,
      Forte dei Marmi is about an hour and a half away by train, so you can definitely do day trips from there to the Cinque Terre.
      Have a wonderful stay!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  165. If 3 single ladies are traveling Italy this summer (our first stop being Cinque Terre), does that mean we will meet our husbands too? 🙂 I SURE HOPE SO! 🙂

    1. Hey Chelsey,
      Let’s just say that the entire Italian Fix staff met their husbands in the Cinque Terre, so chances are high!
      Have a blast 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  166. Hello Bianca!

    As I am preparing for a wonderful stay in Cinque Terre, I was wondering if staying in La Spezia during the trip was a good idea. Are the trains frequent and, as I guess it isn’t a long ride to go to the villages, is it easy to do? Can we also walk from La Spezia to the villages? And, last but not least, do the trains come back “late” at night? Would we have time to enjoy evenings in the villages?

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Hi Anne,
      I would personally stay in the Cinque Terre themselves if that’s what you’re coming here to see, but if you do stay in La Spezia, then yes, the trains run quite frequently – about once an hour, and more at certain times of the day. The last trains come back between 11:30 and 1 am, depending on the town you’re staying in. Technically you can walk from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, but it would be along the winding road, is kind of dangerous, and would take a couple of hours. We don’t really recommend it.
      Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  167. Hi, Bianca, great to come across your site! My husband and I are going to Milan at the end of May for 3 nights to world expo and then going to Cinque Terra to spend 4-5 days for my special birthday! Any particular restaurant you recommend? Also, we would have 2-3 nights left before flying back home from Milan. Where would you recommend, Monoco, Como or something else in the region? I’m Italian and have been to most of Italy visiting family but, not much in the north where for the first time I will be not be spending time with family other than my American husband! Best, Gina 🙂

  168. Hi, Bianca

    Thanks for the great information. My wife will visit for a few days in May. I was wondering if there is a place to park our car overnight for three nights in La Spezia that will be safe? We plan to take the train and stay in one of the villages for three nights (of course exploring the area during the days) and then want to return to our car via the train on our last day. Thanks again for your wonderful blog. Best Regards, Brian

    1. Hi Brian,
      There is a parking area where you can leave your car at the train station in La Spezia, but there are also parking areas in each of the five towns. Another option would be to drive in and leave your car where you’re staying.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  169. Hi everyone! 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?

    1. Hi Dior,
      If you’re travelling by train, I would do Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan and then Venice.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  170. 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?

  171. Two couples would like to spend some time there in 2 weeks. My question is, knowing that May 1 is a national holiday, should we schedule our one day in Cinque Terre on another date?

    1. Hi Mike,
      No, no need. National holidays during the summer months are holidays for everyone in Italy BUT those of us in the Cinque Terre 🙂 Everyone comes to the seaside, so they are the busiest times of year here.
      Have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  172. What a fun post! My husband and I went to Rome & Venice for our honeymoon last August and we are planning to return in September. I am very torn because we have 2 weeks to spend in Italy and I want to travel to as many cities as possible but I also want to just live in Italy for two weeks without the stress of trains and switching hotels, etc. If we are looking for a true Italian experience would you recommend staying at an apartment somewhere in cinque terre for the entire two weeks? We love eating, swimming, hiking and exploring. Thoughts? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Courtney,
      Years ago my step-brother and his new wife honeymooned in Manarola for three weeks. They wanted to see other cities and areas as well and initially we going to shlep around from hotel to hotel but in the end just booked an apartment and used it as their home base. They LOVED that they did it this way. They were away a night here and a night there when they went to visit places a little farther away, but were so happy to be able to only bring an overnight bag and to have a “home” to come back to after all the sightseeing and travelling. They said that any extra expense was so worth it, just to have a home base in paradise the whole time.
      Let us know what you guys decide and how it goes, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  173. Great post, I’d like to add that another fun thing to do is take the ferry or rent a boat from one town to the next (it even goes to nearby Porto Venere). The seaside perspective is really interesting… You can see exactly how small the villages are and how they are perfectly nestled between the hills.

