Fodor's To Europe!

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Days 2-4
Next stop: Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino Previous stop: Genoa Return to full itinerary »

The Cinque Terre (literally the "five lands") offers a rare combination of charm and breathtaking natural splendor. Five tiny fishing villages, clinging improbably to cascading cliffs, all boast gorgeous Mediterranean views. The whole area has been designated a national park, which helps maintain the remote character and essentially car-free status.

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Art and Culture


  • Walking the trails between the villages is one of the main activities here. They vary in difficulty; you can stroll for an hour or have a full day of vigorous hiking.
  • From the main trail there are paths leading down to secluded beaches and grottos where you can take in the sun and the sea.
  • The most remote village of all is Corniglia, which, unlike its neighbors, sits on top of a cliff instead of at the water's edge. It's worth the climb for the views and the town's appealing character.
  • Because this is Italy, even these precipitous hills are planted with vineyards and olive groves. The resulting wines and oils are treats every gourmand will savor.


  • Monterossa has the most festivals in the Cinque Terre, including the Lemon Feast and Flower Festival of Corpus Christi, as well as the Salted Anchovy and Olive Oil Festival in September.