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Erfan
Charlotte

Italy, Cinque Terre

Best village to stay at in Cinque Terre??

Hello everyone,

My fiance and I will be going to Italy for our honeymoon and I'm planning on visiting Cinque Terre for 3 nights. Does anyone have any advice on which village to stay at? and some must see sights??

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I forgot to add that we are planning on being there around October 11th.. Hopefully the weather will still be nice!


14 Answers

top answer by
John from Carlsbad (California)

Monterosso al Mare is the northern most village in the Cinque Terre and a good place to stay.  There are two beaches- one in the old town where the many locals go and one in the new town that has umbrellas and chaise lounges.  The Villa Steno is a simple but beautiful little hotel there that I highly recommend.  It is perched above the old town and has charming views over the village and the sea.  Make sure you get a room with a view and terrace.  In the mornings and evenings you will see the locals on the rooftop terraces below cleaning fish or walking their babies.  The staff is very friendly and helpful.There are a number of good restaurants, including Ristorante Miky, which has a nice selection of fresh fish displayed in a small boat as you go in.  Don't be offended if you are seated in the very nice main dining room and you see the locals going to the back room, which I don't think is as nice.  The waiters in the front are multilingual.  There are some tables out front, although the view isn't that great.  You will save money if you order the house white wine, which we found just as good as the bottled wine, and the carafe of still or sparkling water.

We took the train up to Rapallo, then on to Camogli, both of which are charming, the former perhaps a little more so than the latter.  From Camogli, we took a boat to San Fruttuoso which is a tiny, isolated place that is the home of an Benedictine monastery, a couple restaurant/bars and a small beach.  It can only be reached by boat or on foot.  There is also an underwater statue of Christ in the small bay.  It is very charming and well worth seeing.

From San Fruttuoso, the boat will take you to Portofino, which is more upscale, but quite beautiful and a must-see.You can then take the boat to Santa Margherita Ligure to catch the train back to the Cinque Terre.  The whole trip can easily be done in a day.

One more thing, the Cinque Terre is crowded in the summer, especially on weekends.  If you can go during the week, things are calmer. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Villa Steno (hotel)
  2. Ristorante Miky (restaurant)
  3. Rapallo (city)
  4. Camogli (attraction)
  5. San Fruttuoso (attraction)
  6. Portofino (city)
  7. Santa Margherita Ligure (city)
12 thanks


answered by
Tom from Los Angeles

If you want a quiet village I would stay in Corniglia  We were there in April.  We stayed in a little apartment we found on Airbnb and while everything is now geared towards the tourist it was easy to see how the locals lived there, high on the hill, safe from pirates.  It was lovely, all the day tourists go back to Monterosa or Pisa and you are almost alone if you want to take a night hike.  I walked from Vernazza to Corniglia around sunset and it was amazing. It is also central with two villages on either side.  The only downside is the hike up the stairs.  But to me that just made Corniglia that much more special.  


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Corniglia (city)
  2. Vernazza (city)
6 thanks


answered by
Krista from San Francisco

Hi Erfan,

I just went to the Cinque Terre for the first time and it's amazing! We stayed at Monterosso - Cinque Terre as it's the only town with a sand beach. It's also home to Grey Malin's famous photos. ;)

We stayed at Villa Adriana, which had free parking, free bike usage and a great breakfast. We asked for an ocean facing room and got one on the second floor. It costs us $160 euros per night, which was super reasonable for these inclusions and the location - steps from the beach, shops, a grocery store and the train station.

Visiting other towns is easy! We hiked to Vernazza (view from hike above) in about two hours (gorgeous trail!) and took the train to see Manarola . You could easily stop in Corniglia and Riomaggiore in a short train ride as well.

If you visit Monterosso - Cinque Terre , I can't recommend Da Eraldo enough for dinner:

The local wine, pesto pasta and antipasti plate (shown here) were incredible (even my Italian boyfriend agrees - we went there two nights!). The restaurant is very small, seating only 8 parties, so be prepared to wait.

Have an amazing trip!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Monterosso - Cinque Terre (attraction)
  2. Vernazza (city)
  3. Manarola (city)
  4. Corniglia (city)
  5. Riomaggiore (region)
  6. Da Eraldo (restaurant)
5 thanks


answered by
Jaclyn from Angelika Film Center & Cafe

Vernazza! Hands down. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vernazza (city)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Maria from Dublin


Hi Erfan,

Manarola is a good place to stay. We spent some time too in Santa Margherita Ligure which is a really nice town and connected to La Spezia and hence to Cinque Terre by rail. The great thing about Santa Margherita Ligure is that you can also take a (short) boat trip from there over to Portofino

which is also lovely. Have a wonderful honeymoon, you couldn't pick a nicer place to spend a few days!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Manarola (city)
  2. Santa Margherita Ligure (city)
  3. La Spezia (city)
  4. Cinque Terre (region)
  5. Portofino (city)
4 thanks


answered by
Chandra from Boulder

I stayed in Riomaggiore, the most southern of the 5 towns. I loved it! It was super quaint and quiet. Being on this side also lets you travel (somewhat easily - based on the trains) to the other towns and you don't feel like you have to go back and forth. You can also start the hike between the 5 towns from here and then take the train back. If you plan on hiking, start early!! It gets sooooo hot. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Riomaggiore (region)
3 thanks


answered by
Roni from Dallas

Corniglia is my suggestion for a smaller and quieter town. And I second the suggestion to also visit Portofino! Not technically part of the cinque terror but very charming.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Corniglia (city)
  2. Portofino (city)
2 thanks


answered by
Annette from Gold Coast

I stayed at Monterosso - Cinque Terre, it's the largest of the 5 towns and the most northern. Be sure to walk the trail too. I was there late August / early September so started early and caught the train back. The scenery is spectacular and parts of the trail challenging but so worth it! I've written a post about it on my blog, 6 tips to walk the Cinque Terre. Enjoy your trip, you are going to love it! 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Monterosso - Cinque Terre (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Rosie from Marblehead

