Cinque Terre, finally!!! After so many years of wait, I had the chance to visit Cinque Terre, one of the most iconic places on earth.
Cinque Terre means – literally – five villages and, as the name says, comprises five small coastal villages on the Italian riviera: Monterosso; Vernazza; Corniglia; Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Taking advantage of an extended weekend in Liguria region, me and A. had to wake up early to take the direct train that departs from Genoa (Brignole station) at 7.58am and arrives in Monterosso in less than 1,5 hours.
In Monterosso´s train station we bought the Cinque Terre pass (which costs 16 euros and allows you to take all the trains and walk through Cinque Terre national park, connecting the five villages in a challenging but unforgetable hiking route).
Monterosso was the perfect introduction to Cinque Terre. As we left the train station, we were already in a long sandy beach of light lilac-greeny waters.
In a short walk, we found a smaller beach: people were swimming in the sea; while the sand was occupied by umbrellas and fishing boats.
After passing under the train bridge, we entered the Old Town and walked the narrow streets made by colored buildings. Me and A. wandered around Monterosso, took photos and relaxed, before start the climb to Vernazza.
Vernazza, the second village we visited, is (in my opinion) one the symbols of Cinque Terre. As we arrived from Monterosso, we started to see the rich palette of local architecture and, after a few steps, the port and the beach.
Vernazza is one of the most beautiful Cinque Terre villages. Which explaines why the streets and beaches are so packed of tourists. We enjoyed our walk in Vernazza but as we needed to lunch and sit for a while, we jumped to the train that took us to the next stop: Corniglia.
Corniglia is one of the smaller Cinque Terre villages. In fact, the day we were there, we noticed it was the emptiest village. I believe it is because, from the train station, it is still necessary to walk and climb some hundreds of stairs…
Thanks to the Cinque Terre pass, we took a free bus that left us right in the center of Corniglia. We arrived fresh but starved and in a short walk found a restaurant to lunch.
It was perfect: Corniglia is quiet and tranquil and these peaceful hours worked for me and A. like a deserved rest, before heading to Manarola.
Another train, another stop: welcome to Manarola. After the relax of Corniglia, we were back to the frenzied rythm of Cinque Terre. Manarola doesn´t have beach but has a lot of restaurants with balconies to the sea.
Our fourth Cinque Terre village has its charm and it´s nice to wander up and down in its streets. However, the best was kept to the end: Riomaggiore.
Together with Vernazza, Riomaggiore is for me one of the symbols of Cinque Terre. In Riomaggiore every path takes you to the quay. Framed among the typical colored houses, the quay opens our senses to a panoramic view of sea and rocks.
In Riomaggiore, the quay is the perfect place to stop and meditate about beauty and its meaning. Around us, the beauty of nature, expressed by the mix of the sea and the mountains, in harmony with the beauty of the humanity, manifested by the Man´s hability to construct and surpass its limits.
Cinque Terre tottally worth a visit. I spent one day discovering its five villages but there are enough reasons to spend there a week…. or the lifetime!