24 hours in Cinque Terre
By: Jim Bamboulis
Italian Riviera. Northwest Italy. Liguria coast. Closer to La Spezia than Genoa. It’s there that you’ll find 5 magical small towns. Each with a distinct character yet connected by the all too beautiful landscape, pristine but somewhat chilly blue waters, sun drenched rock cliffs and charisma of the Italian spirit.
If Cinque Terre isn’t on your list of must-sees, then edit your list.
3 hours north of Rome, Cinque Terre is geographically situated in the middle of everything. During the summer months, the uber wealthy more often than not intersect with family vacationers and backpackers looking for a cheap hostel. It’s an interesting mix.
“The Five Lands”. Made up of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Walking trails are the best way to see all 5. In spots, you may have to hike up some steps. The Sentiero Azzurro, aka “Light Blue Trail”, connects the five villages. The trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell’Amore, or the “Love Walk”. The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is the easiest to hike, but take note that the main trail into Corniglia finishes with a challenging climb of nearly 400 stairs.