Ok. So you’re planning the trip of a lifetime and want to see EVERYTHING but you’re short on time? Fear not fellow travellers, for here is my tried and tested itinerary that gets you the most out of your day trip to the Cinque Terre famous five:
9am: Breakfast and browsing in Monterosso al Mare
The perfect base for your trip is Monterosso al Mare, New Town. Stay here the night before if you can so that you can get an early start on your day trip.
Leap out of bed bright and early, grab a freshly baked focaccia for breakfast (#health) and head to the Old Town for a spot of shopping and market browsing.
Mid-morning head to the train station in the New Town and buy yourself a day ticket to get you to all five villages. Jump on the train to your next stop Vernazza.
11am: Lunch (and vino) at a sheltered piazza in Vernazza
Vernazza has a different feel to Monterosso, one that is more typical to the other villages.
Mosey on down to the sea front for an early lunch at the piazza, which overlooks the ocean and comes with a spot of serenading if you are lucky.
After lunch, grab a bottle of water and head on your way to your next train stop – Corniglia.
1pm: Off to the gelateria in quaint Corniglia
Thinking you’ll be too full for gelato after lunch in Vernazza?
Think again. The 382 steps to get you to the town should build up your appetite!
All those steps are worth it to visit the quaint village of Corniglia with its narrow back streets and whimsical shops, topped off nicely with a deliciously refreshing gelato.
3pm: Cliff jumping in Manarola
Take a walk along The Azure Trail, look back at Manarola and there you have a view of classic Cinque Terre, in its picture perfect glory. You won’t want to miss this IG shot!
Once your SD card is full, wander back to the harbour to watch the crazy kids jumping off of the cliff into the ocean.
Heck, you might choose to be a crazy kid! (I don’t recommend it…)
Alternatively, you can casually observe or possibly dip a toe in the water if you are feeling particularly wild.
As evening approaches it’s time to grab a freshly squeezed orange juice and jump back on the train to your last stop – Riomaggiore.
5pm: Wine, dine and castello time in Riomaggiore
It’s time to work up an appetite.
Head up through the town to the castle (Castello di Riomaggiore) for a stunning view of the town. Enjoy the peace and stillness as the last of the afternoon sun trickles down on you.
I suspect by now your tummy will be rumbling, or at the very least your wine radar will be sounding. As evening approaches, it’s time to head back down to the town for dinner al fresco whilst you watch the sun set.
A beautiful day in a beautiful part of the world.