Getting Familiar with Italy's Seaside Towns

Sep 9, 2022 12:30:00 PM / by Maya Tolerico

Maya and her roommates visited Cinque Terre and spent time in the awe-inspiring seaside towns along the western coast of Italy. Check out the activities they got up to on this trip!

This past weekend my roommates and I were able to find a VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) in Corniglia, a town situated in the middle of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is a line of 5 seaside towns along the west coast of Italy including Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. These towns have beautifully colored buildings and specialize in amazing seafood. The VRBO we stayed in, located in the smallest town of Cinque Terre, had stunning views, and we thought it was an incredible place to stay. Most people do not spend much time in Corniglia since there is less to do than the other towns but I think that is what made staying there so special. There were fewer tourists and a close-knit community. We also found an amazing seafood restaurant our first night there.

View from our VRBO in Corniglia.

Caption: View from our VRBO in Corniglia.

Seafood pasta in the middle of the table

Caption: A delicious seafood pasta we ate in Corniglia.

On our first full day, we made our way up to Monterosso which has the beach with the most sand-like feel. This beach gets extremely crowded since it is the closest to a typical beach, so we did not stay long. After an hour or two in Monterosso we traveled down to Vernazza by train. There is the option to hike between the towns as well. When you arrive in Cinque Terre, typically at the La Spezia train station, you have the opportunity to buy the Cinque Terre card. This card can either be just for hiking, just for trains, or both. It is a cost-effective option if you plan on traveling between the towns frequently as you pay for it and then you get to ride the trains or hike the trails (as it is also a national park) as many times as you want on the days you select. The trains also come every 15 minutes or so, which makes it very convenient for going between towns. In Vernazza there is somewhat of a beach but it has larger rocks and boulders. There were still a lot of people there and we decided to spend the majority of our day here as well in the water and laying on the rocks.

The main beach in Monterosso.

Caption: The main beach in Monterosso.

The sun setting on Vernazza.

Caption: The sun setting on Vernazza.

The rocks we laid on in Vernazza.

Caption: The rocks we laid on in Vernazza.

On our last day we went to Manarola and then back up to Monterosso. Manarola was beautiful and again less of a beach, but that did not stop people from laying on rocks and swimming in the water. Here many people would climb up giant rocks and jump off into the water. My roommates wanted to go back to the beach in Monterosso so we traveled back up, and while they laid on the beach I hiked up a trail on the mountain nearby which resulted in beautiful views of the beach and surrounding forests. We then met back up to go kayaking and paddle boarding in the water, which also provided a new perspective of the beach and town. After a very long day we took our train home to Florence and we all thought the trip was incredible. If you have the chance to make it to Cinque Terre I highly encourage you to.

The town of Manarola.

Caption: The town of Manarola.

View of Monterosso from the hike I took.

Caption: View of Monterosso from the hike I took.

Thanks, Maya!

Maya Tolerico

Maya Tolerico is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2022, sharing her story in frequent posts on CAPA World. A Global Management, Supply Chain Management, and Business Information Systems major from University of Pittsburgh, she is studying abroad in Florence this semester.

Maya's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.


Topics: Florence, Italy, Local Culture

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