Cinque Terre comprises of 5 colourful cliff-side villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Cornigli, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. I have only visited 2 out of the 5 villages: Manarola and Riomaggiore which are the “postcard” villages that made me want to visit Cinque Terre.
If you are press for time, I would highly recommend visiting Manarola and Riomaggiore. The villages are small, and there is only one main street. It is easy to get from one village to another by train or by hiking. You would be able to see most of the village in just a few hours.
1. Visit Manarola. It is the smallest village of them all and probably the prettiest in my opinion. To get the best view of the village take the pathway towards Cornigli.
2. Walk on Via dell’Amore which translates to the ‘path of love’ that connects Manarola to Riomaggiore. The walk is around 1 mile long. If you would like to take the pathway instead of the train be sure to check if the path is open as it is often closed due to landslides.
3. Visit Riomaggiore. If you were to stay a night, I would recommend staying in Riomaggiore as it is a slightly bigger village with more shops and restaurants.To get the best view of Riomaggiore, head down to the port. Riomaggiore is also a great place to have an aperitivo (pre-dinner drink) and watch the sunset. The best view of the sunset is on the left side (looking from the port), there is a cafe there that serves drinks and some food. Alternatively you can bring your own food as there are places to sit near the cafe where you can enjoy the same view.
4.Try Trofie with pesto- the classic dish of the Liguria region. Trofie is a short, thin twisted pasta from the Liguria region and pesto originates from Genoa which is the capital city of Liguria.
Ristorante Marina Piccola Tel. 0187920923 (Via Lo Scalo [by the port])
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes with a good grip, preferably trainers as you would have to walk up and down hills.
- The best time to visit Cinque Terre is spring as the weather is warm and there are not too many tourists. Summer is the most popular time, however it would be very crowded.