5 Reasons to Visit Cinque Terre

posted by Sharon 55 Comments

Have you considered a visit to Italy’s Cinque Terre? These five fishing villages hug the cliffs above the Mediterranean and were somewhat a mystery to me when I first heard of Cinque Terre (pronounced Chink-wa Terra). This is billed as a place to hike. What if I don’t want to hike extensively? Is it easy to travel between the five towns by train? (Yes, super easy!)  After visiting this National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site, I can now say Cinque Terre is one of the places I love most in the world. If you’re thinking of going or want to relive your trip, here are five reasons to visit and enjoy yourself in Cinque Terra.

The Marvels of the Architecture

Cinque Terre dates back to the 1200s. The lanes are narrow, and the homes cling to the steep hillside, rising far above the sea. You may wonder how they keep their balance. Clusters of buildings wind around the rocky land in a colorful jumble. Sometimes one home perches alone and you puzzle over how the people climb up to it.

Cinque Terre

Cinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreCinque TerreThe Sea

Cinque Terre is built on the Ligurian Sea, which is part of the Mediterranean. Fishing is vital to the survival of these towns. Visitors can ride a ferry between towns, and you can bob in a rowboat, paddle a kayak, or glide around on a standup paddleboard. My one regret from our time here is that, due to stormy weather, I ran out of time and didn’t swim in the sea. If I ever can return, that’s going to be my priority. Cinque Terre

Cinque TerreCinque TerreMiracle of the Gardens

We stayed in the town of Manarola and also visited Vernazza and Monterosso. Due to weather (rain, rain) we had to skip the other two towns, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. I was pleased at our choice, because the people on Manarola are so friendly and welcomed us into their lives. We learned that every resident of Manarola cares for a plot of land as well as a house. Some older folks are not able to garden on these steep slopes. This results in a wide variety of crops as well as overgrown places that seem to be abandoned. From a distance, though, the hills are covered with healthy vineyards.Cinque Terre

Cinque TerreCinque TerreThe tomatoes, lemons, and grapes grown here are scrumptious. Cinque Terre

Cinque TerreCinque TerreThe Cuisine

Which brings us to the mouthwatering food made with homegrown produce. This is known as the birthplace of pesto, and a pizza here is unlike any you’ve had before. And the pasta with fresh tomatoes for dinner is delightful. The fish served in the evening is “whatever was caught today.” The food and wine here are heavenly. Cinque TerreCinque Terre

The Scenic Hiking

Hiking trails run between the five towns, though paths can be washed out by flooding. We were told not to try to navigate the hills during a rainstorm. Once the skies cleared, we hiked above Manarola. The rugged stone stairs and narrow paths take you quickly up, so in no time you are looking down at the town far below. You can  plan for several days of hiking from town to town, but you can happily hike for just an afternoon.Cinque TerreCinque Terre

ManarolaIf you want to hike between towns, check to see which trails are open. This site has a list of hiking trails and up-to-date information. One trail is closed until 2019 and another is closed until 2021, but many of the others are open.

Cinque Terre is easy to fall in love with for so many reasons.  Cinque Terre

For more on Cinque Terre, see this post and this one.

PIN IT FOR LATER! Cinque Terre Italy

 

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55 Comments

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Kelleyn Rothaermel at

No one needs 5 reasons to visit Cinue Terra ! It is simply just beautiful there! We went last summer and I loved it despite it being crowded. My husband loved it to despite complaining about the hair raising drive there! He jokingly said you have to put it in your blog about the drive so the next sucker of a husband knows the full story. He would go again though!

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Sharon at

Kelleyn, that’s so funny! We took the train there from Venice so we missed out on the exciting driving experience. Your husband may prefer to check out the train next time you go!

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jesh StG at

You did an excellent job giving an impression of Cinque Terre!
Hubby is a European driver (it means he does not slow down for corners) when we drove from Lucca to the station in Montogrosso, so was somewhat nauseated in the beginning, but it was soon forgotten once we started walking. We had heard about it from friends who had been there for a week – and that is what we should have done, so I could have painted more. That day it was over a 100 degr. F., the crowds were phenomenal, and only went to Corniglia and back and for the rest of the day stayed in the shade, sipping on tonic with lemon and pastries – Still though I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, soaking up the atmosphere there and the painterly views. If we go back we would go before June!

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Su-sieee! Mac at

Your photos are amazing, Sharon! Ever since I learned about this place, I have wanted to visit it. Knee surgery would be required first so I can do the visit rightly. 🙂 Until then, I will live vicariously through travel writers like yourself.
The View from the Top of the Ladder

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Tamar Strauss-Benjamin at

Oh wow!!! That is just amazing!!

