Oh hello there! Today is all about Cinque Terre! Used to see so many beautiful colorful pictures from these 5 cute villages that actually made me want to visit them as soon as possible. So said, so done. I planned the whole trip with one of my best friends, because she was also in love with Cinque Terre. But now I wonder… who wouldn’t be? The 5 villages are: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. All of them are super pretty and I can assure you, it’s going to be hard to pick only one favorite!
First things first: flight tickets! There isn’t actually an airport in Cinque Terre, but the closest one is in Pisa – paid 165 euros for husband and I, round-trip tickets. Prices were quite ok! Once you reach the airport in Pisa, you have to go to Pisa Centrale, because the only way to reach the 5 villages is by train. In order to do that, there is a shuttle train that links Pisa Airport Station to Pisa Central Station in 5 minutes.
DAY 1. Before taking the train to Cinque Terre, met my friend and her boyfriend and visited the old town of Pisa… which looked pretty nice, by the way. So loved the Italian vibes! Also, we couldn’t leave Pisa without actually seeing the leaning tower and I have to tell you this, the tower is leaning really bad. It’s absolutely insane!
The tower’s tilt began during construction in the 12th century, caused by an inadequate foundation on ground too soft. The tilt gradually increased until the structure was stabilized by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Climbing the tower is 18 euros per person, found it a little too expensive, so we didn’t go up this time.
After that, went to the Pisa Central Station, and bought our tickets for Riomaggiore. To get to Riomaggiore, you actually need to change the train in La Spezia. The whole journey took 1h and 40min. Price: 11 euros per person. Website: http://www.trenitalia.com/
We stayed right in the heart of Riomaggiore, at Cà dei Ciuà (rated as “Exceptional 9.6″on Booking). The apartment was super cute and we paid 370 euros for 3 nights / 4 persons.
That night we actually didn’t do much, because we were pretty tired… but I remember that we went exploring a bit the area and drank a bottle of wine while chitchatting. Haven’t been seeing my friends for quite a while, because they now live in UK, so there was a lot of catching up.
DAY 2. We woke up, had breakfast at a cute little shop in front of our building and went to see the most photographed place in Riomaggiore. You all know it, I am sure!
After seeing this view before my eyes I remember I actually said: “Now I can die happy!” Pleeeease God, don’t take me seriously all the time, I still want to see a lot of other places in this world. Don’t want to die soon hahaha. Please disregard! Anyway, the place was indeed stunning and I was really really happy to be there. Cinque Terre was an important destination on my bucket list for 2018.
We then took the train to Manarola – the next village. Anywhere you would go, the price is unique and it’s 4 euro. So no matter the village you choose to visit, you’ll always pay 4 euros per ticket. The villages are super close, I mean they’re that close that you get to use the train only for few minutes between them.
Manarola was soooo so pretty! We hiked on a trail to take the best photos and then stopped at Nessun Dorma restaurant where we drank a glass of wine and had some bruschetti. The view was spectacular!
Next village: Corniglia! The thing about Corniglia is that is the only village which is not by the sea and actually… on top of a mountain. You have to climb 365 stairs until you reach the village. Other people say there are 382 steps, other say 370… who cares? TOO MANY. That’s all that matters!
The village was pretty, but not that pretty as the previous ones in my opinion. It was also raining, so pictures were not that great either. However, we ate at a very cute restaurant named Cecio and the food was awesome. Had some pasta of course! Italian food is my favorite, I always tend to gain some weight while being in Italy. OOOOPS
After another quick stroll, we took the train back to Riomaggiore. There, we went again at the most picturesque place in the village, brought a bottle of wine with us, some glasses from the apartment and just sat there, on those rocks. It was perfect! Cheers! Oh and we also had a little companion.
DAY 3. Started the day having our breakfast at the apartment. Bought some cherry tomatoes, mortadella, olives, cheese, chorizo… uhm I think I should stop thinking about food now because it’s 2 AM in the morning while I am writing this and I don’t want to eat at this late hour. But let me at least show you a picture! Yummy!
After having our precious breakfast, went on a hill to visit the castle of Riomaggiore. There isn’t much to see as a castle, but the view up there is incredible.
Now let’s go to Vernazza! This village… oh man, I liked it a lot. It was more lively than the others, there was also a small harbor with cute boats, people laying in the sun while drinking beers… the atmosphere was very chill. Therefore, that’s exactly what we did first. Drank some Ceres beers and got a little tanned while standing by the water.
