How to have THE PERFECT DAY in Cinque Terre it’s super easy just follow these steps.
Note: Wine starts at #2 and continues pass number #4
*** This post is about the perfect day but you must spend more than one day here. It’s so so beautiful! Eat, drink, swim and enjoy this pastel paradise!***
Where to Stay
We played it a little cheap and got a spot outside of Cinque Terre. We immediately regretted this decision. Get a spot in any of the five towns and you will be happy. While this perfect day starts and ends in Monterosso Al Mare you can really stay in any town.
How to Get Around In Cinque Terre
Train – One train ticket covers one full day of rides and also covers the hiking trails. Don’t forget to stamp it at the train station in the green machines before you get on the first train, and you only need to stamp it once.
Boat – You can get a water taxi between the towns. I did this with my parents when I was younger and wish Clay and I had another day to take a taxi or just a boat out for the day.
1. Hike The Trail from Monterosso Del Mare to Vernazza
Cinque Terre is actually a National Park with numerous trails but one long trail hugs the coastline connecting all five towns. Certain sections of the trail are closed so be sure to do your research ahead of time. We hiked the section from Monterosso to Vernazza. You start in town and hike a well-worn footpath with steps leading you up through gardens and farms pass amazing houses that look like they are about to fall off a cliff! We def huffed and puffed a few times but I think this hike is suitable for everyone as long as you take your time.
Once you start your descend into Vernazza you will see a well warn lookout what everyone waits to snap a photo of the picturesque Vernazza.
We wondered around Vernazza and found a little bar grab cocktails and sat on the big rocks and soaked up the sun. The hike took us about 2 hours so we were short on time to explore Vernazza so we could make it to Manarola before noon for lunch.
We wore hiking clothing for this but honestly, we would have been fine in jeans shots and sturdy sandals like Chaos. Just take your time and enjoy the views.
2. Eat at Nessun Dorma in Manarola
When the train let out we hauled it to Nessun Dorma. I had read that a line starts to form around noon and I was determined to beat the rush. Nessun Dorma was everything I wanted it to be! Gorgeous views from a little table on the cliffside overlooking the gorgeous Manarola. The deck is lined with misters keeping you perfectly comfortable too. We drank and ate and enjoyed the gorgeous views. If we had had more time I really wanted to take the pesto class that is offered earlier in the morning but that didn’t work with our hiking beach schedule.
Even if you do have to get in line it moves so fast. There is actually tons of seating and the turnover is quick, but you don’t feel rushed. It’s a well-oiled machine up there.
3. Beach it in Monterosso
Monterosso is the only town in Cinque Terre with a real beach. We choose to rent chairs and hang out on the larger beach near the trains station. For 18 Euros you get 2 chairs and umbrella to enjoy all day long.
When was the last time you had a day at the beach? Ya know, a day where the only thing you had to do was sit in the sun and swim in the warm salty water. You are on VACATION!!! So make sure you really have a day at the beach while in Cinque Terre. There is a restaurant above the beach where you can pick up beer, wine and snack to enjoy on the beach. We did not have towels. I honestly don’t know if you could rent them but we just dried off in the sun. The beach access does have showers, lockers and changing rooms.
As the sun was setting we grabbed a bottle of rose from the little restaurant above the beach and watched the sunset from a few points around town. My white shorts had gotten some gunk all over them so I ended up buying this little white linen shorts!
4. Pizza at Fornaio Di Monterosso
I had a few restaurants bookmarked but we were in the mood for pizza and super casual. Fornaio Di Monterossor hit it out of the park for us. Hands down the best pizza we had in Italy. I think Clay would still say it was the best pizza he has had in his entire life.
If you are staying in Monterosso and want a fancy dinner with gorgeous views then it’s L’Anorca della Tortuga or Torre Aurora. After the beach, you may want to catch the train back to your little town for dinner. Trust me you will not be disappointed this little area is filled with delicious food.
If you follow these easy steps you will have a perfect day in Cinque Terre but like I said don’t just spend one day there! At least two full days to enjoy it all! Read more about our Italy trip here.