Cinque Terre isn’t a hidden gem in Italy anymore. In fact if someone finds out you’re going to Italy, most likely they’ll tell you you HAVE to visit Cinque Terre. It may not be a hidden gem, but it’s still a gem. In fact, it might be the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. The Amalfi Coast in Italy is also beautiful but I think I might just prefer Cinque Terre.
Cinque Terre quite literally means five lands in Italian and it’s situated on the coast of the Italian Riviera (so fancy, I know). The five lands refers to the five towns: Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore.
The first time I went to Cinque Terre, it was when I was studying abroad in Florence. We took a day trip which was 3 different trains and a 3 hour journey there and back. A lot of people will tell you that you shouldn’t go if you only have a day. I’m not one of those people. I think it’s worth the trip even if you can only spend a day. You probably can’t visit all five towns. But even a few is better than not seeing it at all.
If you want to travel between towns, you have so many options. There’s a train that links all five towns, hiking trails and even a boat. I’ve done a mix of all three.
I took these photos on a rainy day in March. March isn’t peak season for Cinque Terre yet so there were some places closed that wouldn’t have been in the summer. The rain and the season meant we had the place almost to ourselves.
I went back to Cinque Terre in May about a year later. It was still beautiful but there were more people. The sun was shining. People were sprawled out on beaches, soaking up the Italian sun for hours at a time. There was a bustle to the street. But, there’s something about your first time in a place that really leaves a mark. I think I liked the rain and feeling like the town was just there for us.