    And what about cooking classes? That’s another fun thing to do that you can share with your friends when you get back home 😉

    1. Yes, Nico, so true! We definitely recommend seeing the villages from the sea 🙂
      We always do cooking classes at Agriturismo Villanova in Levanto just outside of Monterosso on our tours. Such a great little place, and you’re right, a take-away that you can share with your friends back home forever.
      Thanks for commenting!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  174. Loved your post. We are trying to decide whether to spend 4 nights or 5 nights as we try to relax and soak in the atmosphere. This will be our fourth visit to Italy but our first to the Tuscan area. We will be there end April and the first few days of May. We await your advice.

    1. Hi Bindu,
      If you’re worried about running out of things to do, consider that there are lots of places nearby to take day trips to, like Bonassola, Portofino, Santa Margherita, Portovenere, and the list goes on!
      Whatever you decide, do stop by again to tell us how it went, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  175. Ciao Bianca! Thank you for this very helpful post and I am totally considering signing up next year for your Photography tour. Wow, it sounds incredible! My husband and I went to Italy May-June of 2014 and it changed us both so much. So much so, that we will just be driving, working around the house etc and look at each other at the same time and say “Italy!” We have two children that we did not take with us but are planning to bring them in the future ( they are quite tired of hearing about Italy all the time and now can’t wait to go.) I like you had always wanted to go to Italy and planned our trip for almost two years and learned some Italian, which I am still keeping up with and learning more. We did not get to Cinque Terre and so that will be on our next itinerary. So, if I wanted to be able to sign up for the Photo tour trip you offer next year, how does it work? Do you open it up at a certain time? Before I traveled to Italy, I felt it calling to me. Now that I got to spend fifteen glorious days there, I truly hear it calling me back almost everyday! Thank you for your blog, da un amante all’altro d’Italia. Not sure if that is grammatically correct, but sto solo imparando 😉 Ciao!

    1. Ciao Rebekah!
      Stai imparando benissimo, brava!
      We would love to have you on our next Photoly tour! It sounds like you are as passionate about Italy as we are, so you will fit right in 🙂 Just sign up for updates here https://www.italianfix.com/travel/, and you’ll be the first to know when next year’s tours are launched (this fall). We’ll keep you posted on what they’re all about and how to book via email.
      Nel frattempo ti mandiamo un abbraccio forte e non vediamo l’ora di conoscerti di persona l’anno prossimo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  176. Alright,

    I am a a college student on a budget.
    I would like to do two nights from June 22nd to June 24th. What are my options traveling from Rome and back to Florence? Which village would be the most affordable!

    Thanks,
    Judo

    1. Hi Judo,
      For train options, have a look at trenitalia.com. Don’t forget to type in the Italian names of the cities (Roma, Firenze…). As for the cheapest villages to stay in, check out the hostels in Manarola and Corniglia. There are also some dorm-style accommodations available in Riomaggiore.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  177. Your blog is extremly helpful as my boyfriend and I will be visiting Cinque Terre this May. I was wondering if you could explain the the train tickets. We will be flying into Milan and then taking the train down. I was hoping you could give me a little background about how to purchase tickets and if they need to be purchased in advanced. Also I read in your blog that you must validate your ticket, was wondering if you could explain that too. Honestly, any and all advice regarding Italian train transporation and ticket purchasing would be great! 🙂

    Thanks,
    Megan

    1. Hi Megan,
      We usually recommend just purchasing your tickets when you get here. Make time for line-ups, or go earlier in the day than you plan to leave so you’re not rushing to catch your train. Validating your ticket means punching it in one of the green and white Trenitalia machines mounted all over the stations and on the platforms. This basically time stamps it so that it can’t be re-used. If you neglect to validate and they catch you, you can be fine 50 euro.
      Don’t sweat it too much and have a great time!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  178. I absolutely love and appreciate your blog post. We are doing a last minute 4 day trip next weekend, and your itinerary is so helpful! With last minute plans, unfortunately the accommodations you listed are already full. Do you have any other suggestions for places to stay? Ideally we would like to stay in Vernazza since we have friends staying there also.

