Hiking Italy's Cinque Terre
A trip through their wild uncontaminated nature

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Map of the Cinque Terre - click to enlarge
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Five tiny coastal villages on the eastern ligurian riviera, between La Spezia and Genoa, are named Cinque Terre, which means "five lands". Hard to get to, due to its particular geographical position, the five villages have for a long time been left isolated from the world, uncontaminated in their wild nature.
If you are planning a trip to Italy, and you like the sea, the sun and the silence of a world outside time, you'll find an holiday in the Cinque Terre as an unforgettable experience.

How to reach the Cinque Terre

The five villages are about ten kilometers from La Spezia. The town of La Spezia is about halfway between Genoa and Pisa, along the railway line Genoa - Pisa - Rome. Traveling by car, take the A12 Genova - Livorno motorway. The nearest airports (only for national flights) are Genoa and Pisa. Manarola: houses built on the rock

General remarks about lodging, eating and having a good time at the Cinque Terre

There's no problem finding accommodation; it's possible to choose from a wide range of solutions. Many people have rooms (in italian named "affittacamere") or little apartments to let. There are also some family business hotels (in italian "pensioni"), as well as luxurious hotels, like the Hotel Porto Roca at Monterosso. A very cheap lodging is the hostel of Manarola: it's clean and in a good location (please, see Accommodation).
Overlooking the sea are many restaurants serving the best Italian seafood specialities. The Hostel of Manarola Due to the basil, that grows here wild as well as cultivated, a local speciality is "pesto": it originates from this region. Never will you find such a taste elsewhere.
The best way to enjoy the Cinque Terre is to hike the footpaths that connect the villages and provide overpowering coastline views. You can spent all your vacation not only hiking from one village to another, but also snorkeling or diving into the crystal-clear Mediterranean water. If you don't feel like walking the whole way from Riomaggiore (the first land of the Cinque Terre) to Monterosso (the northernmost) you can go to the railway station and take the local train. Each of the five villages has its own station and there are runs about every hour (please, see the Train timetable).

Train timetable
It's also worth a journey through the sanctuaries on the hills; you can visit centuries-old churches and at the same time enjoy spectacular views.


The Cinque Terre are a special world that is endangered by its particular nature. Winter stormy rainfalls caused heavy damage and many footpaths were swept away owing to landslides. In order to raise the funds needed to repair the damages and to assure the conservation of such a unique landscape, the "Body of the Cinque Terre Park" asks you to pay for a ticket to run the foot-paths. The town authorities rely on your understanding and thank you sincerely.

If you prefer, you can buy the Cinque Terre Card, that, during its period of validity, allows you:
- to use local trains without limitations
- to run the footpaths and equipped areas
- to use inland transport services (little buses)

If you would like to extend your stay in Cinque Terre, but want something else to do, the following suggestion are offered:

How to get to Portovenere bus stop from the railway station

Planning visits to Portovenere and Lerici

Portovenere is a famous tourist resort, about twelve kilometres from La Spezia. Thanks to its particular position, Portovenere is very alluring, and really worth viisiting. Leaving from La Spezia, you take the bus that stops in Viale Garibaldi (see the map).
As an alternative, there is a boat service that links the Cinque Terre with Portovenere and the islands of La Spezia's gulf (Palmaria and Tino islands).
Lerici is a pretty resort too, that is located on the opposite side of the La Spezia's gulf. It's easy to get to (only eleven kilometres from La Spezia); the bus stop is right in front of the railway station.
Bus tickets are on sale at the railway-station tobacconist's or at the newspaper-kiosks in the town.

Planning visits to Pisa and Florence

You can plan a daily trip to art towns like Pisa or Florence. You can reach Pisa by about an hour's train ride, but to continue to Florence you need to change trains at Viareggio or Pisa and take the connecting train. So start your tour early on the morning! If you have a car, take the A12 Genova-Livorno at La Spezia, then leave it at Viareggio and take the A11 Firenze-mare.


View from the Via dell'amore
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Corniglia: view from the stairs that get to the village
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Vernazza, seen coming from Monterosso
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Beach of Monterosso
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The five villages

