The laidback style of Italy’s Cinque Terre made this area a must-see, same as Rome, Florence, and Venice. Cinque Terre is comprised of 5 small towns in the region of Liguria, which is just above Tuscany. It is a National Park and territory protected by UNESCO. It is characterized with colorful towns and terraced agricultural land.
How to Take There:
Florence to Cinque Terre
It takes approximately 2.5- 3 hours each way for travel from Florence to Cinque Terre. I booked a random trip when I was in Florence through an organized travel group going to Cinque Terre. But if you’re more of an adventurous type, you can do it yourself. To travel to Cinque Terre by train from Florence, take a train departing from Firenze S. M. Novella. You can purchase tickets online from the Trenitalia or Italo website or at the ticket window at the train station.
Once in Cinque Terre, take a Regionale Train to La Spezia Centrale. From there, take a local train to Riomaggiore which is the first town of the Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre is magical; I wish I could have stayed at least for a night. It is a kind of place that needs to be taken slowly, allowing you to enjoy all the five villages and have enough time to see the sophisticated side of the area.
The easiest way to travel between the villages is through a train. The train line connects all villages, so it is easy to go around the area. Cinque Terre pass covers all the train travel between La Spezia and Levanto including the hiking fees. The card has discounts on museums and if you wish to stay overnight to some of the registered hospitality providers.
When I was there, I visited the villages by hiking. It is one of the best things to do in Cinque Terre. It is the best and cheapest way to go around. If you want to stay overnight, it is bit expensive. But with the beautiful views, it will take your breath away. and it is one of my favorite places in Italy.
The Five Villages
Though every village is picturesque, each has its flair and beauty.
Riomaggiore is the largest of all five villages and acts as Cinque Terre’s unofficial capital. It is the village nearest to La Spezia and the easiest to reach.
Manarola is a one- street town with a small area where you can swim. It is similar to Riomaggiore with a chill vibe and atmosphere.
Corniglia is the smallest of the five villages. It is the least popular with tourists since it is the hardest village to get reach.
Vernazza is the most famous and picturesque villages in Cinque Terre. There are a small piazza and little boats on the harbor, mysterious alleys, multicolored red, yellow and pink houses.
Monterosso, Cinque Terre’s only resort town with hotels, restaurants, wine shops and a thriving late-night scene. It has the best beaches of the Cinque Terre villages. You can also visit the ruins of a 16th – century castle built as a defense system after a Saracen attack.
- Be prepared to walk. Hiking is the major activity there. The different towns are hilly, so it is common you will walk a lot. Make sure to wear a comfortable shoes or sandals for hiking and walking.
- The hiking trails are quite challenging. Bring a bottle of water. Wear a hat and sunscreen on summer time.
- Buy a Cinque Terre Pass. It provides access to all the trails plus and wifi at each train stations. It can be purchased in any stations in Cinque Terre or at the checkpoint of each trail. It cost around 12 EURO/ 14 USD/ 5 OMR/ 700 PHP for a day.
Have you been to Cinque Terre, Italy? Tell us your experience. Share in the comments below.