Favorite thing: If you're imagining long, sandly beaches with lots of pines, well, don't expect to find them i Cinque Terre. There are NO beaches here. If you want to swim, you can jump off the cliffs, or go to some adjusted beaches. In Vernazza there is one in the very heart of the town, but it gets very crowded. In general, Cinque Terre are more for viewing and sightseeing, rather than frying on the sun at beaches. :)
There is nothing more delicious than having a real Italian gelato (icecream) while walking in the chraming downtown of Vernazza! There is nothing like Italian ice cream! And especially when you enjoy it in the authentic atmosphere! :)
Explore downtown Vernazza thoroughly! :)
Basically, entire western coast in Italy is filled with caves, most of them would be called "il grotto azzurro" - the blue cave :)))
In vernazza there are several as well, one of them is inside the very downtown! :)
Favorite thing: Storms can be pretty tough in the Cinque terre area! The sea-facing line of the houses in vernazza are not protected, although they are on the high cliffs above the sea! The waves can be so huge and dashing along the rocks, that you have to keep the windows closed unless you want the flood in your house! But it surely has a lot of magic in it, it's very exciting!!!
Favorite thing: Vernazza by night is equally charming like in the daytime. There are a lot of small cafes, lovely in the narrow streets inside, romantic walks by the sea, the lights, music and the scent of the sea will do their best to charm you!
Favorite thing: The shore along Cinque Terre is very steep, with high cliffs, and very hard to approach! Even nowadays it's difficult to reach any of the villages of Cinque Terre (unless you take the train) because although small distances in kilometres, due to narrow roads, very curved and with the abyss beside is quite difficult to drive, and it's very slow! So, the villages are situated in a wilderness let's say :) but that only preserves their authenticity!
There are 2 places to use the internet in Vernazza.
The main one is The Internet Point, which has several terminals. The other is at the Blue Marlin Cafe, where there are a couple of computers.
We normally go to The Internet Point for our computing needs (ie. checking VT!!).
It is not cheap, but I can only go without the computer for so long.....
Coming from the train station, it is located on your left towards the bottom of the hill.
Favorite thing: Corniglia is placed on a kind of hill plateau and can be reached by steep steps from the train station. The village was built around the year 1000 and has two small beaches. Corniglia is connected with Manarola by a paved coastal path, whereas the trail to Vernazza in the north just leads along a small natural coastal path.
Favorite thing: The coulorful houses of Manarola are situated on the end of a small hill. The medieval village is famous for its vineyards and the Cinque Terre wine. Manarola is connected with Riomaggiore by a paved coastal path called "Via dell’ Amore".
Favorite thing: At the peer of the "town harbour" there is a beach that people actually use for swimming although it's tiny and not so clean, and there are boats everywhere. Vernazza is not made for swimming actually. it's more interesting to stroll around, enjoy the view and observe the peculiar style of building houses on steep cliffs.
Favorite thing: Planning your time in the Cinque Terre can make the difference between spacious relaxation and fighting for a spot at the beach. Because of the Cinque Terre's proximity to Germany and other Italian cities, it has become a popular weekend trip for German and Italian tourists (not to mention Americans on vacation). Try to plan your visit on a weekday, when many of the day trippers are still at work.
Favorite thing: You'll run into lots of people who will tell you that the Cinque Terre can be hiked in one day. It can, but don't do it. Not only is it a good 4-5 hour hike in the hot summer sun, but you'll miss the finer nuances and scenery of this beautiful area. Spend some time in the individual villages, shoot lots of pictures. We spent 5 days here which we thought was just enough. We had time to walk the whole Cinque Terre trail, both ways, and to experience most of the food and scenery that the region has to offer. A note on Cinque Terre trains, they are notoriously slow and sometimes they don't come at all. If you plan on hiking to another village, be sure you know the train schedule back. We arrived in Cornilgia one night expecting to catch the 8:00 pm train back to Vernazza. Without explanation, the train simply didn't show. The next train wasn't until 11:00 pm. 3 hours is a lot of time to spend in Cornilgia, so we ran the trail back to Vernazza before it got dark. (BTW, it can be done in 30 minutes)
If you have to stay in only one place in Cinque Terre, stay in Vernazza. Don't rush your visit, the place is beautiful. We stayed 5 days, which gave us plenty of time to take leisurely hikes between all the villages and lay around in the sun. You can also rent your own motorboat in Vernazza for a day on the water. Monterosso is overpriced and lacks the character of Vernazza. If you must experience the beaches, people, and nightlife in Monterosso, do yourself a favor and just take the train for a day trip and return to this wonderful village at night.
Fondest memory: Renting a motorboat for two hours and seeing all the villages from the ocean. Eating the best gelato in all of Italy. Buying some cat food and feeding the "homeless" cats between Vernazza and Corniglia. Italians (particularly in Cinque Terre) love their cats and take care of them. Even the homeless ones are well fed. Too bad they haven't learned to have them "fixed." Earn yourself some good karma and feed these guys on the trail. Often you'll find a bag of catfood nearby that someone else has left them, they may just need a scoop on the ground. At the very least leave them some water as the trails areas are very dry.
Favorite thing: A self-service laundromat can be found on Vernazza's main street. It costs 4.5 euro to use the washer and another 4.5 euro to use the dryer. Tokens for the washing machines are available at the Blue Marlin Bar next door. Instructions are in English. Allow about an hour for a large load. Benches are provided for the wait, but time is better spent wandering down to the harbor to look around.
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.