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Mary at

So beautiful, a burst of color on a dreary spring day. Thank you!

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Life Images by Jill at

Oh THANKYOU! We are visiting here in May for the first time and I am so looking forward to it. Thanks for the sneak preview. Happy travels!

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Monika B at

Very nice interesting city.

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Carol at

A fascinating place to visit. Thanks for taking me with you this trip.

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image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup at

What an astonishing place – absolutely gorgeous!
Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/04/bedtime-at-biltmore.html

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Margy at

Building in such rough terrain must have been a huge challenge in 1200. Even today it must be hard. – Margy

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Kay L. Davies at

One of my favourite places in all the world! When we were in Italy some years back, I insisted upon visiting Cinque Terre. When we got there, my husband realized why I wanted to see it. Those colours, those towns climbing up the hill…the ocean and the sky…!! We hadn’t planned on staying overnight in any of them, and I’m so sorry we couldn’t do that.
Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos!
Kay
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

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Cathy at

Really beautiful! The photos remind me of the Amalfi Coast. Thank you!! We have always enjoyed our trips to Italy! Thank you!

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Yogi at

What a great place, colorful, exotic, scenic. You would have to be in great shape to visit there. I love your photos especially the trails and steps.

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Fun60 at

A beautiful part of Italy that I have yet to visit.

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Kelleyn Rothaermel at

Sharon, yes we will be taking the train for sure. We are going to Sardinia this summer, but than next on my list is Capri!

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betty - NZ at

I would love this place and Hubby would get tired waiting for me to take photos! WOW! Thanks for these charming images 🙂

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Mandy at

I didn’t come to appreciate the beauty of Cinque Terre until years after my first visit. You really caught the magic of the place in your images, though. I really hope I will get to return at some point in the future.

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Betty Crow at

This is one beautiful city. My fear of heights would keep me from living there, but would love to visit one day. So colorful!

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Lady Fi at

GORGEOUS! I’m squealing with delight.

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Angie at

You had me at hiking … the food and the sea would be welcome rewards at the end of a hike!!! Thanks for adding this delightful place to my bucket list!

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Lisa at

Pictures and blogposts of Cinque Terre keep popping up everywhere on my social media and it just looks so so so pretty. I really need to visit soon! #WanderfulWednesday

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Esther at

Pizza, wine, nature, sea, colourful buildings. I have no idea why I have not yet visited. Especially since my uncle owns a little house just some 100 kms away. PFF!! Stunning photos, thank you for sharing.
#WonderfulWednesday

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beatravelling at

I so wanna go here! It looks amazing! #wanderfulwednesday

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Saša (Slovenia) at

This is one of my turist trip in year 2018. Beautiful place. I like your detailed photos.

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California Globetrotter at

I’d really like to return! We visited but on the day we had planned to go hiking there was a bit of a thunderstorm and they had shut the hiking trails and I happened to sprain my ankle the day before getting to our hotel 🙁 You captured some beautiful photos! #WanderfulWednesday

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italiafinlandia at

Thanks for the precise description and the beautiful photos of these enchanting places!
One of my favourite places in Italy.

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Keri | Ladies What Travel at

I’d love to visit here. Thing is due to bad health I can struggle with hills, so worry about how tough it would be for me to get around. Does look so beautiful though!

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Amanda at

I’m traveling to Monterosso in May and I absolutely can’t wait- your pictures look amazing!! The food doesn’t sound bad either, and I’m definitely checking out the website to see which trails are open. #FarawayFiles

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Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} at

Cinque Terre is at the top of my bucket list, so stunning!

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Jenn | By Land and Sea at

Last year we were in Rome and debated spending a day in either Cinque Terre or Florence. Florence won, but that means we will plan an entire trip to this beautiful area sometime! I would love to go to Positano!!

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Hilary at

We visited this amazing place on our honeymoon 17 years ago this month! I love that I can actually see the hotel room we stayed in when people post photos of Manarola! It always brings back such happy memories! Many of the trails were closed during our visit as well, but enough were open of us to enjoy the experience. We loved the Limoncello! #farawayfiles

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Jill at

Sorry to hear about the rain but it still looks like an amazing trip. The Cinque Terre has been on my wish list for years – and it looks like it will be for another year. I am, however, making it to Venice for my first time this year. Beautiful photos of a beautiful place!

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Rhonda Albom at

Cinque Terre has always fascinated me in both its beauty and its construction. I did not know that every house owner was also responsible for a garden plot. I think this is an admirable lifestyle in today’s western culture.

