Cinque Terre

Old Jan 15th, 2020, 04:41 AM
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Cinque Terre

What is your view on visiting Cinque Terre?
We were originally planning Rome, Venice, Florence with a return to Rome for our flight out. I am reconsidering going to Cinque Terre instead of Florence with a day trip to Tuscany.

How many days in Cinque Terre do you recommend? Is there enough to do there other than hiking to the top of the terre and back?
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 05:50 AM
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"Cinque Terre: Is there enough to do there other than hiking to the top of the terre and back?"

Could you explain what you mean with that?
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 06:36 AM
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My view is that it was lovely 25-30 years ago but today I wouldn't go near it except maybe in very early spring or very late fall - and at those times of year it's questionable whether the trails will be open because of weather. Agree with neckervd that your question is a bit odd - "the top of the terre????" It's a series of villages, one of them with a beach, so there is lots to see and do, if you can manage to get around without being trampled.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 07:19 AM
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I was under the impression that the ‘terre’ or lands were a series of trails that took one above the villages. I was wondering if hiking up the land was the only thing to do in these villages. Is one day enough time there?

should I stay in Florence and make a day trip to Cinque Terre?
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:13 AM
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Only if you are able to hike. The pesto there is the best but the hikes were one of my all time best travel memories.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:30 AM
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I think it depends on what most interests you. Have you been to Florence before? I enjoyed both Florence and the Cinque Terre but they are very different travel experiences. Florence has amazing art and history. The Cinque Terre villages are beautiful and fun to poke around. Personally, I wouldn't go to the Cinque Terre to hike in the heat of the summer as it would be too hot for me. We went in October and it was still pretty warm but the hike we took was beautiful.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 08:39 AM
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"should I stay in Florence and make a day trip to Cinque Terre?"

It's 2.5 to 3 hours each way by train depending on the town.

What time of year is your trip? In high season, the towns are extremely crowded.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 09:16 AM
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You're right that terre means lands, but it's not a reference to trails. Cinque Terre = Five Lands.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 09:57 AM
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There are five villages all along the coast. You can get to each via train. You can, if all of the segments are open, hike to each of them. You can get to each by boat.

This is what we did. We took the train in and stopped at Manarola for a boat tour. My travel friend (also a Fodorite) found it and it was absolutely one of the best travel experiences ever. The wonderful owner/ guide was a native, had worked on cruise ships for a few years and then came home. Handsome, funny, wonderful small boat = such a delightful way to see the five villages and the coast from the water. There were six guest on the boat plus the owner and his sister.

Then we took the train to the largest village and spent the night in Monterosso al Mare. LOVED it. Train back the next day.

If one is hiking, you'd need more than 2 days. We did not hike. In fact, two segments of the trail were closed when we were there.

We went in October and it was glorious. Fabulous weather. No crowds. I'm not sure I'd want to go in the busy season.

This was a side trip from a week's stay at a villa in Tuscany. We didn't check out, but told the innkeepers were were spending then night away and it worked for us to fit in at least a little bit of the CT. I loved it. I had recommended it to my friend and boss for her honeymoon. Their daughter is about to go to college. It took me that many years to get there, but I am definitely glad we visited!

If you want a recommendation and link about the tour and the hotel we enjoyed, let me know.

I loved that part of our trip. I'd love to go back and spend several days. My friend did a mix of traveling to the villages via hiking, train and boat. We just did the boat tour (along the coast with a lunch stop at Monterosso) and then the train to M for our overnight stay and then return to our car and then a stop at Pisa. We timed the Pisa stop perfectly (and accidently) for gorgeous afternoon light that made the photos even lovelier.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 15th, 2020 at 10:02 AM.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:07 AM
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We were there for two nights in late October. We stayed in Monterosso and hiked to Vernazza then took the train to Manarola. It wasn't crowded, and the hike was fun. We also had great weather. I think two nights was sufficient, though.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:19 AM
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We are going in the middle of May. We love to hike. We are also going to Rome and Venice and thought that Cinque Terre would be a nice change from the art/history.

