Three Days Exploring Cinque Terre

“Cinque Terre” translates to Five Lands. It is made of five picturesque towns, perched along the rugged cliffside of the Italian Riviera. The coastline, villages, and surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In each of the towns you will find colourful terraces, steep winding streets, fresh produce and wine, sweet elderly men whistling, dozens of fishing boats, mountains covered in vineyards and some of the best sunsets you’ve ever seen over the sea. I suggest at least 3-5 days to lose yourself in each town.

I previously visited Cinque Terre while I was backpacking solo in August 2010 in the very early months of my blog. I arrived on a whim thanks to a change of plans and hiccup in life, and have since reflected on my time there as a safe haven and significant period of personal growth. My own Italian “Eat” chapter of “Eat, Pray, Love” perhaps…. but with substantially more wine. Coming back four years later was just as beautiful as the first.

In 2011 the Cinque Terre was struck by heavy storms, landslides and flooding that killed 13 people and almost destroyed the towns of Monterosso and Vernazza. It has since been rebuilt, making me appreciate the resilient colours of the towns and friendly locals even more. I hope that visitors will continue to appreciate and care for such a beautiful corner of the world.

About the towns-
Riomaggiore is the first village from La Spezia, that sits in a small valley facing the sea. Fishing boats line a tiny beach, with one main road trailing back in to town with slightly more bustling restaurants and boutiques than the other towns.

Manarola is my personal favourite town, as I find it more romantic and quiter. It also may be the oldest of the five towns, with the San Lorenzo church cornerstone dating back to 1338. Walk from the church through the main street to the sea for sunset looking back over the town.

Corniglia sits 100 metres high above the sea and requires a lot of stairs or shuttle bus from the train station below. It boasts beautiful views but I did not prioritise visiting again on my last trip.

Vernazza is the favourite town to a lot of people. It has a main street leading to a main square, that overlooks a protected bay to swim in, or jump off the rocks to the rougher sea on the other side of the break wall. I recommend walking the first hill of the Vernazza to Monterosso trail to get the best view back over the town.

Monterosso a beautifully blue, rocky seaside leading through to the quaint town. Sunbathers flock to the paid beach, but if you continue walking through the tunnel there is another beach for free in front of the town. Monterosso also has the most restaurants, cafes and shops of all of the towns that therefore draws the crowds.

My suggestions for Cinque Terre-

How to get there: The closest city to Cinque Terre is La Spezia. Once there you can catch the local train that takes roughly 15 minutes to the first town of Riomaggiore. I caught a fast train from Milan to La Spezia on the way there, and left via the train from La Spezia to Pisa Airport being roughly three hours each way. If you are already in Europe I highly recommend the train as my favourite mode of travel, being able to store luggage within reach while watching the colourful towns roll past.

Where to stay: During my last stay I rented an apartment in Manarola. I reached out at extremely late notice (the day of arriving!) and was very lucky to find accommodation that is usually booked out months in advance. If you are a thrill seeker like me that doesn’t book in advance, you can try your luck finding a B&B when arriving at each town. When I visited in 2010 I stayed in a 20 bed hostel room in Riomaggiore for much cheaper that I booked on arrival. Please keep in mind that the limited roads and streets/ street names can make it very challenging to find your accommodation address. Make sure to research or ask for specific directions before arriving. And bring as little luggage as possible- the hills are steep and stairs are relentless in the heat!

How to get around: Despite being overpacked with tourists and running on “Italian time”, the train is the best mode of transport between the five towns. Each ticket is a few Euros but remember to stamp the ticket on the platform before boarding as inspectors are common.

Cinque Terre is famous for its hiking trail that connects the five towns from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, with difficulty easing between each town. I walked between Monterosso and Vernazza in 2010’s summer heat and threw in the towel for gelato and the sea as soon as possible. I suggest starting on Riomaggiore to Manarola’s “Love Walk” at sunset and progressing from there.

What to eat: As the Italian Riviera is the home of pesto it is the first thing you should try. Pesto pasta. Pesto pizza. Pesto on breadsticks. I guarantee you won’t regret taking a few jars home. After pesto there is of course the freshest seafood, pasta, pizza and gelato. Oh, and did I mention the local wine?

