The world is full of beautiful places, and to see as many of them as possible is a trait that is practically intertwined in the genetics of mankind. That being said, there are endearing, special places that we don’t want to move on from - where it seems better to stay than to see more. Cinque Terre is one of those special destinations; where the rest of the world disappears and all that exists is the Mediterranean, ancient architecture, and luscious greenery in front of you. For a mere glimpse into the magnificent destination, here is a guide to the five villages that make up the Cinque Terre.
Vernazza, Shann Yu
Although all villages in the Cinque Terre have some association to fishing, Vernazza is the only village with an official harbour – providing for an extensive history of excellent seafood. Indulge in the authentic, Italian venues which line the Mediterranean with cuisine that exceeds in freshness and taste. Vernazza also features a soft-sand beach for romantic late-night strolls or a tranquil day of sunbathing. In addition, the village is well equipped in history, with ancient monuments and shrines dating back to the 11th century.
Corniglia, Adam Kahtava
Hidden in rolling hills and looming, mountainous terrain, the village of Corniglia gleams in its silent exclusivity. Whether you trek through the narrow streets, encased with vibrant, stack-style buildings, or hike through the village’s trails that wind and curve about Corniglia, you will find yourself lost in an enchanting essence of isolation. Lastly, don’t forget to grab a glass of DOC white wine – native to Cinque Terre and Corniglia.
Monterosso al Mare
Monterosso, Frederique Voisin-Demery
Nestled in the northern end of the Cinque Terre, Monterosso resembles a last-but-not-least scenario as it boasts the biggest beach and vacation hotels. The beach stencils the front of Monterosso, allowing for a stunning, panoramic view of the blue-turquoise Mediterranean. Furthermore, Monterosso’s hotels prove themselves as charming hosts - with style and service that is groomed in a 1950’s fashion. The village also features a boardwalk decorated with authentic seafood venues, as well as the ruins from a medieval castle.
Riomaggiore, Alex T.
A view of Riomaggiore during the day may appear similar to some of the other villages in the Cinque Terre; however, at night the village achieves superb distinction with a symphonic mesh of fading tides and hazy lights. Immerse yourself in the village’s night-time vibrations at the famous Enoteca Dau Cila - a Michelin-starred bar and seafood restaurant with a lofty lookout of the sea.
Manarola, Laurent Castellani
Perched on jagged cliffs that tower over the Mediterranean, Manarola lures in its visitors with an enticing and hypnotic grace. Once inside the village’s proximity, the delicate grasp of Manarola squeezes tighter – with a romantic walking trail “The Way of Love” and a serene deep water dive spot. There is as well the Church of San Lorenzo, a gothic temple dating back to the 1300’s.
The Cinque Terre are connected through a series of roads and trails that provide access from one village to the next, and there are no cars driveable for tourists. You can arrive by train, which will take you to any village in the Cinque Terre collection.