Cinque Terre is a seaside coastal area in northern Italy made up of 5 separate villages; Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.
How to Get There: While in Italy, I used Florence as my base and took the train there for a day trip. I highly suggest downloading the app Omio whenever in Europe, it’s perfect for figuring out the quickest way to get from point A to point B and allows you to purchase tickets in the app. From Florence purchase a RT ticket to Monterosso for about $50.00; it’s about 3 hours each way. Definitely wear comfortable shoes because it’s all hills and lots of steps.
What to Do: The villages may look similar, but each has its own character. If staying in one of the villages, I’d spend about a day in each village to explore, but if you’re short on time you can see about 2/3 villages in one day. During the summer, go to the beach! Other options are to grab some wine, enjoy the views, do a little shopping at the local shops, or village hop. Each village produces their own grapes so wine is very popular. Get the train pass that will give you access to wifi at each village and unlimited transportation between each village. The best views in my opinion were definitely in Manarola!
What to Eat: DRINK ALL THE WINE, eat lots of bruschetta & find you a fried seafood cone. In Riomaggiore, there is a restaurant called A Pié de Ma in the cliffs right outside the train station with amazing views of the ocean and free WiFi! I also ate at Nessun Dorna in Manarola as it was highly recommended, had great food and more wine.
Where to Stay: In Cinque Terre, hotels can get a little pricey during the summer time; an option is to stay in La Spezia, a small beach town about a 15-minute train ride. There are also plenty of Airbnb’s and hotels spread out amongst the 5 villages, just choose which village you’d like to stay in then narrow it down from there. But remember all the homes are nestled in the hills so pack lightly.
Feel free to reach out if anyone has any more questions!