Where to eat:
Da Eraldo, Monterosso for the best antipasto board I’ve ever eaten. To share with a bottle of local white wine.

Nessun Dorma, Manarola for cheese and meat boards, bruschetta, caprese and a glass of wine with an incredible view over the town.

Il Porticciolo, Manarola for sand lobster linguine or the squid ink linguine with tuna.

Lunch Box, Vernazza for fresh juice and snacks.

Gelateria Il Porticciolo, Vernazza or Gelateria Vernazza for the best gelato.

Riomaggiore – although not a restaurant my favourite way to eat in Cinque Terre is a takeaway pesto pizza or two from the town, and bottles of wine or beer from the supermarket to eat on the seaside rocks while watching the sunset over the water.

What to see and do: Apart from getting lost within the five towns at your own interest and leisure I suggest eating as much as possible, reading a good book in the afternoon sun and a local bottle of wine, walking the trail, seeing the towns by boat and watching sunset every evening.

If you have any more tips for myself or my readers, please let me know in the comments below. Enjoy La Dolce Vita!

  • Stunning images as always, Jessica! I’m planning a trip to Cinque Terre in July, so this is perfect – thank you! xo


  • Dressed With Soul

    Oh, you remembered me on the wonderful times I had in Cinque Terre! Beautiful pictures and adorable outfits <3
    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena
    International Giveaway: Zatchels Bag as Thank-You for the Supporter of my Hobby

  • This post is so helpful with all the nice places to eat and how to get there! Beautiful pictures and it looks like a magical place. Really wanna travel there soon. Sofie xx

  • This place has always been high on my travel list! I’m so glad you posted it, it makes me so much more excited to go! I love the little alleyways in the streets, it looks like you had an amazing three days exploring them.


  • Sandra Palomares

    wow, stunning pics and you’re so cute.

  • WOW absolutely stunning photos!!
    This is just amazing…. It’s nice how with your blog posts you take us away and let us have a break from our daily routines.
    Also thanks for all the amazing recommendations.

    xx Cheyenne

  • Alex

    I dream of visiting Cinque Terre <3 thank you for these photos <3

  • Saskia Starck

    I visited Cinque Terre July last year. SO beautiful. Your photos are bringing back many wonderful memories.

  • Ecléctica & Chic

    Beautiful photos! Cinque Terre must be a special place! Love the floral dress!

  • Kaja

    you’re such a big inspiration! and your pictures are breathtaking!

  • Guest

    I am planning on going there this Summer, coming from Milano. You’re photos and blog are the perfect “where to go anywhere” guide <3.
    A very big fan.

  • Anca Varsandan

    I am planning on going there this Summer, coming from Milano. You’re photos and blog are the perfect “where to go anywhere” guide <3.
    A very big fan.

  • i’ve been wanting to visit cinque terre for as long as i can remember – it looks absolutely divine ! thanks so much for the tips x

    CLUB AVENUE / / instagram

  • Albert Wijaya

    Beautiful photos! Love to go there someday 🙂
    Best, Albert | Palming Pebbles

  • Martina

    Amaaaazing pictures and amazing place!!!


    Martina L.

  • What can I say besides that this place is magical? Would love to get a chance to visit Cinque Terre.

    Laiyin ||

  • Cinque Terre is one of my absolute favorite places in Italy and these photos capture the warm, vibrant atmosphere perfectly!

  • mariel

    such a gorgeous and beautiful place, definitely adding it to my travel bucket list and saving this helpful Jessica and your photos are just breath taking <3

  • Jeanne Canto

    Love these pictures!! I’ll be there in a couple of weeks!

  • Tailored and true

    Gorgeous photos! I will absolutely have to visit one day! Thank you for the travel tips and inspiration!

