Why you should add the charming, coastal towns of Cinque Terre to your travels in Italy.
Located in Italy’s northwestern region of Liguria, Cinque Terre boasts some of the best scenery in the country.
Literally translated as “Five Lands”, Cinque Terre is composed of five small coastal towns, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, Riomaggiore, and Monterosso.
Here are six reasons why you should visit some or all of these towns the next time you venture to Italy.
1. Ease Of Travel
Traveling to and around Cinque Terre is straightforward and affordable.
The easiest way to access the town is by first arriving in La Spezia, either by bus or train from any nearby Italian city.
Florence to La Spezia is only a couple hours by bus, and once you reach this spot you can take cheap trains in between all the towns.
Buy a Cinque Terre Card, which costs only €16 and includes unlimited train travel for one day. The train journies in-between towns are only about five minutes, so you can easily visit all the towns in a short time.
2. The Shops
The souvenir shops here are captivating and full of beautiful trinkets.
From glass bottles of limoncello, to handmade clothes and sandals, to intricately painted glassware, the craftsmanship is mesmerizing.
Pastel colors and impressive artwork add to the heartwarming charm of all the little towns.
3. The Food And Drinks
Coastal towns often have fresh, top-notch seafood and Cinque Terre is no exception.
All five towns have amazing sit-down restaurants as well as tiny take-away windows where you can get a paper cone filled with fried seafood.
You can also find many gelato shops and cafes with delicious crepes to satisfy the sweet tooth.
Because lemons grow in the layered terraces surrounding Cinque Terre, the limoncello here is incredible.
You can also find great cocktails at any bar or restaurant. In Monterosso, the best bar is called Colpi Di Timone, located right next to the train station. Order their famous “drunk buckets”, which are plastic buckets filled with your choice of frozen cocktail.
The famous pesto sauce, made from basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and parmesan cheese, was founded in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria. So this region of Italy has some of the purest and most delicious pesto in the world.
Taste some local pesto pizza, or get more involved and take a pesto-making class in Manarola.
4. The Beach
Cinque Terre feels like heaven during beach season.
Monterosso has the biggest, most ideal beach for laying in the sand and swimming in the deep blue ocean.
Orange umbrellas and lounge chairs line one section of the beach, and the surrounding cliffs make the beach that much more picturesque.
You can also paddleboard, rent boats, cliff jump and swim in most of the towns.
5. The Famous Views
This is easily the best reason to visit Cinque Terre. Even if you swing by for a short time, equipped with nothing but a camera and eager eyes, the journey is worth it.
Rugged cliff ledges and layered green terraces shape the land, paint of every color imaginable covers the walls of homes, clusters of buildings appear to be toppling down the rock ledges into the turquoise sea.
The views are so famous and yet still fascinating to see in person.
Manarola and Riomaggiore have the most well-known scenery, and both towns have clear footpaths so you can find the most camera-worthy viewpoints.
6. The Artwork
As if the colored houses weren’t enough, the streets of Cinque Terre also boast fascinating visuals.
Search the streets for beautiful murals, or walk along the Path of Love (Via Dell’Amore) and admire the mosaic artwork.
Inside the tunnel leading from Riomaggiore’s train station to the town center, amazing ocean scenes composed entirely of little tiles cover the walls, and the detail is incredible.
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