Cinque Terre

After seeing photos of the cute little colorful seaside houses of Cinque Terre on Google images, my wanderlust grew to a whole new level. “I’ll have to see this someday,” I thought. At last, the moment that I’ve been waiting for came when I was in Florence for 2 days. One of these days was spent visiting Cinque Terre.

To put it shortly: was Cinque Terre as beautiful as I expected? Yes. Was I blown away by it? Unfortunately, no. I think the problem was only getting a day there, which made it impossible to fully enjoy Cinque Terre because it literally means “five lands.” So I had to see five whole villages to see in a single day?! Well that would mean arriving then immediately leaving for another village. Instead, I spent a couple of hours in three of the five villages and here’s what I discovered about each one:


cinque terre monterosso gelato

If you want to hit the beach, go to Monterosso. Of the five villages, Monterosso’s beaches were the most “beach-like,” if you catch my drift (ha). Though the sand was more like a bunch of little pebbles, there was still a beach to lay out on, as opposed to huge rocks – which you’ll understand later.

Monterosso Cinque Terre houses beach
These houses were right next to the beach! How great is that?

Well, I didn’t want to spend most of my precious time laying out on the beach, so I explored a bit of the land. Walking along the side of the cliffs offered some gorgeous backdrops:

monterosso cinque terre cliffs

la tortuga restaurant monterosso cinque terre
I actually don’t think I’d mind working at this restaurant if I could see incredible seaside views every day!

monterosso cinque terre beach

I didn’t realize that I was already on my way to the next village, Vernazza, until I doubled back and saw this sign. That’s when I remembered reading somewhere that all the villages are connected by trail. However, a landslide several years ago caused one of the connections (between Manarola and Riomaggiore, I believe) to close down.

trail to vernazza cinque terre

On my way to Vernazza and didn’t even know it

BUT, there is another way to hop from village to village, and that’s by train! That was how I traveled on to Vernazza:


Vernazza Cinque Terre buildings

Vernazza cinque terre
I love how the clothes add even more color to the already colorful buildings!

Vernazza was the smallest village of the five. Ater getting off the train, a ten minute walk down the street (shown above) led me to the end, its harbor.

vernazza cinque terre clock tower

Vernazza harbor

Vernazza cinque terre photography

Well, it was a good lunch stop. This area is especially known for its pesto, so what else could I get but a pesto pizza? And gelato for dessert?

Enjoying my #gelato at the beautiful #cinqueterre ?? #Italy #dessert #food #foodie #travel #beautifuldestinations

A photo posted by Jessica @ WONDERMENTARY (@itsjpei) on


Manarola cinque terre

At last, the view that I’ve been waiting to see:

Manarola Cinque Terre buildings houses

Imagine how it’d look during sunset?! Not being able to see the sunset in Cinque Terre lends to some of my bitterness, I think. But I guess I’ll console myself by being thankful that I even got to see this, right?

The only half-decent picture of me made me look like I have a 5 ‘o clock shadow. There lies another for why I need to return to this place, at least for a better picture 😛

At the top of this trail, there was actually a nice little garden where a picnic would be fantastic to have next time.

Manarola Cinque Terre

boat manarola cinque terre
Such a pretty colored boat

Manarola also has “beaches,” but they look more like this:

manarola rock cliffs beach
My hands were sweaty just looking at this

Only rocks! See what I mean by go to the beach in Monterosso now? As fun as it looked, I did not want to risk jumping off and landing horribly. Or breaking my neck. Or dying. Would you jump?

In general, Manarola was the most scenic of the five villages.

Manarola cinque terre

However, getting the best views also required a bit of legwork climbing up and down the hills. At that point of the day, I was pretty tired so I didn’t even try to climb more steps. This just means I’ll have to do it again when I come back!

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly, I really want to return to Cinque Terre and do it properly next time. I could easily spend a week there, a day for each village. Of course I’ll have to see the ones that I didn’t get to this time, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. I can imagine myself taking the time to wander the little streets, soaking in the sunshine on the beach, and stuffing my face with endless amounts of gelato!

Have you ever been to Cinque Terre? Which village did you like the most?

Thanks for reading!

  • My best friend just got back from a tri there and I have to say looking at these photos I understand the wanderlust. There’s something captivating about the colours and the water! Italy is a beauty!

    • That’s awesome! They say Italy is even more beautiful in the south – I can’t imagine what that’d look like when Cinque Terre is this gorgeous already.

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  • GORGEOUS PHOTOS! This place looks amazing, the kind of place I would visit without over thinking it. I am loving the photos so much, I literally want to teleport myself into your post. Wishessssss. I might have to add Cinque Terre to my destination list. xx

    • Thank you!! I’m glad I was able to inspire you to add that to your list. Give yourself plenty of time to be there; you won’t regret it!

  • Kim

    Gahh I feel for you! I had the same problem with Venice, where I barely had the afternoon to enjoy the city before having to make the trip back to the hotel and then to Rome. Cinque Terre looks wonderful though with all those colorful buildings next to the water!

    • Oh yeah, I had a similar experience in Venice too. I had a full day there then had to go back in the evening. Just curious – did you travel with a tour group?

      Cinque Terre’s beauty really can’t be beat!

      • Kim

        No I had a tour company arrange plane tickets, train tickets, and accomidation because I traveled on short notice with my brother.

  • Can I go with you when you go back?! I have been begging my husband to go to Italy (he’s pushing for Norway, which is always beautiful but c’mon it’s Italy!). Which town was your favorite?

    • Haha yes!! I liked Florence then Venice then least of all Rome. I also spent the least amount of time in Florence, but I took a liking to it as soon as I got there. I’ll have to go back!

      And why not both? Do a Europe tour 😉

  • yes bring me along too!! these houses are so dreamy! and oh the cliffs ive always thought people who jump at rocky beach are so brave lol

    • Indeed, I wonder what it must be like living there? Probably surrounded by tourists 24/7, lol.

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