‘Set amid some of the most dramatic coastal scenery on the planet, these five ingeniously constructed fishing villages can bolster the most jaded of spirits. ‘ – Lonely Planet
For those who are new to the cluster of villages known as ‘Cinque Terre’, it is situated on the north-west coast of Italy, just below Genoa and is super accessible from the train station in La Spezia.
Cinque Terre is compromised of 5 teeny, colourful villages almost balanced on the stunning coastline. If we start from the closest village to La Spezia, they are named: Riomaggiore (where we stayed), Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Each is so different from the next and as small as they are, it’s so easy to get lost amongst the streets.
This post will basically be a photo dump because I refuse to believe there is any word to justify how surreal and fairytale this part of Italy is.
I had never come across the cluster before digging into research of Italy and became infatuated with the colours and idea of these tiny pieces being so interlinked. There is a super easy train from ‘La Spezia to Levanto’ that you jump on an off to visit each village before turning around and Monterosso and come back again.
Our first day (30th June 2017) was kind of overcast, as you can see from some of the photos, but this gave such a different dynamic to the villages. It was rather haunting to walk around. I’m so glad we got to see it both ways, I felt I saw two completely different places when in the shade and in the sun (not just to give my poor head a break from the sun).
In Riomaggiore, we stayed in a private room that was part of the hostel ‘Gigi‘. For the price, we didn’t expect the best but if you click the link and take a look at its location…you wouldn’t turn it down either. To be quite honest, you can’t really get a naff location in Cinque Terre because everything is so close together.
Our doorway is on the right, can you spot the man in the white polo underneath the green umbrella? Yup, as central as you can possibly get.
However! We were completely surprised with a COMFY bed, hot water, working kitchenette and so much space and so much quiet… 10/10, would recommend.
On our second day the sun was out and so was the heat. We started working our way up the coasting line and this is where I dump all my photos. Our next two days involved a lot of steep walking and as much as I struggle with heat anyway, my promise to myself was not to drag Noah down with my paranoia over getting sunstroke. The majority of these photos are his, however, it makes me super happy knowing that I climbed up to wherever he did and saw whatever he did.
Something we noticed the locals doing (the few that actually live on Cinque Terre), was going to watch the sunset on the rocks in Riomaggiore. So on our last night, instead of blowing our budget on a meal out, we grabbed a load of seafood and perched on the rocks. Ughhh, what I would give to be back. One poor woman dropped her phone between these rocks and to this day we are unsure if she got it back or not…
I won’t lie, it was very crowded because of how small the villages are and it definitely isn’t a place for someone who wants to spend a few days beaching and lazing in the sun. We had great expectations of Monterosso because of the hype from tourist blogs, but we felt it had become veeeryyy commercialised and left as soon as we could. If you come here, you are here to walk and see and experience a hidden culture that is still somewhat of a secret to the world.
Everyone I’ve ever spoken to since being here, this is the one place I tell them they HAVE to go. You walk around saying to yourself ‘this isn’t real’, ‘how is this real’, ‘I’m going to wake up any second’, but you don’t. Sit and take the views in.
If nothing in this article has tempted you to go to Cinque Terre, I hope this Panorama does. LOOOOOOOOK AT IT.
Thank you for making it this far! Next, we are off to Pisa and Florence…