Cinque Terre questions

Mar 5th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Cinque Terre questions

We will be in CT the 3rd week in May. What kind of weather can we expect? For hiking the trails, is it appropriate to wear shorts and sneakers (for a woman)? How rigorous is the walk? Are there places to stop along the way? Places to get food and drinks?
nwbniteowl is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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You'll probably run into many other American walkers, hikers. Check out other Ligurian towns, Sarzana, Camogli, Nervi, S. Margherita if you want to visit a real Italian seaside place.
vetralla is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 05:11 PM
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I was there in July, and it was hot.
Not sure about May. I only walked the easy part from Riomaggiore to Manarola. I had on Teva sandals and cotton capri pants. This part of the hike is really easy.

The rest of the hike I understand especially between Vernazza and Monterosso is more rigourous. Search this site for many comments.

Unless you were going to do a little sightseeing in a town church, shorts are great.

Shorts and good walking/hiking sneakers should be fine.

I seem to remember a spot along the way to stop, but it was only a 30 minute walk - stopping to take a many pictures.

You can grab something to eat and drink in each town.

Have fun!
GranthamMommy is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 05:58 PM
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I was there in the first week of June and the weather was excellent. We left Vernazza early in the morning to beat the heat while hiking but it still got hot. Depending on any local disturbances you should expect decent weather.

There is a super thread on the 5T at

You pass through all the towns so there is plenty opportunity to eat or drink.
bc_canuck is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 06:32 PM
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We were there in May of last year. Each trail is different - some quite rigorous. Weather was sunny, temps in hi 70's - low 80's. My husband did the middle trail between Vernazza and Monterrosso and it was a tough hike - he was quite hot and tired when he finished so he took a plunge in the very cold water and said it felt great! We stayed in Vernazza and during the day it was a sea of tourists - I cannot imagine what it must be like middle of summer. Around 4-5:00 in afternoon though it cleared out tremendously and the little village was lovely. If you go to Vernazza - whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner - go to the little restaurant just above the train station called "Il Pirates" by twin brothers who they are incredibly entertaining, speak excellent English and their food was some of the best we had on our whole Italy trip.
caroltis is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 08:18 PM
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We hiked the entire 5 village trail, but in reverse, since we were staying in Monterrosso al Mare. I wore Keen sandals and capris, in July- it did get hot although we started about 9 am. Parts of the trail switchback up through vinyards and in places with no "guardrails" it is a very, very long way down to the sea below. If you are a good walker/hiker it is not particularly strenuous. But small pebbles make it slippery in places and I would not feel safe in the rain. The most difficult part is between Monterrosso and Corniglia, but at the trail head you are provided a map that gives you approximate walking times from village to village. It is gorgeous to see them approaching in the distance! And nice to stop for a break.
On the trails themselves there isn't really anything for rest or food or bathrooms- there was an older man selling oranges and bottled water at one point when we rounded a corner, though!
The last part is easier and from Riamoaggiore to Manarola is paved- people were pushing baby strollers!
sglass is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Oh Yes! I have to agree with caroltis.
The Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre has the best pastries outside of Sicily.
We started our mornings with thick Italian hot chocolate and scrumptious pastries before our hikes.

As well we stayed in Vernazza and after the tourist trains left at night the village has a different atmosphere.
bc_canuck is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 10:13 PM
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In May, I guess it could be hot, sneakers would be OK, especially on the paved part between Corniglia and Riomaggiore. Don't even think of using sandals ! The main trail (#2) is relatively easy, the others go inland and are ups and downs, not for untrained hikers. Several hundred stairsteps between Monterosso and Vernazza. No food and drinks on the way, but the #2 goes between the cities, no problem there. You may find some info in my Tripadvisor report. Also see this link
rjsol is offline  
Mar 5th, 2008, 10:14 PM
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here is another link
rjsol is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Hi, nwbniteowl -

> is it appropriate to wear... sneakers?

When I was there, a national park employee checked to see if one's footwear was appropriate for the trails - and as some other posters have noted, some of those trails are not easy walks! I don't know if anyone still monitor access, or how frequently they do so if they do, but you might want to consider whether you are (a) truly confident that sneakers would give you the support and traction you might need (particularly if the trails are wet, or if it starts raining unexpectedly while you are on them) and (b) are willing to forego the walk if park personnel are there and say that sneakers aren't adequate.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 05:07 AM
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I should add that when I was there I was wearing good hiking shoes, and it did unexpectedly start raining - hard! - when I was about half way between Monterossa al Mare and Vernazza. Even with decent shoes, it was a terrifying 1.5 hours or so before I reached Vernazza. I would NOT have wanted to be out there in sneakers!

kja is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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We hiiked the entire five cities of the CT from Monterosa to Manrola. The first day hiking is tough...lots of climbing, rocky terrain, second day the terrain was more level but often the trail is very narrow, rocky, you are exposed to the sun...if you don't like heights don't look down! The trail to the last two towns is a paved walk. Take a couple of day to make the hike so you can enjoy the area. Each village distinct. Our favorite was Vernazza. You'll have no problem finding a place to stay. Have dinner in one of the outside teneted restaurants at the is excellent. I would recommend shorts or capris, sturdy shoes that are comfortable...we wore hiking boots. Hiking sticks were invaluable particualrly for the downhill steps on day 2. Take sunscreen, water and energy/granola bars. Only rest stops were provided by Mother Nature...large rocks and tree shade.
Have a great is quite an experience.
jhaskell is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 07:19 AM
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I have been to Cinque Terre twice, both times in the summer and it was never too hot. I imagine May will be beautiful and maybe even cool. Keep in mind, it is a coastal area so there are sea breezes. The hike is not bad if you are a fit person (meaning you exercise). I do believe it is supposed to be easier going inone direction over another, but I forgot which. I went from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. I think the hardest part if I remember was going from Corniglia to Vernazza. You are actually hiking through the towns, so yes you can stop along and eat and drink. Have a great time.
josie123 is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 08:22 AM
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Here's a thread I created, a compilation of fodorites' reports about the hiking at Cinque Terre.

I was there in early May '06, and it was gorgeous. But be prepared with good footwear, and read about each trail so you know what you're getting into.
Mar 7th, 2008, 05:01 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 200
Well I used 'sneakers' I suppose you also could call them track shoes. But we had sunshine, dry trails. Agree with those who say that some few places are not for those afraid of looking down, but nowhere rightout dangerous. If you're not heavy overweight you should meet no problems. We did not use walking sticks, felt no need for them.
rjsol is offline  
Mar 10th, 2008, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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I just joined this site and was looking up stuff for the CT as well and saw that you'll be there the 3rd week in May this year. My friend and I will actually be there that same time! I've heard the weather is beautiful this time of the year. I'm planning on wearing shorts and t-shirts with walking shoes. I've been the the CT website and there's a bunch of trails, some are easy while others much harder. We're staying in Manarola (which is located in the middle of the trails). Maybe we'll pass one another on the trail!
genabee6 is offline  

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