Last edited by BandDTravel; Jan 15th, 2020 at 10:24 AM.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:20 AM
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Thank you! That is helpful
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by starrs View Post
If you want a recommendation and link about the tour and the hotel we enjoyed, let me know.
Thank you for your reply. That was helpful. I would love a recommendation. Thank you.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:33 AM
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Here's a link to the TA reviews for the boat ride -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...a_Liguria.html
My friend found the tour and I said "sure". I am SO glad I did. Seeing the CT from the water on Daniele's boat is truly one of my top 5 travel experiences ever. He was fabulous, but the tour in a small boat was just wonderful. I hate big tour boats. I started to upload three photos, but remembered photos are not uploading now. But I can understand why sailors believed in mermaids. The water was gorgeous and the photo will (sort of) explain.

Here's the TA review for the hotel -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...a_Liguria.html

We loved the location. The room was very nice. I chose a room with a private terrace but also loved going up to the rooftop terrace to take photos. The breakfast there was amazing. A buffet but more than a buffet. A room full of tables with over a dozen options on each. There were probably 60 types of breakfast items to choose from. The mosaics in that area were lovely.

When we arrived up the steps from the small lane, we were greeted in the courtyard garden and invited to sit. They brought us (just the two of us) drinks and a delicious fruit cocktail. We were surprised, but sat and relaxed for a while. Then we entered the building. Our bags were taken to the room for us. We were on a moderate overall budget for this trip, splurging in some places (room on the Grand Canal in Venice) and inexpensive to moderate lodging elsewhere. This was not a splurge hotel so we were surprised at the excellent service.

I originally chose it based on a Fodorite's recommendation 10 years before. I had an entire trip booked but had to cancel. I understood that I would lose my deposit because of the timing of the cancellation.

Imagine my surprise when I received an email the next Monday. They had booked the room to a walk in guest. Because the room was not empty over the weekend, they refunded MY deposit. I have never experienced anything like that before. I would have had NO Idea they filled the room. They were under NO obligation to refund my deposit. I was floored. When my travel friend and I started to plan our trip 9 years later, I sent her my previous plan with only one non-negotiable. We would have to stay in this hotel on the CT portion of the trip. Even if were a dive, I was going to repay their kindness and award their customer service.

It was a good moderate choice for a hotel. But I'm sure there are dozens of amazing places to stay in the five villages.

Last edited by starrs; Jan 15th, 2020 at 11:25 AM.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 10:56 AM
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You can find information on which paths are open here:
Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre - Visit the Park - Paths and Outdoor

The Sentiero Azzurro, which links the 5 villages, has had portions closed off and on in recent years. It looks like the path between Riomaggiore and Manarola may be opening up again soon (although this path is paved and not really a hike). The trail between Monterosso and Vernazza can get very busy. If you really enjoy hiking, look at the upper paths if they are open, since they are often less crowded. We did a hike between Riomaggiore and Corniglia that was lovely. Also enjoyed a hike between Levanto (just outside the 5 towns) and Monterosso.

There are guidebooks for the trails available -- I think maybe Cicerone and Sunflower guides. They also list hikes nearby but outside the 5 villages, which may satisfy your hiking urge if the CT trails are closed.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 12:20 PM
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Manarola, as we wait for the early morning boat tour.

Monterossa in October

Monterosso

The beach at Monterosso

The water is gorgeous. I can believe in mermaids.

Just gorgeous


Daniele was fabulous. Just read the reviews on TA (I haven't written one)

Monterosso with Daniele's boat in the foreground

I LOVED Monterosso al Mare. As much or more as some of the other towns/ cities we visited on that Italy trip.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:22 PM
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Gorgeous photos. I was thinking CT was too crowded these days, but you may have convinced me I need to visit.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:54 PM
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Beautiful photos, starrs. Now I want to go back!
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 03:59 PM
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I agree with St.Cirque. We were there about ten years ago and IMO it was barely bearable. That was in October. If I was even considering going it ‘d definitely be in the off season. It is nice but really with some research you can find equally nice spots that will be far from the maddening crowds. Europe continues to get more crowded each year. I have now concentrated by travel plans on lesser known places.
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Old Jan 15th, 2020, 04:01 PM
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BTW, Starrs photos are great really beautiful, but were taken 12 years ago if I’m reading her post correctly.

Last edited by historytraveler; Jan 15th, 2020 at 04:30 PM.
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