Cinque Terre with children
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CINQUE TERRE WITH CHILDREN


- How to get
- Visiting
- Beaches
- Hiking

Cinque Terre with children? It can be challenging, but definitely you can make it. The age of the children makes the difference because you have to be prepared to walk and make them walk or take them in your arms. Sometimes even the stroller is to be taken in your arms...
We insist on this point, if you visit the Cinque Terre with children of stroller age, go only through the main streets of the villages, the side streets are steep stairways. With children who are already more independent, consider whether they are used to walking a lot or a little and adapt to their pace.
Arriving by car or train has pros and cons, you will see it below.
A right choice a priori is visit the Cinque Terre in low season and maybe on a midweek day.
If the children are a bit grown up, they will rediscover the atmosphere of the animated film Luca, set in the Cinque Terre.

howtoget
You have to arrive first. The train is the most suitable means of transport, using the Cinque Terre Card. Except for Corniglia, the rest of the stations are located a short distance from the sea, but in Corniglia a shuttle connects the town to the station (ticket included in the card).
With the stroller, take into account that there are stairs almost everywhere and that the elevators of the stations (there are in Riomaggiore, Manarola and Vernazza), are not always working. As a suggestion, call thone of the Cinque Terre reception centers to make sure they work.

If you prefer the car, keep in mind that the road is winding for Monterosso, Vernazza and Corniglia, less so for Manarola and Riomaggiore.
Parking in the Cinque Terre is not easy because in summer they can be full and they are always paid parking. The biggest one is the Fegina Park in Monterosso, directly on the beach.
Here you can see the distances to the Cinque Terre by car.

One last possibility, certainly fun for the little ones, is the boat, from La Spezia, Portovenere or Lerici or from Genoa and surroundings.
The docking in Riomaggiore is a bit uncomfortable, with the narrow access road between the cliff and the sea and several stairs to go down to the marina and then up towards the village.

Visiting
So what to visit in the Cinque Terre with children? Here are some suggestions:

  • Riomaggiore
  • From the train station you can proceed into the tunnel with a stroller, a flat stretch that ends in the main street. Here you can go up to the left and visit the village, a fairly demanding climb. To go down to the sea instead there are stairs, a short tunnel, other steps up to the marina and possibly a series of steps on the left towards the pebble beach (not recommended for children).
    Also from the station you can go straight up, steeply along via Telemaco Signorini, a panoramic road that leads to the church of San Giovanni Battista.
    The good news is that normally the two lifts in the village are working, one near the church of San Giovanni towards the castle, the other near the train station itself, from Piazza Rio Finale to via Telemaco Signorini.
    The Riomaggiore car park is located at the beginning of the village, fairly nice when you go downhill, then you have to climb back up...
    A small playground with sea view is located at the end of Via Loca, which forks from the main road:




  • Manarola
  • Manarola is quite easy to visit with children and stroller. The train station is connected to the village with a tunnel that comes out on the main street, Via Discovolo. So if you don't want to work too hard, you can go down towards the Marina, perhaps going up a little towards the cemetery to enjoy one of the typical spot to take pictures in the Cinque Terre.
    If at the end of the station tunnel you turn right uphill, you will soon arrive at the square of the church of San Lorenzo.

    The parking lot is instead located beyond the church about one kilometer from Manarola.

    Also here there is a small playground, with sea view, in Punta Bonfiglio, near the path to Corniglia (and the cemetery).



  • Corniglia
  • Corniglia is the smallest of the Cinque Terre, has no direct access to the sea and is the only one with the station far from the center, about one kilometer. There is a shuttle bus included in the Cinque Terre Card, which makes the journey. Or the legendary Lardarina stairway, which in almost 400 steps will lead to Corniglia. Your children won't forget it! The staircase is quite comfortable, with low steps.
    By car, on the other hand, the parking, quite small, is located about one km from the village.
    Once in Corniglia, you can visit the church of San Lorenzo and strolla along Via Fieschi till the terrace of Santa Maria, passing through Largo Taragio, where the oratory of Santa Caterina is located.

  • Vernazza
  • Vernazza is similar to Manarola when visiting it with children. There is a fairly pronounced descent from the train station to the sea, where the square opens with the church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia and the small beach with the fishing boats. This is the best place with children. Avoid going up to the Doria castle, many steps, even quite narrow.
    Going down towards the sea, you may have noticed a kind of passage between the rocks on the left. There is another pebble beach.
    We do not recommend the car, the parking lots are located 1.5-2 km from Vernazza.

  • Monterosso
  • Surely the easiest to visit with small children, with or without a stroller. The train station is located in front of the Fegina seafront, with the longest beach in the Cinque Terre. Monterosso is almost flat, even in the historic center, located at the end of the promenade. There are also two playgrounds, larger than the others, one in Fegina, towards Levanto:


    The other in the old town, in Piazza Garibaldi, where you can leave the children relaxing in the nearby bars, overlooking the playground:


    Then of course you have to visit the historic center, the church of San Giovanni Battista, the oratory of the Blacks with the skulls on the facade will intrigue or scare the children.

    Beaches
    The choice for children is Monterosso. Because the beaches of Monterosso are wider and more accessible, and because they are sand mixed with pebbles, and because there are bathing resorts for those who need them. Beware only when taking a bath, after a few meters, you do not touch the bottom, as for the other beaches of the Cinque Terre.
    We can take into account Vernazza as well, with the small beach in front of the church of Santa Margherita.
    Riomaggiore and Corniglia should be excluded, due to the presence of large stones, the difficulty in entering the water and reaching the sea, and the lack of shade. Manarola has only the marina area available, it is not very recommended for a swim.

    Hiking
    There would be an ideal path, the Via dell'Amore (Walk of Love), which is however currently closed (2024), indeed, it is open for 200 meters from Manarola, it may be an idea.
    Otherwise, the paths are steep and with many stairs, we do not recommend them for children.

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