Amore Travel Guides answers your FAQ (frequently asked questions) about Cinque Terre.
What is Cinque Terre?
The Cinque Terre is made up of 5 villages linked together by hiking trails.
Rick Steves has a great video that helps you understand what he calls the Rustic Riveria.
Where is Cinque Terre?
The villages are located on the Ligurian coast of Italy between Levanto to the north and La Spezia to the south. The Cinque Terre is a National park and a UNESCO World heritage site.
The five villages are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Although Corniglia is thought to date from Roman times, it is believed the other villages came into their own during Medieval times. The local economy continues to be based on fish and wine, though tourism now plays an important role. There are a number of historic sites including churches that are open to visitors in each of the villages.
Here is a Google map to help you see the location:
How do I get around Cinque Terre?
You will not need a car in the Cinque Terre, however, if you need to bring your car there is limited parking in Monterosso al Mare. Be forewarned: driving in this area is treacherous!
Any suggestions on food?
There are restaurants for every type of pocketbook in the villages – inexpensive pizzerias, mid-priced cafes and more luxurious restaurants. Every village has restaurants, stores and deli’s where you can buy food to take on a picnic. Most Americans would not think to try them, but the fresh anchovies are spectacular and taste nothing like what is served on pizza in the US.
Where to stay?
You can find hotels and youth hostels or rent an apartment if that is your preference. You can stay in Levanto if you prefer, but try to avoid La Spezia. La Spezia has a large Italian Navy presence and has the feel of a large port.
What is the weather like?
The Cinque Terre is a very popular vacation spot with Italians, so it will be crowded on weekends in the summer. It can also be very hot in the summer and rain showers are not uncommon at any time of the year. So, come prepared with a light weight rain jacket. Most hotels and apartments do not have air conditioning.
One of the best parts of visiting the Cinque Terre in Italy is that there is nothing you have to see but the view. You will spend your days hiking, touring by boat, picnicking, watching the fishing boats and fishermen and if you are lucky observing the locals taking care of their vineyards.
Cinque Terre is a wonderful destination for hikers . . . read why: