Along Cinque Terre
Nestled along Italy’s northern Ligurian coast lies Cinque Terre, a string of five seaside towns—Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso—that offer stunning landscapes that rival, if not surpass, those of the Amalfi Coast. Connecting the five colorful communities are four hiking trails that hug the coast, allowing you to savor the ocean vistas and famed multicolour architecture. There’s a reason why 2 million tourists visit this UNESCO World Heritage site each year.
The most intimate Cinque Terre experience is a hike through the towns. You can complete the trek in about 6-hours, or spread the journey out over a few days. Explorers embark from Riomaggiore, making their way through Via Dell’Amore, or “Lover’s Lane,” a famous waterfront route which features a kissing statue and tunnel filled with love notes. Pass through lush olive groves, sprinkled with exotic plants and flowers, on your way from Corniglia to Vernazza, then complete the final leg to Monterosso while taking in a panoramic view of all five Cinque Terre towns. This historic walk, filled with adventure, romance, and dazzling beaches, will make you feel as though you’ve stumbled into a classic Italian film.
The closest international airport to Cinque Terre is Milan–Malpensa Airport. From North America, you can fly direct to Milan from New York, Miami, Atlanta, and Toronto. Los Angeles offers flights with one connection along the way. Nonstop flights out of Europe leave from London, Paris, Catania, Naples, and Rome. Once you arrive in Milan, you can take a 3,5 to 4 hour train ride from Milano Centrale to Riomaggiore. You will need to change trains at least once on your way to Riomaggiore. The best time to travel to Cinque Terre is fall or early spring, when crowds are lighter and the weather is good.