An historic path that links five picturesque farming and fishing villages perched on rock outcrops rising out of the sea. Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are virtually unapproachable by road which makes the walk even more breathtaking. However for the faint of heart access can also be achieved by rail and sea, the latter of which gives wonderful views of the villages and interlinking paths. These steep paths perch above the sea on one side and the land, cultivated with terraces, on the other. A profusion of olive groves, vines, lemon trees, wild herbs and beautiful Mediterranean flowers greet the traveller at every unexpected turn of the path. Try the two hour walk from Monterosso to Vernazza at a gentle pace, lunch at Gianni Franzi with a bottle of the local Cinque Terre white wine and the boat trip back for an unforgettable day out. Best times to visit are Spring and Autumn for the better weather and fewer tourists.
Between Genoa and La Spezia in Liguria. Airport at Genoa and train links to all five villages from there.
The beach at Fegina is dominated by the famous concrete statue of the Giant, built beside the terrace of a local villa. Representing Neptune, the god of the sea, and despite today having no arms, trident and a leg, this massive sculpture is nonetheless impressive! Monterosso al Mare is the most western town of the Cinque Terre. The village is protected by hills covered with vineyard and olive groves and has beautiful beaches, steep rugged cliffs and crystalline waters.
The main train station is La Spezia. Here you need to take a regional train that stops in every Cinque Terra town.
Monterosso old town is a good place to stay to explore the Cinque Terre. It's got good railway and boat connections, attractive streets, bars and some of the most fantastic food I've ever eaten (risotto marinara to die for)! It's also got two decent beaches which the other villages lack.
Lovely hilltop hotel in Monterosso.
Sparklingly clean rooms, each with a terrace looking out to the Med, and down to the village streets. The hotel grounds abound with citrus trees and rose bushes. The owners are truly wonderful, friendly people. Buffet breakfast is included and delicious. Reasonable rates.
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