Cinque Terre, meaning “The Five Lands“, is made up of five villages on the west coast of Italy, on the Italian Riviera.
The five villages are:
- Monterosso al Mare
The five “lands” are part of Cinque Terre National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to spend holidays in Cinque Terre then there are quite a few things you should know beforehand…
Keep reading to find out how to get to Cinque Terre and more about each of the villages.
Cinque Terre Tourism
How to get to there
- If you are flying into Italy, the closest airports are Pisa and Genoa. However, trains connect Cinque Terre to the largest cities in Italy, so flying into Florence, Milan, Rome and Turin airports is not a problem.
- The easiest way to get to Cinque Terre is by train via La Spezia. You can buy train tickets to La Spezia and from La Spezia to any of the five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) on the Trenitalia website.
It is not recommended to travel by car as there is little parking in the villages, travelers with cars should leave them in La Spezia and take the train into the villages.
Getting around Cinque Terre
- As mentioned, all villages are connected by Trenitalia regional trains.
- Another option is to get around by boat, however, this option is considerably more expensive.
- Another popular option is to walk along the trails that connect the villages. To be able to walk the number 2 Cinque Terre trail (blue) you must purchase a pass at the train station or at tourist information booths. All other trails are free of charge, but you should check to see if they are open ahead of time. You can find more information about the trails on the 5terre National Park website.
Cinque Terre in photos
Starting with the northernmost village and subsequently traveling south down the Italian Riviera, here are the five villages of Cinque Terre:
Monterosso al Mare
Not to miss: The beach! It is the only extensive sand beach in all of Cinque Terre. Also check out the Castle ruins.
Interesting: It is considered the only true fishing village of the Italian Riviera and has absolutely no car traffic.
You should know: Corniglia is the only village of Cinque Terre that is not directly on the sea. To access the village you must climb the Lardarina, which consists of 382 brick steps.
You must try: Sciacchetrà, the wine produced in the village.
Don’t miss: Take a stroll down the town’s main street, Via Colombo, where you can find restaurants, bars and shops.
Extra: Day Trip to Portofino
And if you have more time in the Cinque Terre area, we recommend taking a half or full day trip to Portofino, located about 1 hour north in the province of Genoa on the Italian Riviera.
To get to Portofino from Cinque Terre there is a ferry. You can also travel there by train, the closest train station being Santa Margherita Ligure. From Santa Margherita there is a bus to Portofino.