  • Bri

    Oh my goodness, I am over the moon looking at these photos and I can’t explain how much they made me want to go back to the Italian Riviera! So here is my personal experience of the breathtaking Cinque Terre. Last year I flew to Milan and spent a few days there, and me and my very good Italian friend Gloria took off on a road trip. It’s about 2-3 hour drive from Milan to La Spezia, and we stayed in a lovely hostel near Lerici, which is 8km away from La Spezia. I highly recommend visiting Lerici as well, as it is such a beautiful little town and worth seeing as well. Since we were very short on time (as we were on the way to Portofino and Monaco during that road trip), we could only explore Cinque Terre for a day. We took a boat (which goes about twice an hour) to each village and let me give you all an advice – don’t do that and take a train instead unless you are sure you’re not seasick. Otherwise, you might end up getting dizzy and with an angry tummy. Next time I would definitely try to stay 3-5 days just in Cinque Terre to fully experience all its beauty, as trust me its no fun trying to run up and down the hills to catch a ferry/train to the next village. Jessica, I couldn’t agree more, the wine is absolutely amazing there. I really recommend trying Limoncello while you’re there as well, it’s so delicious and one of the best in Italy! I also have to agree with all the wonderful food, you should start preparing your bellies way in advance of your trip to Italy haha. Also, what really caught my attention in Cinque Terre is the amount of stray cats – there were so many of them! And one last thing – charge your cameras, the sunsets there are indeed incredible and will leave you in awe. If you want to see photos from my trip, you can check them on my blog:

    P.S I really loved reading the post from 2010, it was amazing to see the photos and read your experience from your first visit!

    With Love,

  • Anna

    Le Cinque Terre is such a beautiful and magical place!! Lovely pics Tula 🙂

  • Natali

    Oh wow!! There are SO many beautiful moments and details captured in these photos!

    Beautiful photo diary, thank you for sharing it and for giving us a ton of inspiration and a

    travel fever too! 😀

  • It looks amazing, the kind of place I’d love to get lost in. Beautiful photos too by the way! 🙂

  • La Travelera

    I have a friend from Genoa and I am coming to Italy to her wedding this summer, I was planning to visit Cinque Terre (20 minutes from there) and now I can’t wait! Your pictures are so beautiful x

    • Bri

      I have to disappoint you, Genoa is an hour and a half away from Cinque Terre:( still manageable with a car though!

      • La Travelera

        Thats true! I have just checked it on the map, But she said her wedding location is at 20 min from Cinque Terre as the wedding will be on the beach between Genoa and Florence… We will definitely rent a car, it looks that the distances are bigger than I though. Thank for the info anyway x 🙂

  • Easily the most stunning images I’ve ever seen of Cinque Terre! I love your blue dress, and also love the photo of the old men sitting in a row – cuz you know they do that every day. It’s so Italy!

  • Laura Lama F.

    Amazing photos! This place looks fantastic


  • Lorena

    Nice pics and beautiful place.


  • Before we’d picked a wedding location I’d already picked Cinque Terre for a honeymoon, and thankfully my Southern Italian fiance overcame his genetic disdain of the north and agreed! I’m so keen to go, and even keener to have your insights!

    michelle marie

  • Floriza Rios
  • lavieenliz

    I would love to go there — it seems so beautiful

  • Feyi A

    this is amazing! x


  • Annika
  • Lovely photos and great tips! I visited the Cinque Terre last June and loved it. I stayed in Vernazza and my favourite restaurant was Belforte, which overlooked the sea (there are some photos on my blog

  • Andrea Ryan

    This is probably one of my favorite posts of yours because this is my #1 dream vacation destination. Your photos are so lovely.

  • Charlotte Elizabeth

    Gosh these are such beautiful photos, that sunset photo especially makes me want to go traveling now!

  • This place looks so beautiful, love the colours of the homes! Your photos are stunning, thanks for the tips! 🙂

  • Wow, looks like a magical place! All of these photos are so stunning!

    Shy Girl Loud Voice

  • jovana citic

    Your pictures make me feel like I was there! Love

  • Dean Corno

    This may be my favourite place I’ve ever been to! Your pictures make me want to go back so bad. The hiking trails between the towns are amazing and I would definitely recommend people use them at least once!

  • Whitney V

    Oh, wow, what beautiful travel pictures!! I love how they all capture the moment and tell a story, you’re an incredible photographer as well as a model! 🙂 Thank you for showing us this picturesque colourful place, it’s obviously now on my list of places to visit asap!!!!


