Walking the Medeterranean Coast above Italy's
Cinque Terre
Five Lands
In Medieval Italy
You will seldom see cars in  the villages because there are few roads.
Cinque Terre Walking, Hiking Mediterranean Coast

How to Reach Cinque Terre by Train

You can reach Cinque Terre by the Trains that connect the villages.  Trains run through tunnels along the coast from La Spezia to the south, from Pisa and from Rome. Trains also reach Cinque Terre from the North, running from Genoa.
slow trains reach each village from there.
You can also reach the villages by the boats that shuttle to each port, in most cases just lowering a ramp from the front of the boat. (except Corniglia)

By Auto
A good road runs along the coast and you can reach Cinque Terre from La Spezia or from Genoa to the north.  You will not need a vehicle once you arrive in Cinque Terre

By Boat
Consorzio Marittimo Touristico runs a fleet of boats that service much of the Ligurian coast.
They run boats from La Spezia, The Gulf of Poets, and  Portovenere to the villages of the Cinque Terre.  They also connect to Levanto and Portofino

Once in the villages you can reach each village by the shuttle boats that connect each village.  
( except Corniglia)

The terraces of grape vines built over the centuries by the farmers provide hiking trails through the steep hills that connect the villages. Trails run above Cinque Terre along the Mediterranean coast much of the way between La Spezia and Genoa.   

The five small fishing villages of Cinque Terre were carved out of the rocky hillsides starting a thousand years ago or more. The people of the villages also work the Bay of Liguria from small boats, harvesting  fish from the Mediterranean Sea.  
Cinque Terre is now a UNESCO world Heritage site and protected from development.

Cinque Terre,
Walking, Hiking on the Mediterranean Coast

Cinque Terre is a Great Place  for Walking the Mediterranean

You walk through the grape orchards and olive groves that connect the five villages high above the Mediterranean Sea.  From the trails you look down on the five tiny villages tucked into the rocks between the water and the steep hills. The hikes between villages are between two and four miles.
You can start your hike just outside your B&B located in a fishing village that has resisted progress for a thousand years.  As you climb higher into the steep terraced hillside, you see the  Mediterranean spread below the villages.  As you walk the necklace of trails that connect the olive groves and vineyards of each village, you climb higher and are rewarded with magnificent views.  
On Cinque Terre's rugged coast there is not much to do but slow down and walk.  It is ideal for those that love to hike.  You can live the simple life of dining on Pesto and olive tapinades, sipping the local white wine after a hike, and watching the sunset at the end of your day.

Cinque Terre Nature Park, Shuttle Bus Between Villages

The villages are surrounded by a nature park which preserves the environment and the air quality by operating a shuttle between the villages for hikers.  The shuttle price comes with the park's entrance ticket and the buses are a good option at the end of a strenuous day of walking the trails above the villages.

Riomaggiore is the first Cinque Terre Village you encounter driving north  from La Spezia or coming by slow regional train form the south.  There is just one pedestrian only street leading down to the sea. Some B&Bs have parking. There are no streets for autos beyond a gate.
Cinque Terre's Gothic architecture of stone structures cobbled together in villages joined by a network of walking paths can answer the dream for travelers who long to sense what life might have been like in Medieval times.  
Cinque Terre's five villages still practice the simple farm life and they harvest of the sea in small boats like they have done for a thousand years.  

Brightly-painted houses of the medieval village lean into one another in a disarray of pastel cobbles with networks of small streets and sheltered paths.  From Riomaggiore, to the right as you face the ocean,  a trail leads out along the shore to the next village, Manarola. The Via del'Amore as the trail is called has a dozen little trails leading to outcrops and views of the sea.

Ferry in Riomaggiore Cinque Terre
Manarola is only a half hour walk from Riomaggiore.  From there take the trail to Corniglia.  Climb the set of 350 or so steps up to the village of Corniglia.
From Corniglia it is an hour and  half hike to Vernazza ( The shuttle boats do not stop at Corniglia)
Vernazza, the fourth village heading northwest.  Reach Vernazza sheltered cove and several restaurants near the sea after a two hour hike.
The Harbor at Riomaggiore

Vernazza Hike

 Vernazza's harbor once sheltered a Roman installation.  
A two to three hour hike reaches the next village Monterosso al Mare.  You can go by the ferry that shuttles between the villages if you choose not to hike
The hike from Vernazza to Monterosso al Mare can be a strenuous one that includes several ascents and descents.  Monterosso has a beach and a boat dock where the water taxis connect to the other villages  (except Corniglia).

Cinque Terre Villages on the Mediterranean Coast

Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare can provide lodging and dining in one of the best preserved natural areas of the Mediterranean.
Cinque Terre's cliffs
 make building of major roadways near impossible.  The villages exist on fishing and intensive viticulture which has created the unique landscape.
Cinque Terre has been made a nature preserve,  to keep it undeveloped. Cinque Terre is a great place for hiking.

Cinque Terre Climate, What To Wear in Cinque Terre, Italy

   If you are flying into Rome for a trip to Cinque Terre you can count on the temperature being warm year round. You can keep your wardrobe simple.  Base it on a few neutral colors like brown and black to travel light and flexible.

Rome is a sophisticated city and could require formal dress in some restaurants (Necktie suit jacket, dress)
Cinque Terre will be casual dress throughout.  Hiking clothes for trail use between villages

Rome and Cinque Terre have climates similar to the mid USA at sea level, cool Dec. Jan. 40s but no ice or snow, warm summers, June July August, 80s  possible light rain in Spring.
Cinque Terre is 270 miles north of Rome on the Mediterranean Coast south of Genoa.

Cinque Terre Walking and Hiking on the Mediterranean Coast offers walks through the grape orchards and olive groves that connect the five towns.
You walk high above the Mediterranean Sea while you look down on the five tiny villages.
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Dive boats leave the harbor at Riomaggiore
Mid March to Mid November is a good time to visit The Cinque Terre.  
Winter months are without snow but could be cool with January averaging from 40f lows to 55f highs.  
  • Hiking
Cinque Terre hiking is good any season.  The trails are used by farmers who grow grapes and olives and they
remain open year round.    
  • Spring
May (60degree f highs to 45 lows) and the early part of June are ideal.  Cinque Terre is on the Mediterranean
Sea north of Pisa and south of Genoa and the sea moderates the climate.
  • Summer
The end of June, and all of July and  August can be warm in the mid day (June 60-70) and crowded at times
as much of Europe takes its summer vacation.      (August 83 highs to 65 lows)
Summer months are warm and dry.  
  • Best Time to Visit
Weather is ideal in May and June and September October, great months to visit and not too crowded.
November 45 lows -60 Highs f
  • Showers
Rain could come in any month but will be infrequent in the summer, more frequent Sept, Oct, March.  
The wettest months are March and October the driest June July, August.    
Cinque Terre is extremely hilly including the town streets and likely the stairway to your lodging; pack lightly.  
  • Ferry Boats
Mid March to Mid November will find most seasonal attractions open and the ferry boats running.
The view on the walking trail between villages
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