The Italian Riviera – Cinque Terre

Hello everyone! Probably when I say Cinque Terre you are wondering: “whats that?” However, when you see the pictures with colorful house on the cliffs, you’ll soon realize: “Oh! That!” Actually, I’ve known the colorful houses on the cliffs for a long time. However, I didn’t come to realize that it’s called Cinque Terre until my friend posted pics of it on his Moments and added the location.


Be aware, that Cinque Terre is not one place where there are colorful houses and a cliff. It’s actually composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Over the centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages. However, inside the villages there are no cars (there are no driving roads in the village anyway).

In this post I’ll introduce to you the transportation and among the five villages and big cities around, as well as what the five villages are like.


First of all, let’s see how you can get there and around.

Getting Here

In general, you can get here from other big cities in Italy by train or car, and when you’re here, you can get around by train, car, boat or foot.

To be honest, if you are not good at driving or you’re sick of serpent roads I suggest you park your car in La Spezia. There is very limited parking space in all the five villages and the road is very narrow, especially in Vernazza and Corniglia. I remember this clearly because we drove to Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza and Corniglia. For the first two villages we didn’t find parking space and for Corniglia, luckily we found the parking space but the road is very difficult to drive on. If you insist and wanna challenge your driving skills, you can try (It seems that the most popular way to enter is through La Spezia).

Anyway, whichever way you choose (train or car or boat or plane) please click here to know more about the specific routes and timetables. Again, I really don’t recommend by car. If you just drive to village and then choose train or boat, it’s acceptable. If you wanna drive among the five villages and stop at them, please please please no no no.

Getting Around

If you wanna visit more than one village or even stay here for several night and get around among the five villages, I suggest you take either train, boat or the footpaths.


It takes only several to travel between the neighbor villages. However, if you travel by car, if might take hours. Please click here to check the train schedule and how long it takes to travel between the cities by train.

There’s also the Cinque Terre Card, which includes the use of ecological Park buses, access to all trekking paths and Wi-fi internet connection and Cinque Terre Card Train (2016), which includes all the above services and also allows unlimited train travel on the Levanto – Cinque Terre – La Spezia line (on regional trains in 2° class). For more info about price please click here.


If you wanna travel around by boat (you can’t go to Corniglia by boat), please click here to know more about the route and schedule.


If you like hiking and think you’re in good shape, waking among the villages is also a good option. For more info about different kinds of walking paths please click here.

The Five Villages


Since I only went to Corniglia, I’ll show you first what it looks like here. Since we came here by car, we stopped on the cliff. Unlike the other localities of the Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not directly adjacent to the sea. Instead, it is on the top of a promontory about 100 metres high, surrounded on three sides by vineyards and terraces, the fourth side descends steeply to the sea. When you’re facing the sea, the train station is on your left and on your right side is the Corniglia Marina. If you take a train, you’ll have to climb up to the village (382 steps) and if you wanna see the marina, you need to climb down again from the other side.

Trust me, climbing up and down in a short time, it’s not easy.


However, the view is just wonderful.

Don’t forget to take your towel and swimming suit, so you won’t regret when you go down and see the water. 🙂

For more info about Corniglia please click here.

Monterosso al Mare

Vernazza, Manarola, Riomaggiore

Since I didn’t really go to the other four villages, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, please click on them to check what’s there and whether you’re interested in going or not.

If you’re interested in hiking and wanna visit all the villages, I suggest you at least plan 2-3 days here. When you’re here, you’ll feel you’ve travelled back in time and explore, enjoy an ancient but beautiful world.



The Italian Riviera – Cinque Terre was last modified: September 30th, 2016 by Dong

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