Before we know it, summer 2022 will be around the corner so start planning your trip to Italy’s magical Cinque Terre today. The five colourful villages to visit in the UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre are a dream destination at the top of so many bucket lists. If you love seafood, coastal views and taking photos, don’t delay your visit to Italy’s ‘fabulous five’ for another year. Here’s what to expect, what to do and what to see when you plan to visit Cinque Terre in summer 2022.
What is the Cinque Terre?
First things first, let’s cover some background about the villages to visit in Cinque Terre. The name translates to “five lands”, which refers to the five breathtaking villages along the coast of Liguria. Located close to the French Riviera, this patch of coastline is often called the Italian Riviera and the Cinque Terre has UNESCO World Heritage protection.
One would assume locals in these coastal villages lived off the sea, but they actually worked the land building the region’s famous terraces to help them farm olives and grapes in the Mediterranean climate.
These once remote, hard-to-access hilly coastal villages are a must-visit Italian destination. Now the Cinque Terre attracts visitors from around the world who visit by boat, train or foot. You can visit for the day and see a lot, but allocating a few days to the Cinque Terre will give you time to really immerse yourself in village life.
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How to get to and around Cinque Terre
The Cinque Terre is located roughly halfway between Genoa and Pisa and both cities have international airports. From there you can reach the Cinque Terre region by train or car… or keep it simple and join Trafalgar on tour.
Access to the five villages is via the big towns that bookend either side. Either Levanto to the northwest, or the city of La Spezia to the east. From here there are local trains that run between the villages but be warned, you need seat reservations so book your summer 2022 tickets for Cinque Terre travel as soon as you can or you’ll miss out.
The other way to travel the Cinque Terre is by boat, which is how Trafalgar guests soak in the dramatic coastal setting. Cruising deep blue Ligurian Sea, we float from village to village with a Local Specialist sharing stories of pirates, pastel hues and pasta.
Famous places to visit and take photos in each Cinque Terre town
Assuming you’re arriving from the city of La Spezia, Riomaggiore will be the first colourful village you visit in the Cinque Terre. The village has two small streets – yes, just two – and the best place to take photos is from the southern viewpoint.
If you’ve seen a photo of places to visit in the Cinque Terre, chances are it was Manarola. This town is the poster child for the area, with a gorgeous little harbour and stunning colourful buildings that appear as though they’re growing from the rocky outcrop. Set off on two legs for the Manarola Scenic Viewpoint and take a snap of the iconic view yourself.
This village is the only one not set right on the waterfront. From up high in the hills, Corniglia is surrounded by stunning lush terraced vineyards and is the only village where you can view all five Cinque Terre villages at one time.
If your summer 2022 holiday only has time for one day in Cinque Terre, make sure to include Vernazza. With little boats bobbing in the harbour, a small beach, colourful buildings running out to the seafront and an interesting tower, Vernazza is a must-see village with a bit of everything.
Monterosso al Mare
While the other towns are smaller and have little in the way of a beach, Monterosso al Mare has space for umbrellas and lounges – that’s important to know for your summer 2022 Cinque Terre trip! The bigger of the villages, find Monterosso at the northwestern end of the coast with cute colourful buildings and the gorgeous striped Church of San Giovanni Battista.
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When to visit the Cinque Terre
Think about what you want from your trip to the Cinque Terre to decide the season or month. Our pick is definitely the warmer months so you can explore the beaches and go swimming or boating. Just keep in mind that July and August are when the villages are at their busiest, so start planning your summer 2022 trip to Cinque Terre now to avoid disappointment.
If you like hiking, there are famous trails between the villages that offer stunning views along the coastline. Remember that the Italian summer is hot, so maybe consider the shoulder seasons and visit in April, May, June, September or October.
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What to eat in Cinque Terre
Before you go in summer 2022, get to know the local Cinque Terre specialties. With the sea to one side and terraces of grapes, olives and fruit to the other, the pastel-hued villages of the Italian Riviera are filled with restaurants and cafes that hero regional Ligurian cuisine and produce. Expect to see plenty of seafood on the menu, plus fresh homemade pesto.
The Cinque Terre mostly produces white wines, plus a regional sweet wine called Sciacchetrà.
Are you ready for your summer 2022 Cinque Terre adventure? Which villages and places will you plan to visit in Cinque Terre? Let us know in the comments…