CINQUE TERRE | PART I

I’ve been re-sifting through all the Italy photos in my archives as it’s been exactly a year since we visited. I’m feeling major nostalgia over here!  I then decided that I was really craving Italian so I made a pasta and gelato delivery order…and it’s 10 pm.  Help!  And sorry for accidentally using your card again, Tyler. 😆

In this post, I’m dishing out all the good info on this little slice of paradise as it’s one place that shouldn’t go unvisited.

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Cinque Terre, meaning “Five Lands”, is comprised of five picturesque towns nestled into the rugged cliffs of the Italian Riviera. The Cinque Terre region is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site (which if you read along regularly, you know I’m all about scoping out).  These little towns are super busy with both tourists and locals but are equally brimming with color, culture, fresh produce and wine, and some of the best sunsets.  I suggest at least 3 days here (really in any place you are visiting) to allow for plenty of time to soak in the sites and surroundings.

TRANSPORTATION:

The closest city to Cinque Terre is La Spezia.  Once there, you can catch the local train that takes roughly 15 minutes to the first town of Riomaggiore and then it’s even quicker stops between the remaining towns. We took a train from Florence to Pisa, Pisa to La Spezia, and then from La Spezia to Monterosso al Mare which took somewhere around 3 hours total.  If this seems intimidating, just know a little planning beforehand goes a long way!  See posts here, here, and here on Florence.

I highly recommend the train for this trip as driving a car into these areas is certainly the more difficult option due to the mountainous terrain, narrow roads, and limited parking.  One of my favorite moments was when our train would jet through the cliffs and on the other side a colorful town and teal waters would unexpectedly pop out at you.  It was so stunning.

Just be sure to get each ticket stamped on the platform before boarding to avoid any fees during inspection and always be mindful of your purse and pockets. Local people usually offering to help with your luggage here are also expecting to be handed some money.

Feel free to message me (contact@inwisti.com) if you want more extensive details about transportation to these areas as this was one of the more challenging things to figure out for me.  It was surprisingly difficult to find a lot of useful info on this prior to visiting.

ACCOMODATIONS:

We chose to base ourselves in Monterosso being that it is the biggest of the five towns, hosting the most restaurants, shops, accommodations, and also the largest beach.  We stayed at the quaint bed and breakfast, Il Timone.

ACTIVITIES:

Hiking.  Cinque Terre is famous for it’s hiking trail that connects the five towns together and the stunning views it provides.

Cliff jumping.  Monterosso has a paid beach right off the main boardwalk but if you go up the hill and through the tunnel you will find a free beach with perfect spots for cliff jumping.

Exploring.  Allow yourself to get lost, wander, and eat as much as possible on the way!

Boating.  This was a really fun way to see the area, we took a boat from one town to the next and enjoyed the alternative views from the water.

FOOD:

Pesto and focaccia bread both originated here so you can bet that I stuffed myself with both for pretty much every meal of every day there.  Cinque Terre also has some of the freshest seafood, if you’re into that. And did I mention the wine?  This was my favorite region for wine in Italy that we visited.

Lunch Box.  The #1 rated spot on Trip Advisor for food in Vernazza and it’s no secret as to why! Delicious Italian sodas and take away sandwiches to eat seaside.

Trattoria Da Oscar, Monterosso.  The best pesto gnocchi!

Cantina di Miky, Monterosso.  Stop here for traditional Ligurian food and wine served either on the seafront terrace, in their garden, or downstairs inside the ancient wine cantina. They also have the largest selection of Italian craft beers around. Everything we had, met and exceeded our expectations.

Enoteca Internazionale.  This wine shop happens to be the oldest in the historic center of Monterosso and offers a vast assortment of local, Italian, and international wines as well as extra virgin olive oils and other typical products of the Cinque Terre area.  We ordered generous servings of charcuterie and bruschetta to go along with. 🙂

Il Casello.  Il Casello has the best views of the sunset in Monterosso as it sits at one of the highest points on the boardwalk.  We snagged a table right over the water & had our first taste of limoncello.

Il Fornaio Di Monterosso.  The best focaccia!

WEARING:

SUNGLASSES: QUAY // DRESS: KATE SPADE // BAG: FURLA // HEELS: STEVE MADDEN

If you have any other tips for my readers, feel free to put them in the comments below.
Our Europe vlog is also up on YouTube!  Vivere una vita bella!

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4 Comments

  • Rachael Burgess

    Clinique Terre looks so picturesque! I want to visit now… Also your dress is adorable! Love the tie on the back.

    xoxo, ❤︎ rachael ❤
    RachaelBurgess.com | Instagram

    • Mel

      Thank you, Rachel! Love the extra feminine touch that the tie on the back gives!

  • Morgan

    I love this post, that color palette is just stunning! This also happens to be one of my favorite outfits that you’ve worn and your hair looks so classy 🙂 Major mouth watering over the pesto gnocchi…

    Morgan | http://www.monde-et-mode.com

    • Mel

      Thank you, love! We will have to look out for some good pesto gnocchi here in Chicago. 🙂

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