October 28th
written by Alonna

The Cinque Terre is a region on the northern Mediterranean coast of Italy. There are five towns situated on the rocky coastline, each with it’s own charm, and all connected by hiking trails. This area was made famous for Americans by Rick Steves, and it was apparent the minute we arrived. Besides seeing Rick Steves travel guides in the hands of many visitors, the hotel and restaurant owners showed the book saying “I don’t know if you have this book, but we’re in it!” to entice you to shop there.  But Rick Steves recommends Cinque Terre for a reason: it’s a beautiful area with charming towns, amazing views, and great hiking.

Following are photos from the 5 towns that make up the Cinque Terre. Between two days, we hiked between all of the towns except one link (towns 3-4).

Town #1: Riomaggiore

This is where we started our hiking. The path between this town and the next, Manarola, is called “Via Dell’Amore” meaning the trail of lovers. It was flat and paved and sure, romantic. There were multiple places that people had carved their names (i.e. Ben + Alonna = LOVE), and people also left little padlocks symbolizing their love.

Town #2: Manarola

This was a pretty town partially perched up on a cliff. The coastline trail between this town and the next was closed due to landslide danger, so we decided to take a higher trail up on the hillside. We cheated a little by taking a bus up, but then we walked all across the mountain through vineyards and olive trees, before a really steep descent into town #3, Corniglia. This totally wore us out so we called it a day.

Town #3: Corniglia

We didn’t spend much time here since we were exhausted, but it was pretty!

Town #4: Vernazza (our home town)

We stayed 3 nights in a tiny room in Vernazza overlooking the main street. The town was really cute but full of American tourists. There’s nothing wrong with American tourists in general (especially nice “Rick Steves tourists”), but it’s weird to be all in the same place, and it takes a little of the charm away. Anyway, this town had a nice little harbor, and a castle tower up on the top of the hill that I spent some time relaxing at one evening.

Town #5: Monterosso

Ahh, finally some nice bright sunshine on our second day.  This day we hiked from the beach town of Monterosso to Vernazza – which was a pretty difficult hike, but great views.


  1. Sandra

    Wow!! That’s beautiful!!

  2. Barbara

    I’m so glad you got to visit Cinque-Terre! It’s my absolute favorite place in all of Italy. It is so very beautiful and amazing. When I visited there I hiked the trail between the towns and rode the little train back to the first one. It was wonderful and the little towns are great too.

  3. Jill

    Wow, these photos are amazing. I am so happy to be living through you and your camera. This is more than a trip of a life time!

  4. 10/29/2009

    Thanks guys, it’s so great to hear from you all!

  5. Eric Lipari

    Great pics. The views from the upper trail are amazing. I’ll have to try those trails next time.

  6. 11/05/2009

    Hey Eric – the upper trails were really cool, I would definitely recommend them. We heard you can mountain bike up there too, which would be sweet. We weren’t able to work it in though, next time I guess 🙂 The best part is that we were pretty much all alone on that upper trail, just walking through vineyards on the side of the hill.