Looking for a get away to one of Italy’s coast lines? Visit Cinque Terre, a collection of five villages on the Italian Riviera that offers both relaxation and nature! The five towns that make up Cinque Terre are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso del Mare!
What is there to do in Cinque Terre?
The five villages are all located along a mountainous coastline that is beautiful for hiking! Whether you are an experienced hiker of you have not hiked one day in your life these trails will offer you beautiful views of the green mountainsides and blue see below! Remember water and you will be fine! Depending on which trail you take the hike can be more or less difficult. Along the trail you will find beautiful shaded resting points with beautiful panoramic viewpoints! For information about the trails between each village, visit our blog post about hiking these trails.
If you prefer not to hike between the villages, there is a train that runs through each town, the train takes about 10 minutes to reach each consecutive village and is very easy to navigate! You can purchase a train pass or a single ride ticket at any of the town’s train stations!
2. Visit Il Gigante in Monterosso del Mare.
In Monterosso don’t miss the statue of the giant which is carved into the cliff on the northside of the villages coastline! This colossal statue of Neptune used to hold a huge shell where locals would actually bathe. Unfortunately, during WWII the city was bombed and part of this iconic statue was destroyed, however, it is worth it to go stand in awe of this massive statue during your visit to Cinque Terre.
3. Visit the Beach and Take a Dip in the Ocean.
Each village has beautiful beaches! After a hike this area of the coast is the perfect place to take a dip in the water and cool off or simply explore! At most of the beaches you have the opportunity to rest on the large rocks or the sandy beach while you look out into the beautiful blue waters of the Ligurian Sea!
4. Try the granita al limone di Monterosso.
During a hot day on the beach try a refreshing granita al limone di Monterosso. Granitas are small slushy like drinks that come in different flavors and because the region is rich with citrus trees. the granita al limone di Monterosso are the best granitas that you will find!!
5. Try the Pesto.
During your visit, you must try the pesto! This region is the birthplace of this famous green sauce as the basil plants grow extremely well in this region! Pesto is made from a mixture of ground basil leaves, pine nuts, olive oil (of course), pecorino cheese, parmigiano cheese, and garlic! You can get it on your focaccia bread, in pesto lasagna, or pasta/spaghetti noodles!
6. Try the Focaccia Bread.
This famous, tasty bread originated in this area of the country! The best can be found between Genoa and Cinque Terre. Focaccia bread is a simply flat yet pillowy bread made with olive oil and salt. It can be eaten plain or with a topping such as pesto, olives, onions, etc. This is a local favorite so, if you’re looking for a snack or lunch by the beach, try a slice of Focaccia bread!
7. Visit Castello Doria in Vernazza.
This castle is a don’t miss! When standing on the beach in Vernazza, this castle sits above the buildings on the left side of the bay! For just 1,50€, take the ten minute walk up the spiral staircase to the beautiful panoramic point and see not only Vernazza from above but also the two surrounding villages! Great at anytime of the day however, my favorite time of the day to visit Castello Doria is during sunset with the lights of Monterosso al Mare in the background!
8. Via dell’Amore
This is my favorite and the most relaxing walking trail in Cinque Terre. It takes about 30 minutes to walk and is located between the towns of Riomaggiore and Manarola! Known as the Way of Love, this is a perfect place to take a romantic stroll when walking between the two southernmost villages in Cinque Terre!
9. Try the wine!
The hillsides and hiking trails are surrounded by white grape vines! In Cinque Terre, you can find a great selection of local white wines! Whether you prefer a fortified, sweet, or dry wine, try a glass of the delicious products that are locally grown and produced here!
10. Take a Boat Tour.
See the villages and green mountainsides from the sea! Boats run quite frequently from ports north and south of Cinque Terre and from the all of villages, except for Corniglia because of it’s lack of water access.
For more information about hiking the Cinque Terre trails, read our post about Hiking Italy’s Most beautiful coastal trails!