Tuscany Day Trip: Cinque Terre

Ok... another day trip that isn't technically in Tuscany,
but is easily do-able from there...
so, don't fret about it.

Thanks to Rick Steves, 
this hidden paradise has become a hot spot
for American tourists over the past decade.

While Cinque Terre may be loosing a bit of it's secret charm,
it's definitely not shedding any of its beauty.

We went with friends for the day,
and decided to take it easy.

As the five towns 
("Cinque Terre" = "Five Lands")
are connected through a hiking trail,
you can spend several hours taking the gorgeous walk
along the sparking Mediterranean sea.

However, if you are feeling a bit lazy,
like we were,
you can also take the train. 

It's about $1.50 to take the train between each town,
and takes about 5 minutes to reach the next spot...
which means, it's a great option if you're ready to relax.

While each town has it's unique charms,
my favorites are Manarola & Vernazza.

Manarola wins for it's amazing swimming right off the marina
and Vernazza shines for it's perfect sunsets and idyllic dining.

Liguria (the region that the Cinque Terre is located)
has a few famous dishes that are great companions
for your time in the Cinque Terre:
Foccaccia & Pesto!

My recipe for the perfect day in the "5Terre:"

Hit the beach in Manarola first.
The earlier you get there, the better position you'll have for the day.

Grab a slice of (cheap) pizza from the shops above the natural marina.
One should never lay out on an empty stomach...
heaven forbid your tummy look flat. :)

The theme of Italian beaches is to wear as little as possible...
so be prepared to see a lot of skin.

The Mediterranean sun is very intense, 
don't forget your sunscreen & a hat
or you may end up looking like an Italian meatball...

In case you're in need of good sun protection,
I personally use

{Brush-on powder, foundation, sweat=proof, &... SPF 26!}

There is a refreshing shower at the marina
 that is nice for washing off salt water stickiness
that you'll be feeling after your (glorious) swim in the sea.

When you've had enough sun for the day,
head to Vernazza via the train
and for the evening.

Many of the small groceries will provide you 
with anything you could dream of having at a seaside picnic
along the town's iconic rocky harbour...

....olives, fresh mozzerella, meats, fresh bread, sun dried tomatotes....

It cost us $15 to get drinks & (a lot) of salty goodies
to enjoy between the four of us.

I just love cheap pleasantries like that.

For the rest of the daylight,
we just lounged and watched the cutest Italian kids swim
by us in the harbour.

It was one of those moments that makes Italy... Italy.

If you're looking for a good dinner,
head to the middle of the main drag in Vernazza

It's a staple spot for us,
and the owners are just so nice.

The local special, fresh anchovies, are pretty amazing...
even for those of us that would typically be a bit squeamish at the thought.

I would definitely recommend hiking at least one of the trails-
after all, it would be a shame to go all that way 
and miss out on the area's scenic views and lush landscapes.

The path between Riomaggiore & Manarolo is the most famous,
and probably the least difficult. :)

Whatever you decide to do while you are there
or which town you decide to spend your time in,
the good news is:
you'll still most likely have the time of your life!

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy


  1. great pictures, Lauren. I'm more than a little jealous of this trip!

  2. Beautiful! I've added it to my bucket list! Eat an extra slice of pizza for me...no one should eat just one! ;)

  3. I had the best vacation in the Cinque Terre. I stayed in a lemon grove in Monterosso. The food and wine was wonderful. I never liked anchovies until I had them there. I'm glad you had a great time.

    I wrote a whole series in 2009 on the Cinque Terre, I loved it so much, here is a link to one of them.


  4. I have got to get to Italy soon! Seeing all of your gorgeous posts makes me want to get on a plane now!

  5. Such a thoroughly perfect post. I love how you, in detail, have all these wonderful recommendations. Wonderful!

  6. All in all we had a very similar trip, and you are making me miss it dearly!
    xo emily

  7. you look so pretty - love these pictures. stunning!

  8. Thanks for sharing this with us, It really is beautiful, Now I really can't wait to go to Italy next year. You look like you're having such a good time. Look forward to more posts, have a beautiful day today.xoxoxo

  9. just gorgeous!! so many great ideas and beautiful photographs! xoxo jillian:: cornflake dreams

  10. Oh, the adventures you are having!!! Love it! This looks like a perfect place to spend the day. Wish I were there right now! xo

  11. How gorgeous, you lucky lady!!! I've always wanted to go to cinque terre. I've been to Camogli on the Italian Riviera which is a little bit north of there but never made it down the coast. Care for a visitor? :) xoxo

  12. i am saving this and will definitely take manu there when we go back in september! (can i just say how happy i am that you "get it"? you completely get it.) awesome photos! i love the little kids! :)

  13. I am soooooo jealous. That looks amazing.

  14. Cinque Terre has been on my list for a while, and now I'm dying to go and it jumped to the top. Or maybe Croatia...I'm still drooling over your post there!

  15. One of my closest friends went to Italy this past spring and her husband surprised her for her bday with a day trip to Cinque Terre. She hasn't stopped talking about it since! Its not definitely on my list of go-to places.

    They hiked through all the towns, though. I think I like the train much better :)

  16. I loved Cinque Terre. So beautiful! I ate the best foccacia of my life there!

  17. You and your photos...always such a travel tease! ;) In much need of a European vacation!

  18. I love love love the Cinque Terre. When I went, there was a train strike, so three friends and I traveled for 9 hours to get there. And then the train stopped in the middle of a pitch black tunnel for Riomaggiore so we went to the next town and then had to WALK back across the cliff path to get back to Riomaggiore. Needless to say, we had a TON of wine when we finally got there. Gorgeous place.

  19. I just stumbled across your blog and thought I should leave a comment. Your trip to Cinque Terre looked amazing. That pizza looked delicious, and the scenery was jaw dropping. Just beautiful.

    - Kim xo

  20. That is one of my favorite places on earth...we just got back last month! Oh how I miss it already!

  21. absolutely fantastic pictures!! It seems like you had an amazing time...and I am now convinced Italy will be one of my travel destinations in the near future xoxo

  22. Yep -- commenting on the same post twice. I'm filing this away...and taking note that john needs a tiny speedo for our trip. Preferably an orange one with some sort of cartoon person on the bum. :)

    Is 2 nights good here? what town would you stay in?

  23. I have a question! We're planning on heading to Cinque Terre from Florence. Do you know if we need to book our train tickets in advance? Thanks! :)

    1. No! You can buy them the day of travel without any problem... and they are really cheap tickets, too. No problemo. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...