Favorite thing: f your planning to be in Cinque Terre for at least 3 days I would recommend buying the 3 day Cinque Terre Pass that includes access to all the trails and also unlimited use of the commuter train that runs between all five villages. In Feb. 2008 I paid roughly 20 euro for my pass, it was well worth it. You can buy the pass at any of the train stations, the pass also comes with a map and train schedule.
The Cinque Terre Card is your entrance card for the hiking path #2 from Monterosso al Mare to Riomaggiore (and/or vice versa). It also includes all trainrides between La Spezia and Levanto for the period of validity, which is either 1, 3 or 7 days.
In 2006 the rates were as follows:
- Eur 5.20 (1 day )
- Eur 12.40 (3 days)
- Eur 19.50 (7 days)
The tickets can be obtained at the entrances of the hiking paths or at the local tourist offices or train stations. You get some very useful information along with it!
Here are some links that might help you to plan your next vacation to Manarola:
aerial view of Manarola
to be continued
Favorite thing: I found Manarola to be the quietest and most peaceful of the villages - and while browsing the web for some information I came across this information as well! I guess that the other villages (maybe except for Corniglia, which I have not visited) are just more touristy -more easily accessible - but I sure enjoyed Manarola's laidback atmosphere a lot!
Favorite thing: This photo shows one of probably a dying breed of toilet facilities. I call them squatty potties for obvious reasons. I have noticed over the past 20 years that toilet and bath facilities have been modernized in a lot of places so don't know if you will encounter this kind or not. But be prepared for differences in the design and operation of them in Italy or anywhere else. In a way I am sorry to see them go as they add a quaint note to one's travels. I certainly hope to god that we don't get so homogenized that everything is standardized everywhere. I can deal with a little inconvenience in the conveniences.
The main attraction of Manarola is Manarola - with its colorful homes looking like they are stacked on top of each other and hanging precariously onto the rocky coast
Fondest memory: Here you feel you are in the midst of real Italian life. The village is lovely and quite friendly. One evening we stopped in a small restaurant for a gelato and it appeared that the entire population of Manarola was present. There was a very family oriented small town atmosphere and one older gentleman seemed to be the "godfather" (in the best sense of the word I hope) of the populace as everyone seemed to stop, greet him, exchange an embrace and a few words.
Favorite thing: The Cinque Terre Card provides a convenient way to travel between villages. Available at train stations, the card covers all train, trail, and bus fees for a one day (€5.20), three day (€12.40), or seven day (€19.60) period. The card is a great value if you plan to hike between three or more villages and use the trains. Buses run twice every hour between the villages. If traveling by train, be sure to validate your card in a yellow punch box before boarding.
The Cinque Terre is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.
The villages are gorgeous, the views breathtaking and the energetic hikes give you a great excuse to eat plenty of gelato!!
Make time in your next trip to Italy to visit this magical place.
Favorite thing: Schiacchetra, the local specialty wine, is a very sweet white wine pressed from near-raisins. The climate and soil dictates the type of grapes that could be grown here, and it is a testament to the locals ingenuity, that they have been able to turn out such a good wine. For those of you who know, the Vin Santo of Santorini is of the same ilk, but the schiacchetra is not a dessert wine like that one. Both are definitely worth the money you pay for them. Excellent wines.
Favorite thing: There are many places to buy the Cinque Terra card, but the best place is either in Levanto or La Spezia, depending on which direction you are coming from. At either of these two stations, with the purchase of the card, the ride into the Cinque Terra is covered. That way you wont have to buy the ticket to the villages and then pay for the card. Cards are available at all of the village train stations, if you do happen to bypass the points at Levanto and La Spezia.
The first thing you should do when you arrive in the Cinque Terra is buy the Cinque Terra card. They are available in 1, 3 and 5 day passes, and allow for unlimited journeys between the towns, free transport in the towns by the area's electric vans, and give you entry into the hiking trails maintained by the park. All of these things are worth the price by themselves, but maybe the best part of it, is that the proceeds go towards restoration and upkeep of the region. With all the tourism generated by the area's beauty, we must all do our part to keep the place beautiful for everyone after us. Naturally, this goes for every place we visit! But, especially one as fragile an environment as the Cinque Terra.
- Eur 5.20 (1 day )
- Eur 12.40 (3 day )
- Eur 19.50 (7 days)
Favorite thing: The path from Manorola to Riomaggiore is know as Via dell' Amore. For me, it was my least favorite path, because the name attracts all of the tourists to it. It is concreted over, so it lends itself to an artificial feel. I much prefered the dirt paths up into the hills above the villages, though they are a bit harder for those looking to stay easy.
Favorite thing: Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in the Cinque Terra is to take in the natural beauty of the area. The best way to do that is to hike one of the numerous trails. Hikes range from 20 minutes (Manorola to Riomaggiore) to 12 hours (Porto Venere to Levanto). A hike taking in all of the 5 villages will take about 4 to 4 1/2 hours. None of the trails directly between the villages are hard. Only when you start using some of the trails in the mountains and forests, do they become moderately difficult. Of course, if you have any medical issues, you should take care on any hike. (Sorry, I am a physical therapist!)
Favorite thing: Manarola is one of the 5 cinque terre in between Corniglia and Riomaggiore. I chose to base myself here while staying in the CT but all 5 towns have their own unique charm.