Cinque Terre rests on the western coast of Italy, and its name is derived from the five small coastal cities that compose the area – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. One of the signature tourist draws to the region is the hike from the southernmost Riomaggiore to the northernmost Monterosso, as each city is no more than three kilometers from the last. That being said, the more northern you are, the more difficult the walks become, with many steps and hills involved.
I have made the walk twice, and not only is the view one of the most stunning I have experienced since Big Sur, California, there is also quite a reward in Monterosso, as this city has the largest beach for relaxing a bit after your hike, and the focaccia here is not to be missed. Speaking of food, this area of Italy is known for creating pesto, so definitely leave some room for some homemade pesto dishes while you visit.
As if the beauty of this place (and the pesto!) isn’t enough of a reason to go, there’s more. Each time I go to Cinque Terre I have made friends from the city that I still keep in touch with. The people here are wonderful – they truly appreciate the tourists and make it their own personal mission that you are happy and enjoying your visit to their city. Seriously, what more could we ask for?
While each city has its own character – my personal favorites are Corniglia and Vernazza, as each of these cities have absolutely charming architecture and tiny yet fantastic little swimming areas.
To help you get a better idea of the true beauty of the area, I have picked out a few of my favorite photos.
Gallery preview of my favorite Cinque Terre photographs:
Best of Cinque Terre, a set on Flickr.