  • Such stunning photos, I cannot wait to visit – I’ve fallen in love with the Cinque Terre already just from your photos!

    Simone x

  • There is beautiful! amazing views 🙂 love

  • Ana

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Absolutely stunning I am in love and I want to book a trip to Cinque Terre asap. Thanks for all of your inside info, it was very specific and will be very helpful for when I am ready to book my trip!

  • wow this place is absolutely gorgeous! I would fly there in a heartbeat! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, it was a great Monday pick-me-up

  • I love cinque terre! I saw it on tv so many times. Always fall in love with it. <3 Thank you for sharing great photos! 🙂

  • This makes me SO nostalgic for my time in Cinque Terre. Such a beautiful place.

  • It looks so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.



  • I love places like that – that hold such personal significance to your life.
    Wishing you many more happy travels! I adore your blog xx

  • SweetMona

    amazing pics!!

    new look on my blog!!

  • These photos are so splendid! What dreamy little towns.

  • I’m heading to Cinque Terre on Thursday and your photos have me even more excited, if that’s even possible!

  • Julia

    Wowowwow, these photos are absolutely stunning, I love seeing your amazing cityscapes. Never have I seen such a place with so much color, along with such red sunsets. It’s going on the bucket list for sure 🙂

  • beautiful photos! brings me back to my time there a couple years ago. loved the hike!

  • Helena

    Oh I love everything about this post! These photos are amazing, the towns look amazing and so do you! I love reading posts like these, makes me dream about travelling the world when I graduate. Cinque Terre is definitely added to the bucket list. Thank you for sharing!

  • kelly

    I love this post, your outfits are amazing and the town looks beautiful, not to mention the amazing sunsets!! Kelly

  • Chloe

    Ahn this just makes me so excited! I’m visiting Cinque Terre in July for 7 nights, so excited! Your photos are incredible!

  • What an incredible looking trip! I love your outfits, especially the white shorts and the floaty summer dress – both perfect for a European holiday! Good to know that the train is the best way to get around, I’ll keep this post in mind when planning my upcoming Europe trip! 🙂
    xx Dominique

  • elizabeth Hawn

    gorgeous photo diary from Cinque Terre!

  • Beautiful photos! This is one of my dream vacations!
    xx Elle

    New post on: – Swedish Fashion/Travel Blogger and Model in TOKYO

  • These pictures are stunning and as always you’ve given me travel envy! I hope I can visit soon!


  • Rhea

    This place looks so beautiful! I loved this post, going through all the pictures and how fondly you have written about your experience and recommendations.

  • Adventurous Appetite

    Stunning photos! And I love your outfits 🙂

  • ygriega

    stunning photos!

  • steph vallone

    Beautiful photos! Cinque Terre looks magical! x

  • Beautiful pictures! This place is magical!



  • Nadia Madzharova

    woww, just discovered your blog and adore it 🙂 you’re so nice, you remind me he girl in the Orange County series 🙂

    i have to visit the 5 terres one day , ill use your adresses 🙂

  • Rae

    These pictures are stunning! I dream of going somewhere like this someday 🙂


  • So excited for you to share this blog post as I’m just about to go to Cinque Terre in July! Your photos are beyond beautiful, you capture places so well. You’ve honestly inspired me so much in my travel blogging so I just want to thank you, keep posting beautiful things because you make a lot of people happy by doing so <3

    – Nicola

  • These pictures make me feel as if I’ve just taken a vacation myself, wonderful! Greetings from gray+rainy Tokyo- Mareike

  • What an amazing place! I’ve always wanted to visit Italy, but somehow never got to it. Now I’ve pinned this post, so it will be a reminder. Btw I love your photos, they are truly beautiful and full of life. Stunning!

    I’m glad you’ve had such an amazing holiday.

  • I’m a huge fan of Italy & am looking for somewhere to visit early September…this might be it! Gorgeous photos & I love your denim/chambray dress.

    Hugs Adele xoxo

  • I’m italian, thank you so much for this beautiful pictures of my country!!!

  • like it a looooot, beautiful place <3
    thx for sharing 🙂

  • Beck

    Beautiful photographs and great advice for exploring Cinque Terre – I hope to make it there in the near future! 🙂

  • sienna

    Beautiful photos as always!