Starting your tour from La Spezia, the nearest town, Riomaggiore is the first train stop. If you have a car, there's a daily parking, so you'd better leave it there and tour the Cinque Terre by train or by boat. From Riomaggiore starts the "Via dell'Amore", or love path, that running along the coast vertically above the sea, often cut into the cliff, leads to Manarola (the second village of the Cinque Terre). At Manarola you can get cheap lodging at the hostel, situated back of the old baroque church of San Lorenzo. From the picturesque harbor, in order to continue for Corniglia, you can take the steep slope toward the cemetery or, on the left, the road which goes around "Punta Bonfiglio". The second half of the way for Corniglia runs high along a pebbly beach; from the footpath you can see the wonderful clarity of the sea water. The last leg of the route passes through the lodgings of the holiday village named "Villaggio Europa". At that point, if you wish to climb up along the winding stairs that get over the hill, you can reach Corniglia, the only village far from the sea, and enjoy very breathtaking views of the Cinque terre coastline. Otherwise, you can take the way that runs between the railways and the sea, and through a one-kilometer tunnel (requiring payment of a toll). Using this route, you can reach the beach of Guvano. That's a very romantic place (also frequented by nudists).
Once at Corniglia, take a rest to enjoy a glass of the local white wine, the Cinque Terre DOC: it is the finest wine in the area. Visit the church of San Pietro, built on the ruins of the oldest church courtyard.
From Corniglia, by walking about two hours through vineyards and olive groves, you'll reach Vernazza, perhaps the prettiest of all the villages. The fishing village, with its pastel-colored buildings, sits in the shelter of a rocky cove. The dark rocks make a dramatic contrast behind the brightly colored houses. Here you'll find the ruins of medieval fortifications and the church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia, built in 1318. In the harbor fishermen tend their boats; the cobbled main street is lined with busy cafes and small shops. After having rewarded yourself with some delicious ice cream (in italian: "gelati") you can take on last leg of the trip, leading to Monterosso, about a two hours walk. If you do not feel up to hiking more, there is a boat service back and forth between the two resorts. Monterosso is the largest Cinque Terre village, with the only sandy beach in the area. Many restaurants are tucked in and out of its ancient cobbled streets; the restaurant "La Tortuga", with its wonderful view on the fishermen beach, is particularly well situated. In the monumental center you can admire the church of San Giovanni Battista, with its Bell Tower. The 17th century Capuchin monastery preserves valuable works of art, ascribed to Van Dick, Cambiaso, Piola and Guido Reni. Due to its level expanse, Monterosso is the best suited village for disabled people on wheelchairs. The village can also be reached by car from La Spezia via a provincial asphalt road.

Accommodation in Cinque Terre

For further information, please see also "Consorzio Turistico Cinque Terre": www.cinqueterre.it

Riomaggiore icon Hotel Due Gemelli - tel/fax 0187 920678 or 0187 920111
icon Hotel Villa Argentina - tel. 0187 920213
icon Rooms for rent: Vesigna Edi - Via Colombo, 111
icon 19017 - Riomaggiore - Italy - Tel.: 0187 920490
icon Fax: 0187/920325 - email: edi-vesigna@iol.it
Manarola icon Hotel Ca' D'Andrean - tel. 0187 920040 - fax 0187 920452
icon Hotel Marina Piccola - tel. 0187 920103 - fax 0187 920966

La Torretta B&B - all rooms with view over the sea - Piazza della Chiesa - Manarola
Phone/Fax: 39 0187 920 327 - Email - Web page

Youth Hostel "Cinque Terre" - Via Riccobaldi, 21 - 19010 Manarola (SP)
ITALY - Tel. 0187 920 215 - Fax. 0187 920 218 - Email:ostello@cdh.it
for detailed information: www.cinqueterre.net/ostello

"Da Baranin - Bed & Breakfast - apartments"
Via Rollandi 29 - 19010 - Manarola - tel-fax: 0187 920595
more information: www.baranin.com - email: info@baranin.com
Vernazza icon Hotel Barbara - tel. 0187 812398
icon Hotel Sorriso - tel. 0187 812224
icon Hotel Palme - tel. 0187 829013 - fax 0187 829081
icon Hotel Porto Roca - tel. 0187 817502 - fax 0187 817692
icon for detailed information: www.portoroca.it
icon Hotel Cinque Terre - tel. 0187 817543 - fax 0187 818380
icon Hotel Degli Amici - tel. 0187 817544 - fax 0187 817424
icon mailto: amici@cinqueterre.it
icon Hotel Jolie - tel. 0187 80231 or 800553025
icon for detailed information: www.libarnaviaggi.com
icon Hotel La Colonnina - tel/fax 0187 817439
icon Hotel Moretto - tel. 0187 817483 - fax 0187 817296
icon Hotel Marina - tel. e Fax 0187 817242 / 817613
icon email: marina@cinqueterre.it
icon Hotel Pasquale - tel. 0187 817477 - fax 0187 817550
icon for detailed information: www.pasini.com
icon Hotel Suisse Bellevue - tel. 0187 818065 - fax 0187 818325
icon Hotel Villa Steno - tel. 0187 817028
icon for detailed information: www.pasini.com
icon Hotel Baia - tel. 0187 817512 - fax 0187 818322
icon Hotel Souvenir - tel. 0187 817595
icon Hotel Villa Adriana - tel/fax 0187 818128 or 0187 818109
icon Hotel Agavi - tel. 0187 817171 - fax 0187 818264
icon Hotel Al Carugio - tel. 0187 817453

mailto: fsoccoia@yahoo.it