The 5 villages of Cinque Terre

Great restaurants with incredible locations overlooking the Ligurian Sea – Known as the rugged Italian Riviera – 5 unique UNESCO Heritage Villages, dating back to 15th century – hike, ferry or take the train between villages!

A must visit. “Bucket List stuff!!”


Village # 1 – Riomaggiore

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Ferry provides daily – all day transportation to all five villages – Other modes of transportation between the 5 villages is by train, and finally for the hikers, magnificent trails through vineyards high above the ocean, with some of the most spectacular scenery one will encounter!

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Village # 2 – Manarola

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A must do while visiting Manarola, is to do the 1 kilometer walk along the “Via del Amore” the “Walk of Love” along the cliff side to Riomaggiore. Couples fasten their small pad locks on the fences, and then throw the key into the ocean, to show their undying love for one another!

Village # 3 – Corniglia

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The only village in Cinque Terre that is not located on the ocean. Sitting atop the local mountainside with stunning views of the Ligurian Sea.   Corniglia is the third stop for hikers between Rio Maggiore, Manarola, Vernazza and finally the resort village of Monterosso-Al-Mare.

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Third mode of transportation between the five villages is by local train service. This happens to be between Village 3 Corniglia and Village 4  Vernazza. The photograph was taken with my telephoto lens, while aboard the local ferry, on its way to Monterosso al  Mare.

Village # 4 – Vernazza      Where Pesto originated.

vernazza-dock

With Cinque Terre’s only proper harbour, Vernazza has a long history as a fishing village. While there is a small beach, sightseeing is more common in this outstandingly beautiful cliff side village.

Highlights include the 16th century Beaufort Tower (offering incredible views of the Ligurian coast & countryside) The 11th century Doria Castle is perched on the hilltop overlooking the village of Vernazza.

Piazza Marconi is the attractive seaside village square (Piazza) where the local ferry docks. Numerous outdoor restaurants, make the Piazza an attractive destination throughout the day , as people enjoy the beach, as well as also enjoying lunch. Remember to take a sandwich or a gelato, before taking what I believe is the most scenic hike in all of Cinque Terre – The hike between Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. Be sure you have your camera.

For the romantic at heart, and those wishing to “blend in” with the locals, Piazza Marconi is the perfect spot to be. Whether dining at the Belforte Restaurant at sunset, or down in the Piazza at one of the great oceanfront restaurants, this will be one of those many Cinque Terre moments! Salute’!

A must do – Join the locals in their evening “Passagiata” – this is an evening pastime with all Italians, that one can participate in. The word “Passagiata”is when locals and tourists alike, walk about , arm in arm, enjoying their evening stroll along the waterfront with their familyItalians have a great saying that says it all – Dolce far niente – translated it means ” The sweetness of doing nothing”. Think about that for a minute! The villages of Cinque Terre abound with that “Dolce far niente” moments. I personally experienced such a moment, in an alley in the Old Town of Monterosso al Mare, as I waited for my lunch. This enchanting part of Italy, has become an unforgettable and popular destination with all who visit. Make it your “bucket list” priority, It will change you forever! Enjoy

 Village # 5 – Monterosso-Al-Mare

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Monterosso al Mare – Village # 5 – The largest of the villages offering a more Resort feel – beaches, shopping, lots of great restaurants and unique B&B’s and small hotels. Often used by most, as their base while in Cinque Terre, visiting the other four villages. The only village that is accessible by motor vehicle. Day trips up to Levanto, Santa Margeurita leading up to the ritzy Italian Rivera village of Portofino.

 Have compiled a list of the majority of restaurants and what their fare consists of, from all 5 villages for your enjoyment – will post them in my next blog – stay tuned.

Watch Rick Steve’s in Cinque Terre


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