Cinque Terre – love at first sight: 5 stops you shouldn’t miss

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Today I will tell you why it is worth visiting Cinque Terre, what dishes from this region you should try. As you read this article, remember one thing: there are only five words for an unforgettable seaside vacation: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. I’ve visited this place in May 2019 and I am ready to share not only my impressions but also some tips. I hope it will help you organize an unforgettable trip to Italy – a country with delicious cuisine and an incredible spot for summer vacations.

The name Cinque Terre pretty much explains what you are going to see. In fact, it translates as “valley of five lands“. These small and cozy towns in the Liguria region have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.

How to get there

It is best to book a plane ticket to Pisa or Genoa, and then take a train to La Spezia, which is the first stop on the map. There, at the train station, you can buy the Cinque Terre Card. The price of it is 16 euros for one day and allows you to move freely by train from one town to another. In addition, each card has an individual code, which makes it possible to use unlimited Internet all the time. I advise you to buy a card since a one-way ticket from town to town will cost you 4 euros. In order to find the best train, I advise you to download the Omio and Italo Treno apps on your phone before the trip. They will help you to find tickets and see if the train is suddenly late.

Cinque Terre: Accommodation

My advice, if you want to spend more than one day in the Cinque Terre, is to book your accommodation in La Spezia. During high season prices for apartments in Monterosso or Riomaggiore rise by two, and sometimes even three times. The best rooms or apartments can be booked on Airbnb.com.

Maps of the Cinque Terre or where to go first?

1. Riomaggiore

I started my journey from the town of Riomaggiore, as this is the first place on the map. It was there that I fell in love with these roofs, houses, and the sea, which pulls towards itself. Want to stop for a snack along the coast? There are two places that I reccomend, one of which is one of the most delicious Italian pizza takeaways in the region. This place is Kepris Pizzeria, located at Via Telemaco Signorini, 673. And also Britta: if suddenly you are tired of pizza and pasta, you can eat healthy food or fruit smoothies here. In addition, the locals value their region very much, and like anywhere in Italy they produce their own wine.

2. Manarola

The next stop is Manarola, together with Riomaggiore, which is considered one of the most beautiful. Here you should try the restaurant Nessun Dorma, which is located on the top of the mountain. I advise you to try the local wine and order the bruschetta with tomatoes. The average price is between 11 and 18 euros.

Cinque Terre: Manarola

3. Corniglia

The third town is Corniglia, which is located on a cliff 100 meters above sea level. Here you can visit one of the ancient landmarks of Piazza Tarallo, which has retained the enchanting atmosphere of the 18th century. It is there that the oratorio of St. Catherine is located. Local cuisine in this region has preserved its ancient traditions. You should try the pasta with pesto, and the toffee pasta, which is made from chestnut and wheat flour. Other dishes from the Liguria region can also be found in each menu card: tagliatelle with mushrooms, potato-cabbage casserole, beans, and lentils. Aromatic herbs are an important part of the Cinque Terre cuisine. Pies filled with cucumber, beet tops, artichokes, zucchini, potatoes, and leeks are fresh and healthy vegetables to taste here. The most typical dish is a rice cake with dried mushrooms.

4. Montegrosso al Mare

And if you suddenly want to swim in the sea, take a swimsuit, a hat, and race in Monterosso al Mare. The place where one of the largest beaches is located. You can also walk in the mountains and have a delicious meal at Gastronomia San Martino. In addition, this town is famous for lemons and anchovies. One of the places that I can recommend to you, friend, would be Ristorante Belvedere. This is a typical restaurant that includes Italian cuisine and a lot of seafood on the menu. For instance, shrimp, mussels, anchovies, and octopus. The restaurant is located on the border of the old city and therefore there is a rather calm and unassuming atmosphere. Localization: Piazza Garibaldi 38. It will cost you about 30 euros.

5. Vernazza

The last place which you must go to is Vernazza. This city was founded around 1000 years ago and its name comes from an old Roman family. This city was once the most prosperous town in the Cinque Terre. Many medieval architectural monuments are preserved here.

Cinque Terre: Vernazza

Cinque Terre: Food

I have my list of cool restaurants that I recommend to visit in one of these small cozy towns:

  • Gianna Franzi is a local seafood restaurant. Here they prepare traditional dishes of the Cinque Terre (mussels, seafood, ravioli, and anchovies with lemon). The restaurant is located in Piazza Matteotti 5. Prices go from 22 to 30 euros.
  • Batti Batti is a place with cheap snacks. The cheapest dish of the Cinque Terre is focaccia. The best of all in Vernazza is prepared in Batti Batti and excellent pizza is also baked here. The restaurant is located in the main street Via Roma 3b and the price for a slice of focaccia is 3-5 euros.
  • Gambero Rosso is another seafood restaurant. If you’re tired of eating focaccia, stop here for dinner and order Tegame di Vernazza. This is anchovies with baked potatoes and tomatoes. The restaurant is located in Piazza Marconi 7. The average price is 30-35 euros.
  • La Torre is a restaurant that is located on the top of the mountain. This is undoubtedly the best place to order an Aperol and admire the sunset. The restaurant is located in Via M. Carattino 64.
Cinque Terre food

The Cinque Terre is a must-see for everyone. In addition, trains run every half an hour from La Spezia. You can also get here by boat. Ferries from La Spezia, Lerici and Portovenere run daily during spring and summer. Local boats also operate on the route of Monterosso, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore. The local passenger port is in Monterosso. You can check it here. I hope that my advice will help you organize an unforgettable trip and take many cool photos in these locations.

Also you can find more information about beaches in Sicily here. Enjoy!

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