Discover Cinque Terre, Italy: Where to go and How to get there

Cinque Terre in english means The Five Lands. It is a region which consists of 5 beautiful villages. They are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. This region is located in northern part of Italy. We went to Cinque Terre in early November, it was already autumn yet the weather was still nice. The sun shined and the temperature was still about 20-23 degree Celsius, which was still quite warm compared to Netherlands which already reached below 10 degree Celsius.

How to get to Cinque Terre from Bergamo and Milan

Flight: Ryan Air: Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Milan, Bergamo (Italy)

We flew with Ryan Air as it was indeed the cheapest way to go to Italy from The Netherlands. The flight took us for about 2 hours.

Check what we discovered in Bergamo here

From Bergamo or Milan, you need to continue your journey using train.

Train: Trenitalia

You do not need to book the train. The train ticket can be bought directly at the machine in every central station in Italy. It’s easy! They have a menu in English so nothing’s to worry about. If you feel not sure, there’s always a Trenitalia ticket office in the station. The staffs will help to buy the train ticket for you.

There are 2 itineraries from Bergamo to Riomaggiore. The first one is via Genova and the second one is via Sestri Levante. Both of them will cost you fo about the same amount of money and took the same amount of time. Both Itineraries also offer you a sea view during the journey which is nice for a such long trip. We used the first itinerary to go to Riomaggiore and used the second itinerary to go back to Bergamo.

Sea View from the Train (Genova – Riomaggiore)

From Bergamo to Riomaggiore via Genova

Bergamo – Milan : 50 minutes, 7.5 Eur

Milan – Genova : for about 2 Hours , for about 20 Eur

Genova – Riomaggiore : 1 Hour, 5.5 Eur

Total Hour : for about 3,5 – 4 hours

Total Cost : 33 Eur

From Riomaggiore to Bergamo via Sestri Levante

Riomaggiore – Sestri Levante : 1 Hour, 7.5 Eur

Sestr Levante – Milan : for about 2 Hours , for about 20 Eur

Milan – Bergamo : 50 Minutes, 7.5 Eur

Total Hour : for about 3,5 – 4 hours

Total Cost : 33 Eur

Where to Go in Cinque Terre

As Cinque Terre has 5 different villages, Of course, we recommend you to visit all of them if you have time. We visit almost all of them, yet we missed one village which is Corneglia. To go to every village you can take the train, I think there’s a train for every 15-20 minutes.

1. Riomaggiore

Best Time to Explore: in the morning

Time to Explore: 2-3 hours

In this village there a nice small chapel in the upper side of the village. You can go up and see the village from the above. The best view of this village is from the sea. There’s also a beach just next to this village. You can walk a bit just from the Riomaggiore harbor, maybe for about 3 minutes, you will discover a beach without sand yet stones! We tried to swim though it’s in the evening and autumn, It was a really nice experience though for “tropical” people like us. There are some fine dining restaurants near the beach, we tried one of them but unfortunately, the taste was not worth the price. On the upper side of this village, there’s a small church and a kind of “fortress” which you can go up and see Riomaggiore from above.

There’s a pathway up on the cliffs with an ocean view called Via Dell Amor. It connects Riomaggiore and Manarola Villages. During summer you can walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola Villages through this pathway. Unfortunately, it is closed during autumn-winter seasons, so we didn’t have a chance to try it. We really wanted to walk to Manarola, because we thought that it was so close! So, we decided to explore the hills. You can try to walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola up on the hills, of course, if you have time. It will take you for about 1 hour. This pathway goes up on the hills and has very clear signs, so it’s actually tourists friendly! You can see the old cart rails which used to be used to carry grapes (wine) from the uphill to the village. You will walk between the vineyards.

2. Manarola

Best time to explore: Just before the sunsets

Time to Explore: 1-2 hours

The best time to visit Manarola is just before the sunset and we think that the best view to the sunset is from this Village. Why? Because this village faces the west and the best time to capture this village is when the sun is already on the west so that you will get no backlight on your pictures. This village also has a picnic area on the other side of the harbor. Go to the edge of the cliff to watch the sunset at the best place.

