Trip planning: Cinque Terre

The five villages that make up the Cinque Terre (literally "5 lands"), from north to south are: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are perilously-perched villages strung along a short stretch of cliffs in Liguria.

Hiking trails

- Route 2 or Sentiero Azzuro (Blue Trail) - Monterosso to Riomaggiore (5 hours): The Monterosso-Vernazza leg (2 hours) is hard, while Vernazza-Riomaggiore is relatively easy, especially the paved final leg, called Via dell'Amore or Path of Love between Manarola and Riomaggiore.
- Levanto to Monterosso (2 hours)

More on hiking: New York Times | Slow Travel Italy | Italy Heaven

Apart from walking, the 5 villages are also linked by trains (20 minutes, usually more than 1 train per hour) and boats (summer only).

Considering that we'll be there during the height of summer, I am planning to walk from Levanto to Monterosso on the first day, and Vernazza to Riomaggiore on the second.

Cinque Terre Card

Types and prices of Cinque Terre cards (effective 10/3/07):
- Hiking only: 5, 8 and 10 Euro for 1, 2 and 3 days
- Transportation + hiking: 8, 13.5 and 18.5 Euro for 1, 2 and 3 days

Useful Sites

- Consorzio Turistico Cinque Terre
- Cinque Terre National Park
- Rick Steves: Cinque Terre: Italy's Fiat-Free Riviera | The Enchanting Cinque Terre: Fiat-Free Italy | Vernazza: From Pirates to Pesto | Eats and Sleeps in Vernazza: The Jewel of the Cinque Terre
- The Cinque Terre

Previous stop: Milan (25/8) | Next stop: Pisa Airport (27/8)

From Milan: 2 choices:
1. Take the 7:15 direct train from Milan Central Station, arriving in Vernazza at 11:05 (total time: 3:50)
2. Take 8:10 train from Milan Central Station to Monterosso, arriving at 11:02. Have a cup of coffee and enjoy the sea view. Buy Cinque Terre Card. Take 12:06-12:10 train to Vernazza (total time: 4:00)

To Pisa Airport: Take 8:18 train, arriving in Pisa Airport at 10:25 (2 changes at La Spezia and Pisa Central Station; total time: 2:07)


Getting to La Mala

Address: Via San Giovanni Battista 29, 19018 Vernazza

La Mala is located in the westward part of Vernazza known by locals as Luvegu. It takes just a few minutes to get to the hotel from the railway station.

Advise the hotel before hand your arrival time, and they will meet you at the railway station to show you to your room and help you with your luggage.