    Love all the colours 🙂

  • Patricia

    This is amazing!! I would like to visit Cinque Terre!


  • Michelle K. Lee
  • flight vintage

    inspiring to travel to italy

  • luciana

    I’ve always wanted to visit Cinque Terre, Absolutely gorgeous photos.
    Now I want to visit even more!

    x Luci

  • Cinque Terre looks amazing!! Definitely putting this on my travel bucketlist. x

  • So glad you enjoyed my country and especially Cinque Terre, an amazing corner of Paradise we have. Great pictures, you looked stunning as ever, and you pictured Cinque Terre colors and emotions perfectly. Great travel tips, too.

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion blog

  • Jeanne’s Stylebook

    Love this site!! <3
    I blog aswell about fashion and travelling!

  • Saša Rakovec

    Gorgeous photos! This place looks amazing!


  • Kristie Murray

    Amazing gallery!! I also visited in July last year. Truly a special little place. Very much enjoyed the personal aspect of this post 🙂

  • Kristie Murray

    And loving all the positive energy in these comments. So great to see women inspiring other women and being genuinely happy for each other <3

  • Tiffany Yeung

    your pictures looks amazing!! i want to go so badly now! x

  • It is extremely and almost incredibly beautiful!

  • Beautiful place and perfect photos.


  • Beautiful post and what a beautiful town ! I hope to see more of Italy this summer 🙂

  • I love this post! The photos are just amazing! Looking at them I am so proud to live in Italy! :D:D

    Just photographs form my Easter trip to Umbria now on

    Greetings from Rome

  • Great Post – lots of great information, and the photos are stunning. I hope to travel there someday 🙂

  • These photos are absolutely stunning! I’m desperate to visit this place, I love all the colourful buildings and the views look beautiful. Thank you for giving me a serious case of wanderlust!

    Beth xox.

  • OMG, your pictures are so beautiful, I can’t get enough of them! I just love your blog posts, which feel more homey and stunning than other travel bloggers. Please make more frequent blog posts!

  • Cinque Terre is actually one of my most favorite places in the world. It’s special to me in many ways and I’ve had so many stories and adventures there; I’m glad that you have a special place in your heart for it as well! Love the photography, as always! 🙂

    Characters & Carry-ons

  • Anna

    Amazing photos! Could you tell us where your beautiful red skirt is from? Thanks in advance!

  • Stephanie

    Nice shoots! I really enjoy all of your travelling photos. Thanks for sharing <3

  • Looooooove it !

    We are going there with my boyfriend,I can’t wait !


  • Wow Cinque Terre looks amazingly beautiful! So Italian 😀

  • Dharma Smokie

    Hi ! I just LOVE your pictures and I wanted to know which camera and lenses you use to do such crazy pictures ? Make me wanna go there… 🙂

  • Such a beautiful post-this really captures what the lifestyle is like in the Italian Riviera!

    Colorful, laid back and simple. The architecture here looks breathtaking and I love the way you have contrasted the colors in your photos. It was really a treat to read this, you are one of the best travel bloggers!

    Kat x

  • Wioletta M.

    Beautiful place! I wish to go there one day 😛

  • Camille Iffly

    Wonderful pictures ! You are so lucky to see these amazing landscapes !!

  • Obsessed with this post! I am so desperate to go there. It looks so romantic and atmospheric.
    Stephanie x

  • Andrea

    Great reportage ! I liked it so much, especially because i live in La Spezia and know those places 😀
    You and everyone are always welcome in Riviera Ligure 🙂

  • Wow this place is so picturesque and look amazing as usual!

    x Karen

  • Kblossoms

    Beautiful travel pictures, the buildings are so colorful! Your outfits are beautiful

  • Stephanie Blaunc

    Beautiful travel entry.. love all of the pictures!

  • Patrizia Seibert

    Beautiful photos! These pictures are stunning and as always you’ve given me travel envy!

  • These pictures are breathtaking! I want to go there so bad x

  • Pus

    This images are beautiful. I definitely got lost in imagination wondering what a few days there might be like. Beautiful.