Dear Erfan, 
You can not go wrong in Cinque Terre; all five villages are really lovely.  But each of these villages has distinctive personality.  So, deciding village to stay really depends on your disposition and inclination. 

Having said that, we stayed in Manarola and we were so enthralled with it. For one thing, it has the intimacy of a quiet little town and yet the beach/shore is amazingly unique because the rugged rocks formation at the shores are conducive for diving. Yes diving for all ages!  The waves are gloriously challenging and inviting.   It does not have the beach (very very tiny) of Monterosso which is huge but Monterroso has no diving terrain like Manorola. Or it does not have all the shops in Vernazza, but Manarola is indeed less commercialized.  

It also boosts two restaurants with Michelin stars: Trattoria dal Billy, located up high but overlooking a grand vista!  The other is Marina Piccola, located where the action is at the heart of the town. The eating is really great. 

The harbor shot of Manorola is to die for, nothing can compared to it including Vernazza. But my opinion is very subjective. I challenge you to compare them side by side.  The great thing about Cinque Terre is that you can hop in and hop out, so you can experience each of the village as your mood dictates it. But for me, Manorola spells magic.  It has been four years since our visit there, I could still sample the great thrill of seeing my 12 year old and 9 year old jumped off the cliff over and over again,  grinning from ear to ear! 




Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cinque Terre (region)
  2. Manarola (city)
  3. Vernazza (city)
  4. Trattoria dal Billy (restaurant)
1 thanks


answered by
stephanie from Nixa

We stayed in Riomaggioreand loved it......found a great apartment on homeaway over looking the water. We stayed here after I researched the best options for budget and convenience for traveling from here.The train and ferry were easy to come and go and it had a great little area with shops, a wonderful little bakery in town and a couple of great restaurants to choose from. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Riomaggiore (region)
1 thanks


answered by
Vince from Sarasota

Vernazza is the most picturesque and unique village and my favorite.

You can stay at Gianni Franzi B&B with a beautiful terrace with gorgeous views. 

Gianni is also a good place to eat right at the main piazza.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Vernazza (city)
  2. Gianni Franzi (hotel)
1 thanks


answered by
Devyn from Harrington, Delaware

The train that connects the 5 towns begins in La Spezia. Stay there and get a much nicer hotel for tons less, and take the same train everyone else takes from town to town. You can also take the train from La Spezia and the hike back through all the towns. My husband and I stayed in a beautiful B&B right in the train station- perfect for viewing all the towns!


1 thanks


answered by
Veronica from New York City

Stay either in Santa Margherita Ligure or Portofino. My husband and I stayed in Portofino during our honeymoon and it was so beautiful and romantic. You can take the ferry to Cinque Terre as a day trip if you want. We didn't like Cinque Terre as much, it was too crowded and with not much to do. 


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Margherita Ligure (city)
  2. Portofino (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Michael from San Diego

I just returned from there in October. I booked the package with Italy Group Specialists as they had the best rates and really good service was provided to me by the owner Jesse of the travel agency located in Rome, Italy. She was so very helpful and is from the USA. I got a really good deal from her! She even did my train tickets and book me a stay in Florence.

My suggestion is to stay 3-4 nights in an ocean view room at Hotel La Spiaggia. The hotel is in the new section and only a few steps from the train station. Fantastic beachfront location and the owner there gives you samples of his delicious wine. He makes the wine himself at his winery. You can buy a bottle for about 7 Euros at the front desk. in Monterosso al Mare

What I would suggest is on day one, when you get there pay the 20 Euro for the all day ferry pass and visit by sea all the five hamlets in Cinque Terre. When you get your tickets they will give you a map and a schedule showing you where to get off the boat, and when to catch the next boat to continue your sea excursion.

On days number two and three to start your hiking. If you are up for a challenge take the trail from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. This trail will kick your butt. There are about 500 stairs that you'll climb and you hike from sea level to 1,000ft in the mountains and down to Vernazza. The hike for me age 63 was 3 hours, most young people can do it in under 2 hours. It's about 3 miles, but feels like you hiked 9 miles because of the terrain. You will hike through pine forests, olive groves and terraced vineyards full of grapes.

Once you get to the end of the trail in Vernazza go to Il Pirata delle 5 Terre for lunch. The chef there makes a seafood pasta to die for. Also he is from Sicily so don’t miss ordering cannoli with ricotta cheese or chocolate.

After lunch walk around and explore the hamlet of Vernazza. You will take tons of photos. When you are all tuckered out, then hop on the train back to your hotel.



Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hotel La Spiaggia (hotel)
  2. Monterosso al Mare (city)
  3. Vernazza (city)
  4. Il Pirata delle 5 Terre (restaurant)




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