Cinque Terre: the highlights and lowlights

4/5 of the Cinque Terre villages: Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare, and Riomaggiore. The five coastal villages with coloured houses, little boats and dramatic mountains form the perfect Instagram background. Seriously, you walk into one of the towns, and it’s like you enter a behind the Instagram scenes set.

Although it was busy, it wasn’t overcrowded – like for example in Plitvice Lakes – and I loved the fact that there wasn’t actually that much to do. A bit of walking around, enjoying the views and people watching is one of my favourite ways to ‘pasta time’.

Me and my lazy ass actually enjoyed the hike trail between Manarola and Corniglia. On my visit, 20 and 22 April 2017, two out of four trails were closed indefinitely due to landslides so you could choose between the average trail – Corniglia to Vernazza- or the most difficult trail – Vernazza to Monterosso. We went for what they say is average, but were out-walked by an 80 year old woman and a 5 year old kid so I’m sure what that says about us or them.

I also love the fact that there are water taps around the towns so you don’t have to pay for h2wow. My Dutch cheapskate side loved this and I’m not even sorry.

Trains between the villages only go twice an hour, which clogs up the place, with all the tourist money they should be able to invest in more choo choos. Guess we have to forget about it.

The lack of ticket machines and information cheesed me off. At one of the stations, with only one ticket machine had a huge queue and it wasn’t till 2 minutes before departure that we found out they sold tickets at the shop next door.

Focaccia, focaccia and some more focaccia. With pesto, with garlic, with cheese, with veggies… there weren’t enough lunches to try them all. Despite my rucksack’s objections, I think I brought back enough goodies to sustain me until I can return.

Yes, but one day when/if all paths are open. And also to try the remaining focaccia toppings and visit Manarola as I didn’t see that one.

Meh, depends … I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who doesn’t get the allure – so anyone who uses less than 20 hashtags on Instagram.

Is the Cinque Terre something you want to visit? Or have you been already? Or have any other Italy recommendations?

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  1. I visited two years ago for a day and loved it, would like to go back and stay in one of the villages. The train was packed when we visited though and some of the trails were closed too

    All things nice…

  2. I visited when I was living in Milan and spent the night, honestly the place is so dreamy and beautiful. I went about 5 years ago and one of the paths was closed then, sad to hear the more seemed to be closed.