  • Ros

    Amazing amazing amazing! I spent a few days there in 2006 and it’s paradiso on earth for me. Looking at those photos (you must have a great camera and these are incredible shots!) takes me straight back there and the memories come flooding back. Time for another visit. Thank you.

  • Katy Galbraith

    We have been a few times, and stayed in Levento (next town up) – at a B&B owned by a mosaic enthusiast – a really relaxing vibe

    love the area, and happily go again.

    Great photography, brings back memories

  • Mara Alverson

    Tell me about the beautiful, floral, falling free from the shoulders dress in photos 2 and 18, please

  • Andres Poiche
  • fashionillustrationsbymc

    I had no idea you were visiting Italy, I hope you had a great time in my beautiful country and enjoyed the food!

  • rebecca

    This is amazing! Thank you for such a well documented trip, which is usually what I always miss when I read about other peoples travels. This just made the top 3 of my places I want to visit next- now, I’m going to continue stalking your blog!

  • omg every single picture is so incredible and breathtaking! and your outfits blend so well with the surroundings, love everything!

  • stunning pictures, love all your travel posts 🙂

    mel x

  • Breathtaking & magical <3 I've only been to one of the cities yet, but I'll surely return!

    E from Helsinki, Finland

  • Sophie

    Wow this post actually makes me want to book a ticket to Italy like NOW. I think I will look at flight prices at lunch! Such beautiful pictures. You captured the culture and landscape so well. Do you ever sell these photos? The one of the apartments with the washing hanging out would look awesome as a piece of art on my wall! Sophie 🙂

  • Beautiful shots, and that sunset – WOW. Loving the great travel tips you share here. Now I just need to plan a holiday!

  • You really give nice travel tips!

    Your Silk&Salt Team,
    – Instagram is for pictures, youtube is for videos, Silk & Salt is for blog posts –

  • The Queen Of Dreaming

    When I was a little girl, Cinque Terre were the winter escape for me and my parents. It’s been years since I went there and I hope to do it again soon! 🙂


    thanks for showing me the place of my dream….

  • I haven’t been able to stop daydreaming about this place since I came across this blogpost, so much that I booked a ticket and leave in two weeks.

  • Heart Cquek

    its on our holiday list… we wish to be there one day.

  • Jessica Racz

    These pictures are beyond beautiful… Italy is such a diverse country with so much magic to see!

  • Residence Kriss – Deiva Marina

    So many beautiful pics!

  • I’m going here very soon and am sooo excited!!! I am really hoping to get some awesome photos like these. Italy is just incredible! x anna

  • Maria-Teresa Andreacchi

    Stunning! Your pictures and amazing description of your experience are about as close to being there as possible for the viewer. Love your blog and this post in particular. Maria – Teresa

  • This is the best cinque terre post I have ever read. I love the photos, your outfits and most important, your tattoo “happiness”. So wise. Thank you for the reminder!

  • wendabandung

    Thanks for the guide hopefully will visit this place soon

  • Awesome photos! Don’t give up on the walks! They are incredibly rewarding, the views are amazing.
    I just wrote up a post on my time in Cinque Terre. Early October turned out to be a great time to go as we beat the crowds and it was still warm enough to swim!

  • Natasha

    What camera do you use for most of your photos?

  • we are leaving traces

    Great report and great pictures! Cinque terre is probably one of the most visited places in whole Europe, but there is also a reason for that! It is simply an amazing place! We have also been there and wrote a report about it. Maybe you would also like to read about our experiences 🙂

  • Veronica Bucher

    i would have never left!!

  • Anna

    bellissimo!in questo ambiente un bel bikini e indispensabile 🙂

  • Vidyut Rautela – Travel Blogge

    Awesome of you to bring this out… loved how you held your dress and the old woman peeping out of window. The life does look very simple despite the tourism.

    I also collated and shared a few of my own travel nuggets in a post. See, sleep, drink and eat in cinque terre:

  • Such amazing pictures! You look lovely on them! I went there last August and absolutely loved it, if you fancy a read on my guide

  • Pierpaolo Paradisi

    Next time come to visit us (beer or wine for free): https://www.daifera-cornigl