Cinque Terre, Translated into English as the Five Lands, is a beautiful region located on the northeast coast of Italy, within the province of La Spezia and on the shores of the Liguria sea. Its name references the five seaside towns of Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso, Riomaggiore and Corniglia, all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and they are undoubtedly five of the most charming coastal towns in Italy..

Manarola in Cinque Terre

Manarola

Manarola is probably the most beautiful one with it’s colorful houses built like a stair on the cliff. You can take a walk around it’s narrow streets until reaching the Gothic Church of San Lorenzo, enjoy the tasteful local food in the Trattoria dal Billy restaurant, take a bath on the natural pool in the downside of the village or visit the wine museum called Museo dello Sciacchetrá.

Manarola Port

Manarola’s small port

Wine grapes in Manarola

Wine grapes in Manarola

Corniglia is the smallest and most quiet of the five, located in a hill and with no direct sea access but still as beautiful as the rest. You can go to the Largo Taragio square and relax in the shade trying the bruschetta and fresh lemonade in the Bar Matteo, get an ice-cream in the Gelateria di Alberto or shop delicious Itlian cheese at the Alimentari Lisa shop/van.

Corniglia in Cinque Terre

Corniglia

The surroundings of Corniglia

The surroundings of Corniglia

Alimentari Lisa shop in Corniglia

Alimentari Lisa shop in Corniglia

Vernazza is just breathtaking and that’s why it’s also the most touristy one, so we recommended to go early morning and in the evening to enjoy it better. Spend time in the Piazza Marconi, the heart of the village next to a small beach and the harbour. You can only visit the Santa Margarita Di Antiochia church, Doria Castle and Belforte Tower.

Vernazza in Cinque Terre

Vernazza

Piazza Marconi in Vernazza

Piazza Marconi in Vernazza

Santa Margarita Di Antiochia Church

Santa Margarita Di Antiochia Church

Monterosso Al Mare is the less enchanting of the villages but still worth visiting with a long beach defined by Forbes like one of the sexiest in the world. There also several places to visit like the Church of San Giovanni Battista, Convent of Cappuccini, Oratory of Confraternita dei Neri or the curious Anchovy Salting Center. It has several hotels and some night life.

Monterosso in Cinque Terre

Monterosso

Monterosso beach

Monterosso beach

Monterosso bikes on the street

Locals move around Monterosso by bike

Riomaggiore is a charming labyrinth of alleys and a very artistic village with several murals and artwork. It’s a nice place to taste seafood in restaurants like Il Pescato Cucinato and to meet other travellers in the evening. You can also find the Museum of Local History and the Church of San Giovanni Battista.

Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore

Boats in Riomaggiore

Boats in Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore Lover Path

Riomaggiore’s Lover’s Path

Read:  Matterhorn: The Most Beautiful Mountain in Europe

Enjoy a 360° view thanks to AirPano

How to get to Cinque Terre: the easiest way is arriving by plane to the Genoa airport and from there, taking the a train that will led you directly to the villages.

How to move around Cinque Terre: cars are prohibited so the best way to move around is walking using the vast path network built to connected the towns. Recommended to get the visitor pass called Cinque Terre Card, to use the bus service and have access to all the trekking paths.

What to do in Cinque Terre: try the fish and seafood cooked in the local way, taste the wine from the region, hike from town to town or just enjoy the beautiful landscape.

Credit: photos by Paul Hogie, Federico, Betsy and Brett, Svein-Magne Tunli and Tamara from Cinque Terre Travel.

You might also be interested in reading: