Here was our Cinque Terre stay.
We visited Cinque Terre for a day. I had bookmarked two towns – Manarola and Vernazza only, given I just wanted to spend one day here. The five villages of the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region date back to the 11th century. Based on the recent tourism, they might start to limit the number of travellers to preserve them. Some of their walking trails were lost during some flooding a few years earlier.
Having spent a day between the two towns, we could have easily covered more towns in a day, or returned earlier – without having the need to spend a night there.
This is if you want to just check off Cinque Terre or don’t want to hike or have kids and want to keep it easy with a stroller and all.
Manarola was the easiest and the quickest – you could do it in as little as one hour. By you could do it, I mean you could get those ‘classic Cinque Terre’ photos of Manarola that fast. It’s an easy walk and most of it is stroller friendly.
This was our first stop for the day.
Rewinding a little, we took the early morning 6:30ish train from Milan to La Spezia, checked in at our accommodation and then just took three point to point tickets. If you plan to spend a couple of days, or do all the stops, then it might make sense to buy the pass.
I did my math, and the individual tickets made sense to me. Baby K was diaper free and he made his poop face. So, as soon as we got off the train at Manarola, we took out the potty seat and had him poop! In a plastic that we disposed. I was soo happy I can’t even tell you.
Those gorgeous blue waters and I didn’t have to clean a messy underpant. I said it too soon! ‘coz baby K decided to poop some more, this time in his pants. The husband, as usual, lost his cool. I wonder why they say cool. If some people are so hot tempered, they cannot have any cool to lose, would they?
Anyway, some cleaning and a few steps ahead, we were in the nice little village of Manarola. It was a pretty sight. Only a few steps ahead, we got those views that we’d seen in only pictures so far. And they were gorgeous. And colorful. And as pretty or even more as they seem in photos.
It was mid-dayish and though we weren’t particularly hungry, we stopped by at Nessun Dorma for a little drink and bite.
They had a little play area for K, where we spent quite some time, which we wouldn’t have otherwise, had we not had this whole day for the two towns. Now, if you are here with kids, you certainly should come up here. There might not be a park with better views. Well, I haven’t seen the whole world, so I could be wrong about it being the best. But it being a visual treat certainly isn’t wrong.
Some playtime later, we took the train to Vernazza. This was again, little. And we had the second half of the day were here. It was a little hike to get some views, and with a toddler in tow, who needed to be held at times, it was tough. We went up one side, and skipped the other. The views were good, again.
The hubster found the views from here better. I liked Manarola better. Since we did just one little hike, we had to while our time before restaurants opened for dinner. Going to La Spezia and dining there was an option too, but hey, if you’re a tourist, you’d want to eat here, right?
Vineria S. Marta was our stop before dinner.
It turned out to be a wrong choice of place for dinner – Ristorante Belforte but I’m sure I would’ve thought multiple times about how I dined in La Spezia and not in one of these towns.
We also had to be mindful of the train times, because they were not as frequent at night and we wanted to make sure we didn’t miss it.
My take on Cinque Terre – maybe I didn’t get the whole feel of it, because I didn’t do all the towns and didn’t do a lot of hiking, but it was beautiful, whatever bits I saw of it. They call it the poor man’s Amalfi coast. The views were anything but poor. And that Manarola view, it still brings a smile to my face.
I didn’t necessarily explore the villages in depth, so it didn’t give me a village feel. The places we touched had a lot of people. Probably going further inside would’ve given me a different perspective.
If you have a day, even with kids, you could easily squeeze in three towns. Unless you start your day at noon and like to take it very easy. Then two would suffice, but if you start your day early enough, three or even all of them might not be a dream.