    1. Hi Heather,
      Try Casa Cato’ or Casa Vacanze Zia Maria in Vernazza. Or have a look at AirBnb – there are a lot of cute options there that people don’t always know to check out.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  179. Ciao Bianco, Your blog post has been a great help in planning my trip. We arrive May 11th for 4 night and would like to book a tour with you if possible. Sheila

    1. Hi Sheila,
      Our tours this year are already wrapped up unfortunately, but if you want to jump on the bandwagon for next season, just sign up at the top of this page for updates. We’ll be launching next year’s offerings in the fall.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  180. Ciao Bianca, this is such an amazing post and has answered so many questions as we are preparing for our trip to Europe next month.

    My wife and I are squeezing a few days in Cinque Terre between Venice and Nice, and curious what your thoughts are on a place to post up home base? How should we plan on getting there from Venice (train to La Spezia?)? Where should we stay for 2 nights, and what’s the best way to get outta there and on our way to Nice?

    Would love your input for the last weekend in May 2015!

    Thanks,

    E

    1. Ciao Eric!
      Getting to the Cinque Terre from Venice is a long day of train travel – between 5 and 7 hours. Head to La Spezia, and from there catch a train to Riomaggiore (or whichever village you decide to stay in). As for which one to go with, that all depends on what you’re looking for – each of the villages has its own unique personality, as Bianca mentioned in her post. But accessing all of them is easy no matter which one you choose, and it’s the Cinque Terre, so you really can’t go wrong! Getting to Nice will be another 5- to 6-hour train trip – check out schedules at trenitalia.com. Have a great holiday! Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  181. Dear Bianca

    I was so happy to read through your website on Cinque Terra, I am traveling with my very good friend and we both really want to visit Cinque Terra. We heard Vernazza is not the same since the 2011 floods. Can you share any new information. Is the town still struggling and what about the condition of the trails to and from Vernazza ?

    Thanks so much, Teresa King Lakeway TX USA

    1. Hi Teresa!
      Vernazza was devastated by the floods in October of 2011, it’s true. But it was up and running by the time the season started the next year, and now you can hardly tell that the town was ever half buried in mud. The path from Vernazza to Monterosso (arguably the most beautiful part of the famous Sentiero Azzurro hike) is open, and the latest on the path leading from Vernazza to Corniglia is that it’s “officially closed” (apparently for bureaucratic reasons, not because of safety concerns), but still accessible. There are alternative paths throughout the Cinque Terre though to make up for any closures, so if you’re determined to hike, you won’t have any trouble finding spectacular paths to hike on.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  182. Ciao Bianca
    Love your website and also all the information provided. Many happy followers.
    We will be catching the train from Venice to Florence and have made our base in Florence staying at the Hotel Independent near the rainway station. We have three nights and four days in Florence before we head off by train to Rome. We would like to see Lucca, Pisa and visit Cinque Terra. Can we all this in our time in Florence. Train travel seems to be very easy to get to and from places. We are two Seniors 69 and 77 and would not want to do any hiking. Hope to hear from you. By the way we are travelling from Venice 19 August and leaving for Rome 22 August 2015. Kind regards Vera Kendle

    1. Hi Vera,
      You can definitely take day trips from Florence to each of Lucca, Pisa and the Cinque Terre, but that won’t leave you with a lot of time to enjoy Florence itself! Lucca is a tiny little town and you can see all of it in about an afternoon. If you’re really only interested in seeing the Leaning Tower, you could do both Lucca and Pisa in the same day, one day in the Cinque Terre (check out Bianca’s post on doing just that here: https://www.italianfix.com/one-day-cinque-terre/), and then the last day exploring your home base. Honestly though, that sounds pretty rushed, and Florence isn’t the kind of city you can (or should!) see in a day. You might want to consider paring your trip down a bit and focusing on making the most of just a couple of places this time around. Best of luck!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  183. Thank you, Bianca! This blog-post was just what I needed to plan our trip to Cinque Terre this July. However I do have one question: we will be arriving by car, so we are looking to stay somewhere where we can park the car. Which village would you recommend?

    Thanks heaps!

    Best Regards
    Cecilie

    1. Hi Cecilie,
      Though the villages are mostly pedestrian-only, each one has a public parking area. Some hotels and B&Bs provide private parking spots (up in the public parking area) as well, so check with yours before you make the trip.
      Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  184. Hi Bianca,
    We are planning trip in late September to France and Italy. We plan to stay 3 nights in Florence and 3 in Cinque Terre. Can you advise us on the best way to travel from Florence to CT? Thanks so much, Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Your best resource for travelling through Italy is the Trenitalia website: trenitalia.com. Remember to type the names of your destinations in Italian (Firenze instead of Florence, for example), and to click on the arrow under Changes in the Duration column to see exactly which trains you have to take and at what time. Bon voyage and buon viaggio!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  185. hi,
    I am actually planning a family trip of 6 pax to florence from 28th June to 2nd july, then fly to paris.
    during my stay in florence will be something like this:
    28th stay in florence city
    29th day tour to San Gimignano, siena and Chianti
    do you think i should do a one day tour to 5T or overnight tour? because i am still trying to squeeze a half a day to montevarchi for outlet shopping. i actually hope to travel by ourselves, but i am worried that might take a lot of our time being lost.
    2nd July we will have to fly to Paris, therefore we cant go anywhere on that day.
    please advice

    1. Hi Ong Ai,
      Remember that you’re looking at around 3 hours of travel time each way between Florence and the Cinque Terre. That being said, a day trip is still do-able, though I’d recommend spending the night and heading back to Florence on the morning of July 1st – that way you’ll still have time to hit up Montevarchi in the afternoon. Check out Bianca’s post about the best way to see the Cinque Terre in just one day: . Also, the Trenitalia website (http://www.trenitalia.com) will help you not get lost! Happy travels!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  186. Hi Bianca,

    I loved reading your articles! 🙂 My husband and I are planning our “babymoon” and are excited to come back to Italy and explore the Riviera, an area neither of us has been. We’re flying into Rome on May 29 and have until June 7. Under normal circumstances, we are both pretty active and adventurous and love to hike, but I’m not sure what is really recommended given that I’ll be 6.5 months pregnant. We can be flexible – how long would you stay in Cinque Terre? Where else would you go in the region? And do you think we’re better off relying on the trains or renting a car? All the hotels I’ve been able to find at that time seem to be outside of the 5 towns and most reviews indicate that a car is necessary. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Nicole! I’ve lived in the Cinque Terre for eleven years now, and I’ve been pregnant here too! The longer, more gruelling trails tend to also be more rustic (think sometimes steep dirt paths and narrow stone steps dug into the cliffside) and difficult to access should something happen and you need help. There are easier, less intensive walks and hikes you can do here though, and you can definitely enjoy the Cinque Terre without doing any hiking at all – just visit the towns by train or ferry. If you’re staying in one of the non-CT towns further inland, then yes, you’ll need a car to get to your hotel and back. But if you’re staying in the Cinque Terre proper (and there are lots of rentals and hotels in all five towns, you should be able to find something), then train is definitely the way to go. Two or three days is a good amount of time for a quick visit from Rome, and if you decide to stay longer, there are other seaside towns up and down the coast, like Bonassola, Levanto and Portovenere that are worth checking out.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  187. Hi Bianca,

    Your itinerary makes me want to jump on a plane right now! Thinking I’ll wait till my birthday though. Can you advise on spending money for 4 days? I’d like to enjoy all I can!