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Ruth at

This is such a wonderful place! I haven’t been yet. I would consider the hiking option but I would break it into two days (I know some people do it in one). The good thing is that you can take the train if you feel like quitting the hike. Anyway, I would not want to rush my visit to this place. I want to savor the moment. #feetdotravel

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Michelle at

Hey Sharon – your photos are so lovely!! I’d definitely visit for the hiking and the great views – the fresh food is a bonus! Actually going to Italy for only the second time in a few weeks – but, alas, have no time to make it to Cinque Terre or Tuscany (the other region which looks amazing). Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Paul and Carole at

This is such a stunning part of the world. Our friends have an open ended ticket going in September and they are heading to this area and we are very jealous. We will share this post with them and pin it! #feetdotravel

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Carolyn Eddie at

We went last year, truly amazing place even although it rained the entire day we were there. We had a private tour guide who told us that the Italian government will now pay people to come and live in the village and take over the management of some of the terraces. With Italy’s shrinking population and the general trend to large cities the beautiful countryside is in danger of being neglected. Tempting?

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Anda at

You made me really curious about Cinque Terre. It looks truly amazing and I would surely love to visit it. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Corey at fifi + hop at

I am dying to visit Cinque Terre! I know I would love it, for the reasons you mentioned. I love to hike and explore, but I’m also fascinated by its architecture and homes on the cliffs. The one thing I’v heard though is that it gets so crowded…was that the case when you were there and if so how did you manage it to make it more enjoyable? Thanks for linking up with #farawayfiles

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Nicole at

Your photos are beautiful. I have been to Cinque Terre and they definitely reflect the spectacular scenery that you will see there.

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Trippin' Turpins (Kelly) at

Wow! It looks positively gorgeous. I have pinned this for when, not if, I visit this gorgeous place. Thanks for sharing.

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Mary {The World Is A Book} at

These photos alone are enough to convince me to go. We debated between the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre for our Spring Break trip two weeks ago. But, it looks like visiting this area is better served for the summer despite the crowds. This is the one area in Italy that has eluded has for years. We’d love to visit soon and your beautiful photos are such a great inspiration.

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Yvette Benhamou at

What a picturesque landscape. I live hiking, and can imagine that hiking through the hillside vineyards and gardens while having a view of the stacked houses below must be pretty incredible. And it’s not like I need an incentive to eat more Italian food. Lovely photos.

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Shruti Prabhu at

Cinque Terre is such a gorgeous place! I would love to go here and try the local pizza and seafood. Love that the seafood is what we caught today! Wouldn’t mind kayaking in this sea either!

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Obligatory Traveler at

What a beautiful, unique place. People are really starting to talk about it. I feel like I should get there before the secret is really out. The architecture looks amazing. Your pictures are wonderful. #WeekendWanderlust

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Erin Gustafson | Oregon Girl Around the World at

When we visited Italy with the children a few years ago, Cinque Terre was socked in with fog, couldn’t see a thing! Didn’t have time that trip to wait it out, will have to go back! Love these colorful cities on the hills. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles, Erin

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Jo at

It looks beautiful! The houses are so precarious it’s a wonder some of them manage to cling onto the hillside. The food sounds amazing, what a lovely place. #TheWeeklyPostcard

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Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) at

Oh, one of the top places on my list to visit. Such beautiful photos and the 5 reasons to visit. The hiking and food sound amazing. The amazing houses on the cliff are so picturesque. Thanks for sharing! #feetdotravel

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Kreete Tokman at

Great photos Sharon! I can now see why Cinque Terre has become such a popular place for tourists! Your photos are beautiful and indeed make me wonder how people get to their homes! The food, however, is what really caught my attention. I had no idea this was considered to be the birthplace of pesto. And pizza in Italy is just the best!

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Tracy at

Cinque Terre has really come to prominence over the past few years – I hope that hasn’t had too much of an impact as it seems so popular. I have visited Italy many times but have yet to visit Cinque Terre. It does look so gorgeous!

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Vicky (Spud on the Run) at

I’d heard of Cinque Terre, knew it was in Italy and had seen that ‘classic’ photo … that was the extent of my knowledge though. Thank you for this great intro! #feetdotravel

Ps: big thanks for the pronunciation tip

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Angie (FeetDoTravel) at

5 reasons? I just need the 1 – those buildings! Absolutely crazy how they are formed in and around the cliffs, stunning. pinned! #feetdotravel

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Julien at

I loved my visit to Cinque Terre many years ago! Without finding an affordable place to sleep, I and an Australian traveler I met along the way found a cozy cove along the beach to rest our heads. And by morning we awoke to hike along the cliffs by the sea. It’s a magical place!

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Kristina at

Pinned this post! I am literally trying to plan 3 days in CT for this June and am getting so frustrated at trying to find a place to stay. Everything I like seems to be booked already. But my husband and I really want to go (the trip is for our 25th wedding anniversary). Off to read your other CT posts.

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