Cinque Terre

May 12, 2015

Cinque Terre consists of five small towns/villages all connected and aligned near the north western coast of Italy. These towns are filled with colorful buildings that just takes your breathe away.
  1. Monterrosso al Mare - This town reminds me a little of Venice Beach. This is considered the beach town because it has the biggest beach out of the five. The town is the largest of the five and is split into 2 parts, and is the only town that allows car traffic. They are known for their lemons, so get anything lemon while you're there.
  2. Vernazza - This is where our apartment was and we were SO glad about that, because Vernazza ended up being our favorite town out of the five. It has a small harbor and the town isn't too big so it feels real homey and I think it's the prettiest. In the summer, you can also cliff dive. Ken really wanted to do this, but apparently he's too big and it isn't advised till its much warmer.
  3. Corniglia - This is the only town that isn't by the water. This town is way up on a hill, so to get there you either hike there from another town or take the train there and hike up a whole bunch of stairs (360 steps to be exact). It takes effort getting to this town, but they have the best gelato so it's worth all the hard work in my opinion.
  4. Manarola - This town is on the smaller side as well. It has a small harbor and there are lots of vineyards surrounding this town. The hike getting there is really nice. 
  5. Riomaggiore - This is the most southern town of the five. This town has a a tiny beach and lots of kids were playing in the water (water was too cold for my liking). Lots of people tend to stay here or Monterrosso when visiting CT. We took a boat from this town back to Vernazza. We were able to see the towns from a distance.
I fell in love with Cinque Terre. Ken loved it too (obviously), especially because of all the outdoor activities available to you. It's seriously such a beautiful place. There weren't too many people there yet, so that made the experience more enjoyable. The little towns with people who all know each other and the slow pace of the lifestyle was really refreshing, especially after coming from Rome. Erin opened up a lot while we were there. With less people in the picture, it gave her a chance to really soak in everything. She now loves dogs and birds (she was deathly afraid of them before our trip).

Getting to Cinque Terre

By Train
We took a train from Rome to get to CT. It took about 3.5 hours. The train from Rome will stop at La Spezia and you'll have to transfer to another train that stops at all 5 towns. Train tickets for us cost about 87 Euros round trip for both Ken and I. We had a whole cart to ourselves. It was pretty darn nice. Erin slept for almost half the trip.

Hiking in Cinque Terre:

We did a lot of hiking in CT. You really won't get to see how beautiful the towns are unless you hike around and see them from a distance. You'll have to pay to hike most of these trails. The hiking trails pass through each town, so essentially you're able to hike from the 1st town all the way to the 5th town, if you wanted to (I think it takes from 6-7 hours). See below:

Most of the blue path above was closed due to a terrible flood in CT a few years ago. This path runs along the coast and is the most ideal because it's the shortest path between towns and its the most scenic. 

Day 1: We spent most of this day traveling to CT. We arrived in Vernazza around 5:00pm. We grabbed a quick dinner and called it a day. Erin passed out at 7:30pm.

Day 2: We hiked from Vernazza to Corniglia (this was a coastal path). That took us about 1.5 hours. We didn't have a baby carrying backpack, so Ken and I switched off holding Erin. After spending a few hours in Corniglia (you must stop at Alberto's Gelateria), we hiked down to Manarola. That took us about 2.5 hours. This was probably the hardest hike (about 45 minutes of incline). I ended up carrying Erin in the ergo for most of it so she could nap. We were too exhausted to hike over to Riomaggiore, so we ended up taking the train down instead. After an hour of hanging out and eating gelato, we took a boat back up to Vernazza so we could see the towns from the water. So pretty!

Day 3: We took a train to Monterrosso al Mare and spent a few hours there before hiking down to Vernazza. This hike took about 2 hours. Again, Erin slept for most of it so I ended up carrying her in the ergo. This hike was the most scenic because this was one of the longer coastal paths that were open. We got real lucky because the weather was perfect the entire time we were in CT (the trails tends to close if there is rain). So if you're planning to visit CT for hiking purposes, make sure you plan accordingly with the weather.

Day 4: We had a train back to Rome at 1:15pm. We grabbed some souvenirs and headed over to Corniglia to get our most favorite gelato one final time. We took the train there, which means we had to climb the 360 steps to get to the gelato. It was so worth it. 


Cinque Terre is known for many things, some include: anchovies and pesto. The anchovies were too salty for my liking and the pesto was just decent. Sadly, I don't have any incredible meal stories to share, but like I've mentioned a billion times before, the gelato in CT is the best (better than Rome)!

We wished we had a few more days in CT. I would definitely want to go back, especially if the rest of the blue path opens up.  I highly recommend people stopping by CT when visiting Italy!

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