    Kate

    1. Hi Kate,
      If you’re looking to travel on the cheap, there are hostels in both Corniglia and Manarola. Also, grabbing some cheese, fresh bread, a cheap (which in Italy doesn’t mean bad) bottle of wine, some olives and salami and picnicking on the rocks as the sun sets can be a heavenly alternative to eating out. The only hike that costs money is the main Sentiero Azzurro, so you can make your way from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other for free on the secondary trails. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot here to have an incredible vacation!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  188. Hi Bianca we are a group of 4 middle aged and reasonably fit and we are going to Cinque Terra for 10 days. Do you recommend we stay in La Spezia or one of the villages? Kind regards Eugene

    1. Hi Eugene! La Spezia is a pretty little city, but the real attraction here is the Cinque Terre. I would definitely try to stay right in one of the towns. Have a wonderful trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  189. Hi B, thank you for the wonderful information. We have found researching the ins and outs of CT to be very frustrating. You have explained a lot and reinvigorated our wish to go to CT. we are arriving in Nice late on the 29th May and would like to finalise the middle part of our trip which may include Nice, CT, Venice and Florence. Our preference is to be in Rome on the 6th June. Any advice on which cities to leave out or an itinerary to follow would be amazing including rail, accomodation and time periods. My fiancé suggests we skip Venice?
    Regards, Glenn

    1. Hi Glenn!
      Don’t get me wrong, I love Venice. But for this particular itinerary, your wife is right. If you’re going to leave one of these destinations out, that’s the one. Hitting Nice, CT and Florence is a route that moves in a fluid arc along the same coast (moving inwards slightly to Florence). Venice is way out on the opposite side of the country – at least 5 hours away by train. Save it for the next trip. Here’s hoping there are several to Italy in your future!
      Kiiri @ Italian FIx

  190. Hello Bianca,
    Your website is great and has answered many of my questions. We are a group of 10 (5 couples) traveling to Tuscany 10/3-10/10 and considering adding 2or 3 nights in CT. How is the weather in early October? Any suggestions for accommodations or dining for a large group?
    Thanks,
    Joe

    1. Hi Joe!
      October in the Cinque Terre is pretty hit and miss. Some years the weather is gorgeous – still sunny and mild. Other years, it’s very rainy (the floods that devastated Vernazza and Monterosso in 2011 happened in October, for instance). But early October is generally pretty safe – September is one of the most beautiful months here, and that usually carries over into October’s first days and weeks. There are no big hotel chains in the Cinque Terre – part of what makes this area so charming – and the villages are very small. This means that you can feel free to look for accommodations for your group with different providers – one couple can rent a cute B&B they find online, another can check into a fancier hotel. As long as you’re in the same town, you can rest assured that you’ll be within short walking distance of one another. As for restaurants, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding places that can accommodate a table of ten.
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  191. Hi Biana
    My husband and I will be in Cinque Terre at the end of June 2015. We will be there for three nights (staying in Manarolo) and I was wondering if you could recommend a guide for a day hiking excursion. We would like to explore some of the trails off the beaten path.
    Thanks
    Joanna

    1. Hi Joanna!
      There’s an American ex-pat named Pall who lives in Riomaggiore and runs a guided hiking tour business called Trekguyd. Check out his website here: http://www.trekguyd.com. He knows the area and its history very well, and offers a variety of routes. Have fun!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  192. Bianca,
    We will be in Cinque Terre (staying in Monterosso Al Mare) in T minus 8 days! and will be spending 3-nights there. Can you recommend an itinerary and what would be the go to restaurant for a great Dinner?

  193. Hi Bianca!

    Your page is very very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

    I wanted to ask you for recommendations for staying in Manarola. Something with a nice view of the sea and village. My budget would be around 100Euros. Do let me know soon since I will be in Cinque end of this month.

