Cinque Terre, Five Colorful Villages of Italy

Cinque Terre, Five Colorful Villages of Italy

Cinque Terre, Five Colorful Villages of Italy

Cinque Terre, Italy. Five beautifully colored villages, between Pisa and Genoa, hidden in the northwest of Italy. These sleepy fishing villages built on hilltops offer great walking routes through this national park and UNESCO area. Even when you are not into walking, Cinque Terre is easy to visit by train and an absolute must-visit in Italy!

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colorful villages Cinque Terre italy

Things to do Cinque Terre, Italy

The dramatic coastlines and picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre draw over 2.4 million visitors a year! Cinque Terre has five villages, from North to South: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

UPDATE FEB 2020: The walls of Cinque Terre are crumbling down due to heavy rainfall and need our help to maintain. Help Now!

All villages can be visited within a single day trip but if you are into hiking two full days in the national park are recommended. Should you visit all five villages? They are quite similar so it is best to read each village’s description and decide on your own.

➳ Book a hotel in the area

Tip: You could use Cinque Terre (La Spezia) as a starting location for your Tuscany road trip.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vernazza is the most picturesque village in Cinque Terre and thereby also the most visited. The harbor area has a couple of terraces, relaxing areas, a small beach and an old castle tower that you can visit on top. The hiking trail leads to a viewpoint for a panoramic view over the harbor of Vernazza.

Book a tour in the area

Vernazza Cinque Terre italy viewpoint


Manarola in Italy with its surrounding vineyards is a small village similar to Vernazza. Less visited, and even better walking routes. Don’t miss the view from the Nessun Dorma terrace. ➳ Book a tour in the area

Good to know: Do not visit Cinque Terre by car. It is hard to get into the villages, and parking fees are as expensive as two train tickets from Pisa to Vernazza.

➳ Book a hotel in the area 


Most people who spend the night inside Cinque Terra will stay in Riomaggiore. It is one of the bigger villages and has loads of small hidden streets to get lost. Wear good shoes as this village is built against the steep rocks, which requires a little hiking to reach the top. The best part of Riomaggiore is the view of the harbor.

➳ Also read: 11 Top Things to do in Venice

Riomaggiore Cinque Terre italy drone


Ready to relax on a beach? Monterosso is the village that has a large sand beach with sunbeds and umbrellas in high season. This village is also a good option to spend the night. Other than that, it isn’t as beautiful as all the other villages.

Book a tour in the area


Corniglia is a more local and laid back village. It is the least visited because it is the only village where the train doesn’t stop in the center. At the train station, you can either hop on a shuttle bus or take the stairs up towards Corniglia.
Corniglia is popular with hikers because you can do a few great hikes from this point.

➳ Read: 2-week Italy Travel Guide

cinque terre colorful village italy


While Portovenere is no part of Cinque Terre National Park, it is highly worth a visit. A little medieval town with loads of little streets to get lost, a harbor with terraces, and inside the old city guide is a narrow, colorful shopping street that leads towards the old church: Chiesa di San Pietro.
You can quickly get to Portovenere by bus from La Spezia. Ask the locals or use Google Maps.

➳ Book a hotel in the area 

Best time to visit Cinque Terre

As the majority of the visitors make a day trip to Cinque Terre, the best times to visit is before 09:30 AM and after 4:30 PM. If you have the flexibility to do more than a day-trip, it is recommended to spend the night at one of the five villages or a hotel in La Spezia.

Portovenere village Cinque Terre italy

If you can only make a day trip, take the train as early as possible. The train runs 24/7 so you might want to start at 6:30 AM and enjoy the calm morning. (Find the best train tickets here)

Date-wise, before April and after October is the less-visited months but also has the most chance of rain and cold weather.

➳ Find all: Hotels in Cinque Terre 

How to visit Cinque Terre

By train
Cinque Terre’s train network makes it easy to get from one village to another because it runs every couple of minutes. A single train ticket costs 4 EUR, a Cinque Terre day pass 16 EUR and two-day 29 EUR. The price includes entrance to all the hiking routes. (Get your train tickets in advance)

By ferry
Easily hop from one village to another by using the Cinque Terre Ferry. A day pass costs around 25 EUR per person.

Airports near Cinque Terre
To reach Cinque Terre by air, fly to the closest airport which is Pisa or Genoa. From there, hop on a 1-hour train ride. ➳ Get your train tickets here

By car
It is not recommended to drive a car to Cinque Terre as the area is hard to reach and parking fees are very high. Better park your car near the train station in La Spezia and take a 10-minute train ride to reach the first village of Cinque Terre.

Where to stay in Cinque Terre?

Accommodations inside Cinque Terre National Park are booked far in advance. Hotels are mostly available in Riomaggiore and Monterosso but expect to pay way over your typical budget per night. A more affordable choice is to stay in La Spezia where hotels and Airbnb’s start at 35 EUR a night. ➳ Get your Airbnb Discount here 

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