I had planned to go to Nice and have looked at the beautiful pictures of the Cote d’Azur on the internet, but just a few days before the trip my Italian friends told me about the Cinque Terre, and I realized that I should go exactly there.
I’m sure I will go one day also in Nice, but comparing the photos of Nice and the Cinque Terre, I had absolutely no doubt what to choose.
The Cinque Terre National Park of Italy, which is under UNESCO protection. Located on the coast of the Gulf of Genoa in the province of La Spezia administrative region of Liguria. The Cinque Terre comprises of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monarola, Riomaggiore. Cinque Terre in Italian means “Five Lands”.
Get to the park from the surrounding towns, you can by car or by train, the nearest known city is Genoa, is about 85 km far.
Is forbidden to drive the car in this park. So, you can arrive by car in Monterosso, leave the car in the parking lot, and choose one of three options of movement:
- Walk. From one village to the another one you have the opportunity to walk along the walking trails with beautiful views of the sea. But unfortunately, recently, some of the trails were closed for technical reasons. So, before you choose this option, check if the trails are open. And of course, think several times. Because between some villages, the walk will be only thirty minutes, but some may take between one and a half hours.
- By train. This is one of the most acceptable options, in my opinion. Fast, convenient, cheap. You can buy tickets in advance and on the trip day in the train station.
- By boat. A bit more expensive than the train, but you will be able to enjoy nice view of each city from the sea and have a pleasant sea voyage.
In my opinion, the full 3 days is more than enough to visit this beautiful place. Of course, if you are not going there to lie down under to the sun on the beach.
I visited all in 2.5 days and to be honest, at the end of the last day, I had no longer any patience. Yes, the Cinque Terre, wonderful beautiful place, but rather monotonous. I am one of those travelers who want to see more and more. So, after spending a couple of days in the one park, I had wanted to see the other park. Maybe you are a different type of persons, so you will be calm to visit one city after another and enjoy your holiday in Italy!
What I understood in each city, there are many hotels, so you can choose any. Personally, I prefer to stay in the mountains, in a wonderful and cozy B&B «La Meridiana». The friendly owners, couple Battolini Ubaldo and Edda cheerfully accepted me and told where better to go for dinner and how to move, what to visit. Gave to me the schedule local trains. Edda every morning baked incredibly delicious pies. I even asked her for a couple of recipes!
On the first day I arrived in Monterosso al Mare, parked the car in the parking lot and went for a walk around this village. After I bought a ticket on the train and went to see Corniglia.
Monterosso al Mare.
Street in Monterosso village.
The Lardarina. In Corniglia, it is necessary to climb the Lardarina, a long brick flight of steps composed of 33 flights with 382 steps. In the top you will see the fantastic view.
View from the top.
The oratory of S.Caterina over Largo Taragio.
Street in Corniglia village.
The other day I bought a ticket on the train from Monterosso al Mare to Riomaggiore (from the first village to the last). Arriving in Riomaggiore I took a walk on it, and then bought a ticket for the boat and went to Vernazza, through Manarola. In Monarole I did not come out, just look at the city from the sea side. Then the boat went to Vernazza. I took a walk through Vernazza, ate tasted Italian ice-cream, I went by train to Monterosso al Mare. And then by car went to the hotel.
Friendly speaking, all this actions take a very long time, I was very tired. But I was happy to enjoy the spectacular views.
The Cinque Terre is really a very beautiful place, it is worth seeing at least once in the life. Few people know, but not far from this park located another beautiful village Porto venere. It is not included in the famous Cinque Terre, but little inferior to them in beauty. I did not have time to visit this village, but I’ve seen pictures and heard the happy comments from those who have been there.
If we talk about food, I recommend you avoid “touristic restaurants”, bacuase they cook not the best food, but the prices turn up twice. If you have experience to finding restaurants, favored by locals, then I recommend you just them! And by the way, this rule suitable not only to the Cinque Terre, but also any other your trips!
Speaking about travel! Instead of sitting at home in front of a TV or a computer, it is better take the car and drive to your town. Take a trip to areas in which you never been before. Believe me, you’ll be surprised at how many beautiful and unknown places is right under your nose! Better yet, buy a ticket and fly to see my beloved country Italy! And do not forget to read my blog!