    Thanks a lot !
    – Hardini

    1. Hi Hardini,
      Our favorites in Manarola are Da Baranin and Manarola Vista Mare. Give them a shout 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  194. Hi Bianca thank you for this fabulous article and itinerary. I am going to cinque terre in June for 4 nights with my girlfriend and as I am coeliac I was wondering would the restaurants cater for coeliacs as I have been told that coeliac disease is not very common in Italy? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,
      I think it’s probably more common in North America, but Italy is definitely on the gluten-free bandwagon, with products available even in small groceries (like Franca’s Alimentari at the bottom of the main street in Riomaggiore) for coeliacs. Restaurants don’t serve specifically gluten-free meals in the Cinque Terre though, so you’ll have to ask your waiters about what exactly is in each dish.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  195. Hi Bianca!
    A strange question for you… We are travelling through Italy in August and have planned 4 nights in the Cinque Terre. But… we will have our springer spaniel with us. Are the hiking trails dog friendly? And are there areas of shade?
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Tanya,
      Yes, they are dog friendly, in the sense that there is no restriction against bringing your dog along. There isn’t a lot of shade, so take that into consideration, and of course make sure you bring lots of water for the dog and yourselves. August is hot!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  196. Hi Bianca

    My sister and I want to visit the Cinque Terre in late September. We had thought of staying in Santa Margharita but now having read your blog I wonder if there is somewhere better. We need easy access to flights back to the UK at the end of our stay. Any ideas please? Thnx so much. Your blog is just great!!

    1. Hi Nicola,
      Whether you stay in Santa Margherita or the Cinque Terre, access to the airports is the same. Each of the towns of the Cinque Terre has a train station. That being said, Santa Margherita is a beautiful town, and taking day trips to the Cinque Terre from there is easy since it’s about an hour away. Go with your gut 🙂
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  197. Ciao Bianca,

    My boyfriend and I are planning to visit Cinque Terre at the beginning of August. We are hoping to find a place that is cheap and private, somewhere between $40-60 a night. Would you be able to recommend any places? Grazie mille!

    Sarah

    1. Ciao Sarah,
      I’m afraid you’re going to have a hard time finding anything in the Cinque Terre for $60 or less in August. The hostel in Corniglia has very basic private doubles for 60 euros a night, so you may want to contact them to see what they can do for you. There’s also a hostel in Manarola and it too has private rooms (one with two single beds is 70 euros a night).
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  198. Hi Bianca,

    I am travelling to Cinque Terre this summer, and I will be staying in Monterosso. Any tips such as café/restaurants and shops I need to visit in Monterosso?

    Also I love the picture with the lemons and the food, where is that at?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Eni,
      The lemons are picked off of the Riomaggiore trees and that picture was taken on the terrace of the place we stay at with our tours each year. The food shots were taken at various restaurants in the area, like Cappun Magru.
      As for Monterosso, check out our post on the best restaurants in the Cinque Terre here:https://www.italianfix.com/restaurants-in-cinque-terre/
      And be sure to stop by Bottega d’Arte Cinque Terre to see some of our friend Gina’s amazing jewellery! Here’s their website: http://www.lineacinqueterre.com/storie_in_italy.html
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  199. Hey, your blog is indeed really helpful and I’ll try to follow many of your tips! I have one question. I could not find anywhere if trains run at night and also if it’s allowed to hike the tracks during the night.

    Many thanks!!

    1. Hi Cesar,
      Trains to and from Riomaggiore and Monterosso stop running just before 1 am, and just a little earlier in the other towns. The first trains in the morning depart just after 5.
      The trails are by no means closed at night (unless they’ve been otherwise closed for safety reasons), but they aren’t lit for the most part and I wouldn’t recommend doing them then. If something were to happen and you needed help, it would be quite difficult for emergency services to get to you after dark. Also, there are wild boars in the area that can be quite dangerous at night if you get in their way.
      Hope that helps!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  200. My boyfriend and I are going to be traveling Italy in August. We will be celebrating his birthday when we are in Cinque Terre. Any recommendations on making this a special evening? restaurants to celebrate? Also, any opportunities for hot air balloon rides?

    Thank you!!

