I’m going to make a very big call here. Cinque Terre, in the North of Italy, is literally the most beautiful place I have ever been. And I have been some pretty beautiful places. Personally, I think Cinque Terre appealed so much to me because it combined everything I love in one place. You have the beautiful Mediterranean, mountain views, gorgeous vineyards, fishing boats, and best of all, a lot of little hidden gems, thanks to the Italians habit of putting things in random places.
It was the perfect end to a massive adventure, and while it was a mission to train it there, having to have an overnight stop in Genova, it was 100% worth it.
Cinque Terre, literally “Five Lands” is in the Liguria region of Italy, North of La Spezia. The five villages, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and my favourite, Riomaggiore are precariously placed on the rugged cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean.
Cinque Terre originally existed as a fishing village, and if the legend is correct, the houses are painted in such bright colours so that the fishermen could see their homes clearly from out on the sea. I have no idea if this worked or not, but the result is particularly beautiful.
Clusters of pastel and bright coloured houses teeter on the cliffs, in a brilliant contrast with the completely green mountains that are littered with vineyards, seemingly placed in the most illogical places ever (unless placed there purely for aesthetic appeal, in which case, they’re in the perfect spot).
If you’re heading to Cinque Terra, the walk between Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore is a must do, although if you’re not particularly fit, the walk between Vernazza and Corniglia is probably the easiest. But if you’re keen to do the big walk, you’ll have to head off extra early, because it is a big one, and not a walk in the park.
If you do manage to tackle it though, here are my top twenty views and little gems to look out for on the way! To see a lot of these though, you’ll have to stray from the beaten track. (Read: Get REALLY lost).