Cinque Terre is the most beautiful place I've visited to date. Seeing the beauty of this place in books and on social media made me want to experience it for myself and its just as beautiful in person. We took the train from Rome to Cinque Terre which took us about 3-4hrs. Cinque Terre translate to five lands. It's made of five gorgeous seaside towns along the rugged Italian Riviera coastline. The five villages are Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
We stayed in Monterosso which is the northernmost village and the biggest of the five. Monterosso has many streets and even a few cars driving around. If you want a more resort feel to your vacation, then I suggest staying in Monterosso. It's also the only place out of the five villages that a car can drive in, so I suggest not driving there. It's relatively easy to get to all the villages since they are about 5-10min train ride away.
Lodging - If you're planning on visiting Cinque Terre make sure you book a place to stay way in advance. There aren't many hotels there so the ones there tend to book out fast. While in Monterosso we stayed at Marvit. It's located about 10min walk from the train station and very central to most things. We were greeted by Claudio when we arrived and he was nice and helpful. It's a very nice, quiet and clean place just about a 5min walk away from the strip and the beach. We stayed in the purple room that had a small balcony; perfect for drinking wine when we returned home from our daily adventures. Breakfast is provided and its a good one to start your day. Yes they have wifi and Marvit will set you back about 120 Euros a night.
Things to do - This place is a hikers dream. You can hike between the villages but depending on the time of the year and weather the entire trail might not be open. You have to pay about 8 euros to access the trail or about 14 euros for a unlimited day pass that gives you unlimited access to the trains as well. Don't forget to get your ticket validated before leaving the station. If you're not in good health, certain part of the trail might not be for you. The most difficult part of the trail is from Monterosso to Vernazza. Bring water and some snacks with you because there aren't places to stop and get some along the way. It could take you about 1.5hrs to 2hrs to complete depending on your fitness level. Apart from hiking try getting lost in all the five towns, they each have their unique qualities about them. Cinque Terre is known for its seafood so try it out and eat as much as possible. Enjoy a local bottle of wine. Try seeing the towns by boat. Watch the sunset every evening and don't forget to check out the beach in Monterosso.
Cinque Terre is a very beautiful and serene place and I can't recommend it enough. It's one of those magical places that will always have a place in my heart and it truly lives up to the hype.
Check out my highlight video below.