Yees – Cinque Terre is one of the places on almost everyone’s bucket list (along with Paris or Machu Picchu?). I was no exception and was hoping to cross it off from mine at some point so the excitement was high when we planned an extended weekend there in the early days of June.
Tip coming first this time: do not stay in the Cinque Terre villages. Instead opt to stay in Levanto. This village could be counted as the 6th Cinque Terre but is definitely less expensive and not always fully booked. It has its own charm especially during evenings with musicians playing on the streets and an amazing smell of delicious Italian food everywhere you go. Spending an evening with a bottle of wine and an Italian pizza while watching an Italian team to play the world championship was a very Italian thing to do and we loved it!
The five villages of Cinque Terre are all very close to each other. The train connects all five as well as Levanto. Your second option is to travel by boat which is more expensive and slower (tip: we enjoyed a bumpy boat ride and views from water on the way to the first village and then used train to be faster).
Long story short, the villages are stunning! “La dolce vita” is on display at every corner in tiny cafes or restaurants. The architecture is so beautiful with colourful houses and old wooden window blinds. You can walk the narrow streets up & down, right or left, get lost and try to find hidden gems or undiscovered spots. You will definitely walk a lot if you decide to visit all five in a single day. We separated them into two days and were glad we did (you will also have some time to take a swim in the luring sea).
Bad news last, do not expect to get a private romantic walk and take pics without crowds of people behind you. This place has become too famous. Tourists now stream down the streets and it is sometimes difficult to pass through. Most villagers decided to move out and the houses are rented out to the mass of holiday-ers. Be patient and try to avoid the most touristic paths and influx of people in guided tours getting off the train. In the evening, you will definitely appreciate a quiet moment for yourself (another good reason to stay in Levanto instead of Cinque Terre).
Our impressions from the lovely Cinque Terre:
Have you been to Cinque Terre? Did you like it? What would you recommend to others? Comment below!