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Spectacular Beauty of the five towns in Cinque Terre

towns-in-cinque-terre

It is impossible to describe the beautiful scenery of the Italian Riviera along the untamed coastline of Liguria. The five fishing towns commonly referred to as the Cinque Terre are the jewels in this magnificent coastal crown.

They are staggeringly and gravity-defyingly perched on a 10-kilometer stretch of high cliffs that plunge precipitously into the Mediterranean Sea. The five towns in Cinque Terre are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso which began as fortified communities during the Middle Ages.

Today, the threat posed by pirates is long gone, and the charming, pastel-hued towns in Cinque Terre have earned their rightful place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Let’s begin by talking about the five towns in Cinque Terre and all you should know before visiting.

Cinque Terre Towns

The five towns in Cinque Terre are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, listed in order from north to south.

From one neighborhood to the next, it takes the train around five minutes. All the towns aside from Corniglia are connected by ferry service. You could choose to walk, but you’ll need to schedule more time for that.

Cinque Terre Treno MS Card (Hiking & Train )

Getting the Cinque Terre Card is the greatest way to freely explore the towns in Cinque Terre. With this, you are granted unrestricted access to the La Spezia, Cinque Terre, and Levanto railway lines as well as the two fee-based Cinque Terre hiking trails that run both from Vernazza and Corniglia, starting at Monterosso.

Let’s now take a tour of each of the towns in Cinque Terre.

1: Monterosso

Monterosso is the largest of the five towns in Cinque Terre and offers the most amenities. There is no doubt that beach lovers should stay here. The only sandy beach in the region is in Monterosso, where visitors can rent beach chairs, umbrellas, and kayaks to explore the several bays nearby.

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It is the only village that is flat and has both a pebble and a sandy beach, both of which are breathtaking. The town is split into two sections, the Fegina (the beach area) and the Vecchio (the old town), which are joined by a lovely promenade and a tunnel that burrows through the cliff.

Things to do in Monterosso

The beach is Monterosso’s top tourist destination. The majority of Monterosso’s coastline is made up of beaches, and they are crowded with travelers lying around under green and orange striped umbrellas.

The Church of San Giovanni Battista is an additional destination that is a must-see. The church is regarded as being among Cinque Terre’s oldest.  

2: Vernazza

Vernazza is regarded as one of the most scenic towns in Cinque Terre as well as in Italy and is most likely the most beautiful one in the entire region. From the train station at the top of the town to the water’s edge at Vernazza’s harbor, a single main street descends steeply.

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The Blue Trail leads from Vernazza to Monterosso and Corniglia, making it the ideal place to begin a walk. At the beginning of the trails, there are a few wonderful places for photos.

Things to do in Vernazza

The oldest still-standing fortified castle is located in Vernazza at Doria Castle. This ruin dates to the 11th century, but all that is left now is a round tower. I highly advise climbing the Doria Castle for breathtaking views that will astound you.

3: Corniglia

Corniglia is the smallest of all the towns in Cinque Terre and the most unique one since it is situated within Cinque Terre National Park.

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It is the only town that is located on a cliff 100 meters above sea level rather than right on the water. The least accessible and smallest of the five towns in Cinque Terre. You can either take the shuttle bus from the station or walk 382 stairs to get to the village.

Corniglia’s peaceful, which is off-the-beaten-path atmosphere, is what separates it from the other towns in Cinque Terre. The surrounding villages can become overrun with tourists, but Corniglia is still a peaceful haven of beauty and authenticity. Therefore, take your time and enjoy every second of your trip to this unique location.

Things to do in Corniglia

There are two amazing viewing spots Belvedere di Santa Maria from where all five towns in Cinque Terre can be seen at once, a stunning panoramic terrace on the town’s opposite side, and La Torre is the second viewpoint which provides views of Manarola one of the towns in Cinque Terre directly across the coast.

4: Manarola

Of the five towns in Cinque Terre, Manarola is the oldest, busiest, and certainly most photogenic town. You will travel down steep caruggi, the traditionally small lanes seen in Ligurian villages and cities, to get to the coastline from the top of the town.

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The village includes a little harbor with a boat ramp, beautiful buildings with bright colors that front the water, and a modest square with seafood eateries. This is the ideal location for spending a relaxed day in the sun while admiring others leap off the cliffs.

Things to do in Manarola

In my opinion, proceed to the sea by taking the walking path to the right followed by a visit to Piazzale Papa Innocenzo is a tiny square with a bell tower that is used as a once-defensible observation post.

In addition to that take a wine-tasting trip to try the regional vino. Last but not least, Punta Bonfiglio is Manarola’s top vantage point. Take the seaside walkway where you may enjoy views of this beautiful village.

5: Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore, one of the largest towns in Cinque Terre, is a timeless representation of the Ligurian Riviera with its vividly painted homes and distinctive green-shuttered doors and windows. Due to its convenient location and abundance of hotels, Riomaggiore, the easternmost of the five towns in Cinque Terre, is commonly picked as a home base by tourists visiting the area.

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Riomaggiore is known as one of the most romantic towns in Cinque Terre and it is ideal for young travelers or couples looking for a lively location to hang out during the day and yet offers a bit of nightlife. Hotels with sea views may be found close to the charming harbor, making them ideal for romantic getaways with the love of your life.

Things to do in Riomaggiore

Take the 13th-century journey to the medieval castle that towers over the town. Visit the Fossola beach in Riomaggiore. The rocky beachfront is picturesque, with the water being framed by steep hills.

Don’t forget to visit the church built in 1340 is called Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my guide to the five towns in Cinque Terre. Don’t forget to read our other posts about the 10 most popular museums to visit in Italy

FAQs

Where are the five towns of the Cinque Terre located?

The five towns in Cinque Terre are located in the Liguria region’s province of La Spezia along the rocky Italian Riviera coast.

How long should you plan to stay in Cinque Terre?

A minimum of two to three days are recommended to tour all five towns in Cinque Terre. In my opinion, spending 4-5 days will provide you with more time for hiking and beach relaxation.

How can I travel between the five towns in Cinque Terre?

The Cinque Terre’s five towns can be reached in a variety of ways. While catching the local trains is the most convenient option, hiking and boats are the most scenic.

What season of the year is ideal for visiting the Cinque Terre towns?

When the weather is nice and there are fewer tourists, April to June and September to November are the best months to explore the towns in Cinque Terre.

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