Along the Italian Riviera lay a historical destination that has quickly become a hotspot for travellers. No gondolas or tourist traps blanket this part of Italy. Instead, the five colourful villages that make up Cinque Terre can be found surrounded with vineyards carved into the mountain slopes, and locals eager to share their home. The mystical scenery is full of hikers, wanderers and foodies. Each indulging in a different aspect of the region’s fertile land. Cinque Terre has easily made its way on to the bucket list of many, and when you see what this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer you won’t wonder why.
We stayed in the beautiful village of Volastra, a tiny village perched on top of a mountain. This was recommended to us by Expedia and I have to say, it was by far the most beautiful, authentic place I have ever stayed! Aside from the spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, the hotel provided complimentary breakfast which included fresh fruit, vegetables and prosciutto. There was also a little restaurant, which only seated 12 people, a short walk away from the hotel.
The first day we spent our time town hopping, wandering along the coast line as we explored the various villages. I personally like Manarola the best, with Riomagiorre not far behind. On our last day we ended up hiking from Manarola to Riomagiorre. Initially we were searching for the infamous ‘love trail’ but it turned out the trail was destroyed after a landslide a few years earlier. Though the hike wasn’t easy, it was worth the trek. The view was speculator, empowering and above all, reinforced how special this part of the world is.
If the fresh Mediterranean seafood doesn’t have you salivating on first sight, the traditional pesto focaccia will. The region not only only boasts a spectacular scenery; it also hosts some of the best cuisine in the country. Feast on pesto focaccia, fresh sea food or succulent prosciutto. You’ll also find a variety of lemon trees and grape vines all around the region, so don’t leave without getting a keepsake such as wine or limoncello!
You’ll also want to go out of your way to seek out Trattoria Dal Billy – the most famous and delicious restaurant in the region. There’s no menu at this place, instead the waiter reads off the fresh catches of the day.
Note: The wine is so fresh and cheap, much more reasonable than regions such as Florence!
Cinque Terre is by far one of the most stunning places I’ve ever visited. Instead of doing a day trip and getting caught up in the flood of tourists, book a few nights so that you can really indulge in everything the region has to offer. You’ll also want to book at least six months in advance – as one of the most popular regions in Italy you can be sure the hotels will sell out fast!
This region is also incredibly special to me as it was the first destination I ever wrote about in a national travel magazine. I can’t share the full story with you as I do not have the rights to re-publish, but you can find a snippet in my photo below.
"A photographer once told me it's the one place in the world where you can't take a bad photo. With colourful homes to add composition and breathtaking landscapes as a natural background, the edge of Manarola, Cinque Terre has all the elements of a perfect photo – and, as I discover, the perfect destination ." It was this time last year we were landing back in Toronto after an incredible Europe trip. Who knew a year later I would be reading about my travels in a magazine? It's crazy to think how things work out, but only makes me more excited for what is to come #CinqueTerre #TravelWriter #lovewhatyoudo
If you have any questions about Cinque Terre, feel free to ask me in the comments or reach out on Instagram. Happy to help you discover everything amazing about this colourful region!