We took the train from Florence to Cinque Terre. It was about a three hour train ride & since it was a regional train, there were no assigned seats & it was crowded. We spent probably over half the trip standing up with our bags before the train cleared out a bit and we were able to get a seat. The trip was worth it, as once we arrived in Cinque Terre, it was beautiful. Cinque Terre is comprised of five fishing villages set on the coast of the Italian Riviera. The towns and surrounding area is all part of a national park. The five villages are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola & Riomaggiore. We reserved a room in an Airbnb rental in Manarola. After settling into our room, we went back down to the train station in Manarola and purchased the Cinque Terre trekking card, which allows you to take unlimited train rides between the five villages and allows you to hike along the many paths through the park. Many people come to Cinque Terre to hike from village to village. Since we didn’t bring hiking shoes or any type of sneaker, we just took the train! The only village we didn’t visit was Monterosso al Mare. We had two days (two nights) in Cinque Terre & based on my tour book, it claimed that Monterosso was the least quintessential. We passed by it on the train as we were leaving town & the beach looked nice, so maybe it is worth a stop!
Riomaggiore: This is the largest village. The pastel-colored buildings lead down to a small harbour.
Corniglia: The quietest village & the only village with no easy sea access, as the town sits atop a hill. To get up to the village from the train station, you must walk up 377 steps!
Vernazza: The main road leads down the harbour. Facing the harbour are many cafes, where we enjoyed lunch. We probably spent the least amount of time in Vernazza as it was very crowded!
Manarola: This was my favorite village & not just because we chose to stay here. I had no clue when I was booking our room that this had a beautiful town center surrounded by grapevines. They had a little swimming bay, where people got in the water to cool off and would jump off the rocks into the water. It was fun to watch the jumping but not something I would do!
We had the best peach flavored gelato in Manarola. We went there twice in one day since it was so good!
On our last evening, we watched the sunset along a lookout and got some great pictures of the pastel colored buildings of Manarola.
Cinque Terre is a definite stop if you are in Italy & don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes so you can go on the paths!