Cinque Terre

Travel Guide Europe Italy Cinque Terre



Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

© Rish_n_Ben

Cinque Terre (literally meaning five lands) are 5 villages on the Italian Riviera. They are located in the Liguria region, west of the city of La Spezia. The five villages (in order, from north to south) are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides together form the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Events and Festivals

  • Lemon Feast (June) - This is an annual day festival that celebrates the lemons of the area. Competitions include a contest to find the biggest local lemon and an award for the shop window best-decorated with lemons. There is plentiful produce freshly made with the fruit, such as marmalade, lemon tortas and lemon cookies. Live music plays throughout the day at different venues. Address: Monterosso al Mare, Italy
  • Corpus Christi (June) - This religious festival is held in Monterosso. The streets, alleyways and the historic city centre are garnished with flowers and flower petals. And then in the eve, a procession crosses the historical centre of the city. Address: Monterosso
  • Holly Week (A week before Easter) - During this week, the locals celebrate the passion and resurrection of Christ on Collina dela Croci (Hill of the Crosses). Address: Manarola, Italy
  • Fiera Campionaria (Mid/Late March) - It is the most appreciated exhibition market which has everything that both tourists and locals would need! From food and drink, to crafts and tools. Address: La Spezia, Italy
  • Band Festival (September (the 1st Saturday)) - A muscial event that attracts bands from all over Italy to particpate in. Address: Monterosso al Mare
  • Walnut Tournament (Early Septemeber) - This traditional game is played in the streets of the historic centre. It is a game that is similar to bowling, but walnuts are used instead of bowling balls! Address: Monterosso al Mare
  • Salted Anchovy and Olive Oil Feast (September (2nd weekend)) - Delicious achovies and olive oil are in abundance during this festival to purchase, eat and enjoy! Locals gather to pay respect to the town's anchovy fishermen and celebrate the ancient tradition of the village by holding a anchovy banquet. Food stalls and booths are set up and boat tours can be enjyoed too. Address: Monterosso



Cinque Terre Card

Sunset in Cinque Terre

Sunset in Cinque Terre

© outdooren

Visitors intending to walk the trails between the villages of Cinque Terre National Park are required to obtain a Cinque Terre Card. The card may be supplemented with additional payment in order to avail of unlimited use of train and ferry services.

Cinque Terre Card (Basic)€5.00€8.00€10.00€20.00
Cinque Terre Card Treno (Train)€8.50€14.70€19.50€36.50
Cinque Terre Card Battello (Ferry)€19.50N/AN/AN/A

Rates correct as of December 2009. Different rates available for children between 4 and 12 years of age, school student groups, senior citizens over 70 years of age, family and large group of more than 25 people. Consult the rates here (PDFs at the bottom of the page).

The Cinque Terre Card provides the following services:

  • Use of park buses and public elevators
  • Access to the trekking path no 2, the naturalistic observation centres and recreation areas
  • Access to 'Via dell'Amore' path
  • Access to visit the Anchovies Salting Centre in Monterosso al Mare
  • Entrance to the Sciacchetrà Museum in Manarola
  • Entrance to the History Museum in Riomaggiore
  • Entrance to the ancient Oil Mill in Groppo
  • Entrance to the Virtual Aquarium in Monterosso al Mare ( currently closed due to restoration )
  • Entrance to the multimedia room in Levanto
  • 3 hours free hire of bicycles (when available) for trails in the upper area of the Park
  • Discount on products purchased at the Information Centres throughout the Park

The Cinque Terre Card Treno allows unlimited train travel on the Levanto - La Spezia Centrale line (on Regional and Interregional trains in 2nd class) in the period of card validity.

The Cinque Terre Card Battello allows unlimited train travel as per Cinque Terre Card Treno as well as unlimited ferry travel within the Marine Protected Area of the Cinque Terre.

No card is required to access generic public areas, nor to walk short distance from the villages or inside them, nor to walk on the high path (no 1 and related). Check your route at the Information Centres to determine is the card is required.




Summers from June to September are warm, dry and sunny with occasional rainshowers. Temperatures are generally around 28 °C to 30 °C and warm nights of around 22 °C. Winters see more rain and average temperatures of around 10 °C to 14 °C during the day and still well above zero at night. Spring and early autumn are the best times for a visit, avoiding hot weather, most of the rain and the crowds that occupy the towns in July and August. Late autumn tend to be very wet. The rain may be and is often accompanied by storm, making the sea condition unsuitable for getting around by ferry and also by foot, as some of the paths would be closed for safety reasons.



Getting There

Montorroso, Cinque Terre

Montorroso, Cinque Terre

© sophos

By Plane

Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport (GOA) is the nearest convenient place to arrive by plane, but services are limited to Rome, Paris, London, Madrid, Monaco, Naples, Cagliari and Catania. New routes to Bari (from 15 January 2010) and Trapani (from May 2010) have been announced by Ryanair.

Alternatively, Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA) can be used, which offers more options for both domestic and international arrivals. Apart from the cities listed for Genoa Airport, Pisa airport also connects to cities of Alghero, Brindisi, Palermo, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Valencia, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Brussels, Marrakech and Malta among many others.

By Train

Trains run between Genoa and La Spezia with stops in all five villages.

From the south, La Spezia is a stop point for connection to Cinque Terre. Trains from Pisa takes approximately an hour while trains from Rome have journey time of approximately 4 hours. Onward journey to the villages can be done using the frequent regional trains.

By Car

Driving is not advisable in Cinque Terre. Visitors are urged to leave their car at Levanto or La Spezia, and take the train to Cinque Terre.

  • From Genoa (north) take the A-12 Autostrada south in the direction of Livorno (Genoa - Livorno) to Levanto.
  • From Pisa (south) take the A-12 Autostrada north in the direction of Genoa (Livorno - Genoa) to La Spezia.

By Boat

Cooperativa Battellieri del Golfo Paradiso has services from Genoa in summer, while from late March to October Consorzio Maritimo Turistico Cinque Terre Golfo dei Poeti in La Spezia runs daily shuttle boats between all of the Cinque Terre villages, except Corniglia. Seasonal boats also go to Santa Margherita. Service subject to weather conditions.



Getting Around

Cinque Terre Neverending Stone Steps on Hiking Trail

Cinque Terre Neverending Stone Steps on Hiking Trail

© Wonkerer

By Car

Driving is not advisable, giving the narrow and bendy roads as well as the nature of the villages perching on clifftops overlooking the sea. Visitors are advised to leave their car at La Spezia or Levanto, and take the train to Cinque Terre.

By Public Transport

  • Train: regular regional R trains serve all the five villages in less than 20 minutes (between Monterosso and Riomaggiore).
  • Bus: sustainable methane-run buses run within each of the local villages, and is included in the price of the Cinque Terre Card.
  • Ferry: there is a ferry between the villages, except Corniglia but not year round (see above at getting there).

By Foot

Walking trails connect the five villages. In winter months, beware of the sea storms which may close down the walking trails.

By Bike

Biking trails are available although visitors are advised to be somewhat experienced, as the trails are not always easy to tackle, given the geography of the region.




Keep Connected


Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.


Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 44.126
  • Longitude: 9.709

Accommodation in Cinque Terre

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