Cinque Terre: Manarola

cinque terre

They say Manarola is the smallest of them all. It’s true. Although, when you walk along the port through a walk-path that wraps around the ocean front rock formation, it makes Manarola actually look bigger than it appears to be. It’s the best way to see Manarola in its entirety because you get a nice picturesque view of the village from a distance. It literally made me go “wow”.  

We walked up to Nessun Dorma restaurant for a quick bite.

You really can’t beat the view from Nessun Dorma. It overlooks the port and the atmosphere is very welcoming. It made me feel as if there’s no where else I should be except here

My friend and I ended up having wine and appetizers. They were delicious! Keep in mind it’s a cash only restaurant. Either come with plenty of cash or go for small bites.  

V & I had plenty of time left. We roamed around town, walked uphill and took photos. There are a few spots that are worth snapping. I found the signs near their doors so cute with the lemon details and serif fonts. 

Cinque Terre: Monterosso

At first, I had mixed feelings about Monterosso. We came here on our first day running through puddles with rain pouring down on us harder than any other times I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. It’s one of those moments that I’m trying to forget because the 2nd time we came, Monterosso was beautiful. I remembered it very well, the sun had gone down and the light reflected this nice blue tone. On top of that, the sea was as calm as I could’ve imagined it to be. It almost felt like the storm never came.

Out of the 5 villages, Monterosso is the only one with a proper beach in Cinque Terre. It’s got 2 sides, the new and the old town. My favorite was definitely the old town. You can reach it by walking to the left side upon arriving by train and then pass through a tunnel that will lead you to the old town.

In the old town, you will find lots of different shops and restaurants. V and I ended up buying the limoncino which Cinque Terre is known for specialising in.

Other things to see in Monterroso is sitting by the port and really take in the views.

Cinque Terre: Corniglia

You won’t pass by Corniglia without anyone mentioning about having to go up (or down) 300 steps as a one way to enter this village. Corniglia is small. There are about 1,000 inhabitants in this village and they all know each other. When we arrived, a shuttle dropped us off at the beginning of the city center which is literally on top of a hill. From there, we wondered off walking around the village and eventually ended up in the back of the hill.

Corniglia, I found to be very quiet. It’s surrounded by vineyards and if you give it a chance, there are some fantastic restaurants and incredible views that you will find in the area. You just have to discover it. 

Bar Terza Terra

Can you believe this view? Have a cocktail at Bar Terza Terra to the left from this photo above and you will get this infinity view of the coast.

We had dinner at Bar Nunzio on a terrace overlooking the vineyard and also part of the city center. This restaurant is hidden but, if you find it you will enjoy a very relaxing atmosphere. My friend and I came hungry and ordered a pizza, apetizers and the local Cinque Terre beer which was very delicious!

By 7pm, little did we know that the shuttle we took to get to this village ended their service exactly at 7. We ended up going down 300 steps that lead us directly to the train station. You can also access the village this way but, I think I preferred going down the steps rather than going up.

Cinque Terre: Vernazza Diary

I remembered the day I stepped out of the train very clearly. I walked through the city center of Vernazza feeling relaxed. Right around a corner was a port. I could hear water splashing in the background as I tip toed my way, slowly getting closer to the sound. While walking, I looked around me and I saw these colorful buildings painted in red and yellow with green contrasting doors. They stood bright against a huge mountain that curved around supporting this magnificent view of the cove. I was mesmerized. The cove was beautiful in its own right. My jaw dropped and it made me put my camera down to take it all in.

We walked along the cove where people were sunbathing, relaxing and enjoying this view. It felt as if summer was already here.vernazza-8377
Holding up my strawberry with stracciatella gelato that ultimately sealed the deal.

Everyone has their own preference of which island they like. To us, our favorite was Vernazza which is why we came back on our last day. Vernazza was compact, it offered everything we needed and wanted. Ultimately, it did not disappoint us

How to See Cinque Terre in 2 Days

After returning from my 4 day trip from Cinque Terre, I realized it can be done in 2 days. For anyone who likes to get in and get out, this is for you.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Pick an island as your main base. We booked our hotel at the last minute and found a hotel in La Spetzia. It was actually perfect for us because the hotel was literally down the street, about 5 minutes walking distance from the train station and breakfast was included ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Once you arrive, find the Information Center. Ours was right outside when we hopped out of the train. There, you can buy the 2-day pass which is good for any time and you can hop on or off the train as much as you want. You can also use this pass for busses, hiking trails, bathroom entry, etc. This is definitely useful!

3. Select the island you want to see first. My friend and I agreed to go to Vernazza as it was one of the most picturesque and smaller compare to others that we heard of. Also, we came during the week when it rained in Cinque Terre. By this, we wanted to choose a place during our first day that we could cover in a short time and still enjoy it. Vernazza was perfect! 

4. Allocate your time. Unless you wanted to swim and sun-bathe all day, you can pretty much stay in each island for at least 2 hours and then move on.

5. Enjoy! Never forget to have fun.