Italy


CINQUE TERRE 


The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. “The Five Lands” comprises 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.

STAY

Sunset from our balcony at Hotel Porto Roca

Sunset from the balcony at Hotel Porto Roca

LA BAIA DI RIO  Nestled high into the hills of Riomaggiore, this small hotel boasts incredible city and ocean views. It offers an array of rooms and is managed by very friendly locals who are ready to lend a hand whether it be with your baggage or dinner reservations. 

HOTEL PORTO ROCA  Located on top of a tall hill in Monterosso (warning: it’s a bit of a steep incline if you don’t ride by car), the recently refurbished rooms are very modern for Cinque Terre standards. The pool is breathtaking and the sweeping views of the ocean will leave you breathless. Monterosso is also known for having the most restaurants and biggest sand beaches, as well as the central train station, making it a great home base out of the 5 villages.

MARIA CAPELLINI ROOMS  Located on the main square/harbor of Vernazza and right by the water, you won’t miss a beat! Many say Vernazza is the most picturesque of the five villages, and after arriving to it at sunset via the hiking path from Monterosso, we have to agree!

EAT

Pesto pasta at Ristorante Gambero Rosso in Vernazza

Pesto pasta at Ristorante Gambero Rosso in Vernazza

RISTORANTE GAMBERO ROSSO  Incredible seafood and pasta located right by the Vernazza harbor. After a long day of exploring, a glass of their house white wine paired with pasta or fish by candlelight is just the ticket. The pesto pasta is required, since Cinque Terre is where pesto originated!

RISTORANTE MIKY  This tiny, more upscale seafood spot on the new town side of Monterosso might have a long wait, but once the massive seafood platter is delivered to your table, you won’t regret it (we meant it, everything under the sea is included)!

VERTICAL BAR RIOMAGGIORE  Italian pub and bistro with quick service and live music. Try the espresso martini if you’re feeling adventurous. Seat yourself anytime!

VIEWS

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The trail from Monterosso to Vernazza

THE “LOVER’S WALK” is the trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola and is among the easiest of the hiking trails. You can even walk a little out from either town and feel like you’re standing over the sea. We recommend going at sunset for the ultimate romantic experience.

THE ROCKS AT THE BASE OF RIOMAGGIORE These big boulders are easy to climb on, sit on, bask in the sun on, whatever you want! We love the vantage point from the rocks looking back up on the tiny colorful village of Riomaggiore. Grab lunch to-go and eat it here!

TRAIL FROM MONTEROSSO TO VERNAZZA  At a normal pace, this trail took us about 3 hours to complete. While not overly strenuous (we took our cameras on the hike), there were a few steep inclines that left us panting! It is absolutely worth it though when you round the massive sea-side hills to see the bright oasis that is Vernazza. Dotted with cherry blossoms and periwinkle succulents, this trail is beyond dream-like.