In this village, you can find the history of Cinque Terre. Some pictures of Cinque Terre and how they produced wine in the old times.

3. Vernazza

Best time to explore: at Noon

Time to Explore: 30-45 minutes

This village is not that big. We only went to the sea to see the entire view of this village. There used to be a huge flood due to a storm in this village. Some houses were destroyed, a square then built on this area. There’s some pictures and stories told you about this accident in this village just near the station.

4. Monterosso Al Mare

Best time to explore: at Noon

Time to Explore: 2-3 Hour

SAND, SUN, and BEACH!! Those are the three words which suit best for this village. Plan your trip so you can have plenty of time to explore this village because apparently, this village is larger than the other ones. The best time to visit this village is at noon when the sun shines brightly. We tried again to swim in the sea, it was nice though! Monterosso is divided into 2 areas, it is separated by a hill. The first area is the beach where you can find The Statue of Neptune. The second area is more like the “centrum” of this village. There are some gift and souvenirs shops, restaurants and another beach of course! You can also try to explore the hill. On the way up to the hill, you will find an old bunker which was used during the WWII. There is also a pretty old house on the cliff. If you go up to the hill, there’s a small chapel and a statue of St Francis of Asisi and his faithful dog. If you go further up, you will find a cemetery of Monterosso.

5. Corniglia

Unfortunately, we don’t have time to visit this village because we spent too much time in Monterosso and we wanted to catch the sunset at Manarola. yet we successfully captured Corniglia from the hill between Manarola and Riomaggiore.

Overall, we recommend you to have a star in Riomaggiore in the morning, maybe at 9 am. At noon, you can go directly to Monterosso and some time there until 2-3 p.m. then go to Vernazza. It’s a small village so we think that you don’t need much time to visit this village. Maybe at 4 pm you can go directly to Manarola to enjoy the sunset. We can’t recommend anything about Corniglia since we haven’t been there, yet let us know about Corniglia, please? so let’s share our Cinque Terre stories!

 Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

There are plenty of rooms in Cinque Terre. We stayed in Riomaggiore because we thought it would be less touristic than Manarola and still has the same beauty. If you like a very nice and quiet evening I suggest you to stay in Riomaggiore. There are some cheap and fine dining restaurants so you can decide which way you want to have for a dinner. For us, we decided to have a fine dining instead. If you want to stay in somewhere lively where you can have some conversations with people from the village, then stay in Manarola. Those two villages are my favorite!

Hostel in Riomaggiore

Hostel 167 Via Colombo

Price: ~30 EUR/Night/Person

Pick Up Key: Until 10 pm

Breakfast: Not Included

Room: Nice! Private Kitchen and Bathroom

Location: Nice! In the main street of Riomaggiore called Colombo Street. 3 minutes from Riomaggiore Station. Plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.

Link: Click here to see the Hostel

The Hostel where we stayed in Riomaggiore was very nice. The room is huge enough for both of us and it has private kitchen and bathroom. Unfortunately, you can not use the kitchen for cooking. Yet there’s a water boiler, so you still can make coffee, tea, or even instant noodle if you want! The location is very nice. As you arrived at Riomaggiore station, just walk through the tunnel. The Colombo street is just in front of you as you get out from the tunnel. Then find number 167, that’s the place where we stayed. It took use for about 3 minutes to walk from Riomaggiore Station to the hostel. To go to the beach, you just need to go down as you get out from the tunnel. It has signs in English and people there are so nice, so don’t worry you’ll save there.

We really like it here! basically we just so in love with Italy, so maybe you can just say it is so subjective, but these villages are indeed so lovely. My suggestion is to avoid weekend if you don’t want to see lots of tourists here. Many of them come in a group which makes this village so crowded and noisy.

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