After resting a bit, we started wandering through the village. The streets were super narrow but so lovely. We also walked on a trail that leads to THE MOST PERFECT photo spot. Couldn’t miss it! Of course
Next stop: Monterosso al Mare! This is the only village that has a beach. So we were super excited because the weather was very nice and we wanted to actually spend some time laying on the beach.
However, once you’ve seen all the other villages before Monterosso, truth is you’ll not going to be so impressed. I mean, it is still cute, but not as stunning as the others. We stayed on the beach for a couple of hours, drank some beers and then just went back to Riomaggiore.
After returning to Riomaggiore, we discovered there a wild beach, full of pebbles, with absolutely no one around at that time. Stayed there for a long while, listened to the sea and watched the moon in that kind of… creepy, silent and dark surrounding. It was fun though!
Being already late, we decided to go back at the apartment… our friends were supposed to leave the accommodation early in the morning because they had an early flight, so we just spent our time talking a bit before going to bed.
FUN FACT: after already spending 3 days in Cinque Terre and roaming around from village to village every day, we (the girls) had asked the boys which were the names of the 5 villages.
They were so funny because they actually didn’t have a clue. And they were just mumbling and inventing similar names that… in their imagination sounded like the real ones. So they actually agreed on the following 5 names:
- Montevideo (yup, the capital of Uruguay bahahhaah)
Men! They never pay attention to details! But I can understand them. I mean… they enjoyed their vacation anyway. And it’s also way simpler to just mention “Cinque Terre” than remembering each and every name of the 5 villages :)))
DAY 4. Husband and I had few more hours to spend in Riomaggiore before leaving for Pisa and then back home, so we just went outside for another stroll through this magical place.
Forgot to mention that there is a Michelin starred restaurant right in the harbor of Riomaggiore: the name is Dau Cila. The restaurant offers also amazing views over the sea!
After this last walk in Cinque Terre, took the train back to Pisa and went to the airport for our flight to Bucharest.
Hmm hey guys? Didn’t you notice something quite unusual? My story went along so linear, without any adventures. We were almost shocked when we realized this haha. We were like: “Is this possible? Nothing happened to us while being on this trip? Not even a small thing like missing a train or something? Nothing at all?” So yeah, this trip was kind of perfect and everything went on accordingly! So bizzare!
Now I will share with you people some info regarding the best photo spots in Cinque Terre. So here they are in case you need them:
- Riomaggiore -> Down by the marina, you will notice a rocky outcrop that you can access via stairs. If you are limber on your feet, climb out to the furthest point at sunset to get the best view looking back on Riomaggiore!
- Manarola -> After many hours of searching for a photo spot that was not obstructed by fences or hoards of tourists, we accidentally stumbled upon a place with the perfect view over the city. If you follow the path around to Nessun Dorma restaurant, walk up the stairs until you see a pink arch. The spot is actually a cemetery, so be respectful, but if you walk through, you’ll soon have the best view over the city without any obstructions or crowds to get in your way.
- Corniglia -> Corniglia is the most unique of the five towns, mostly due to its geographical position. Unlike the other four seaside towns, Corniglia is perched up on a hill. You have to climb 365 stairs to reach the top of the town. All views are nice from up there!
- Vernazza -> Hike the trail towards Monteresso for about 15 minutes and you’ll get to the place with the postcard perfect shot. It really doesn’t getting much better than this vantage point! Normally you do have to pay to enter this path, but if you aren’t planning to hike the whole trail you can always try asking if you can just go in take some photos and come back.
- Monterosso -> No particular vantage points to highlight, but make sure you get a snap along the beach of with the colorful umbrellas against that popping blue ocean. You always have to get that classic beach shot!
Ohhhh Cinque Terre… you were a dream come true!
Until next time,
- Our stay in Cinque Terre: 14.04.2018 – 17.04.2018
- Bucharest – Pisa and return flight: Wizzair 165 euros
- Accommodation: Cà dei Ciuà 185 euros
- Transportation: approximately 75 euros
- Total: 425 euros as a couple
PS: If you are using booking.com to find the best accommodations like I do, then you should use the following link to receive 10% of your money back on your next travel! It’s a win-win situation… so why not?