  201. Hi Bianca

    I have absolutely loved reading your blog – thank you so much.
    I read with interest your comment about something being gluten free and am hoping you might be able to help us. I will be travelling to Italy with my husband and children. Our 9 year old has coeliac disease, so is allergic to gluten. Will it be difficult to find food in supermarkets and restaurants that she can eat?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Fiona,
      You might have a tough time in some restaurants, but Italy’s grocery stores are actually very well equipped with gluten-free fare – even the tiny mom and pop ones in the Cinque Terre.
      Have a great trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  202. Hi Bianca,
    My wife and I just got back from a five week European honeymoon and we both agree that our three nights in Riomaggiore was our favourite part of the whole trip! We absolutely fell in love with this place, and there’s something really special about it. It was definitely our favourite of the five villages on the Cinque Terre.

    We used your site for a few of the recommendations so we have to thank you for creating such a great blog! It honestly helped us in our decision to definitely go there, and we’re so glad we did. The hike between Monterosso and Vernazza was excellent, and we may have spent just a few too many hours drinking prosecco and eating focaccias at A Pie’ de Ma’ :p

    Yours is definitely one of the best travel blogs that we’ve seen on the net, and we used quite a few along the way! Thanks again,

    Geoff

    1. Hi Geoffrey,
      Yay! We love that you loved Riomaggiore as much as we do, and that you had such a good time. Thank you for coming back and letting us know, and for the blog props!
      Here’s to a lot more focaccia and prosecco in all of our futures 😉
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  203. Do you have any hotel or apartment recommendations in Vernazza? My trip is coming up soon and a lot are booked already.

    1. Have you tried Casa Cato’, Jordan? Also, Casa Vacanze Zia Maria is bright, cheerful, central and a little less well-known, so you might have some last-minute luck there.
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  204. My big question is where to stay based on where to park the car. We are renting a car and driving to Cinque Terre but don’t want to leave the car park on the streets. Should we stay on a near city hotel like La Spezia that has parking lot?
    If I stay on Cinque Terre where to park the car please?

    What do you recommend? Thanks very much

    1. Hi Eduarda,
      Every town in the Cinque Terre has a parking lot right above it, so you can leave your car at the top of whichever village you’re staying in.
      Have a great road trip!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  205. Bianca,

    Absolutely LOVE your site and detailed information. We are totally stealing your 4 day suggestions. Maybe we will see you on the trail in October!

    Jonathan & Paula

    1. We would love that, Jonathan and Paula! Have such a great time and thanks for commenting!

  206. We are there in cinque for 3nights in Aug. Pls suggest hotels in Monteresso. Wud like a centrally located hotel with a good view in that town. Preferably around 100euros per night.

    1. Hi Renu,
      We love Il Portico, Pietre di Mare and Zia Letizia, but you might be hard pressed to find anything in Monterosso that’s centrally located with a great view for 100 euros in August. It’s the busiest, most important holiday month of the year here. Let us know if you do!
      In bocca al lupo!
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  207. Hi there! I’m seeing so much conflicting information about hiking the villages, where to start, how extremely difficult it is, and how easy it is. Would you be able to shed a little light on the topic? Thank you!

  208. Hello there! Loved reading your itinerary. I am traveling this June/July. Amsterdam, Nice, Como, Cinque Terre, week in Sienna, Amalfi, Rome. I’m looking for insider things to do. It’s a 3 week road trip and am looking for 1/2 day wine tours for every day/different regions while in Sienna, cooking schools preferably in a villa, don’t know what to do in amalfi or cinque terre, so I’m going to follow your lead on Cinque Terre. If you have any ideas pls do let me know.

    Warm Regards,

    Zenia

    1. Ciao Zenia,
      As far as cooking schools in villas go, we love one just outside the Cinque Terre in Levanto called Agriturismo Villanova. Give them a shout 🙂 We’ve also just posted a 20-day travel journal featuring the Amalfi Coast. Check it out here for some ideas for your own trip: https://www.italianfix.com/bianca-daily-journal-italy/
      Have a great time, Zenia, and do let us know how it all goes, ok?
      Kiiri @ Italian Fix

  209. Hi,

    I am interested in doing the cinque terra walk most likely coming in from Milan to cinque terra on the 11th of August departing on the 14th of August. Is August a good time to do the cinque terra? Will it be too busy and hot? When is the best time to make a booking to secure a spot?

    Thanks!