VISIT THE CINQUE TERRE IN ONE WEEK END (TWO NIGHTS, THREE DAYS)
Classic visit to the Cinque Terre, one weekend, two nights, arriving on Friday afternoon and leaving on Sunday afternoon.
First of all decide how to get to the Cinque Terre, by car or train. The train is always recommended for the problems of parking in the Cinque Terre. Then decide which village to sleep in, but don't worry, in three days you will have time to visit everything, even doing some trekking.
Here are some tips:
First day, Friday.
Let's say you arrive around five in the evening, for example in Riomaggiore. You will be tired from the journey, stay here, you have the whole evening to visit the village, get lost in the alleys that wind between the main street and the hill. Don't miss the sunset over the sea at the marina or on the pebble beach, go up to the church of San Giovanni and the castle and choose a good restaurant to have dinner in Riomaggiore.
If, on the other hand, you manage to arrive a couple of hours earlier, you can also start visiting Manarola. Take the train and in a few minutes you are there, the Via dell'Amore is unfortunately still closed (year 2023), but from Manarola it is open for a small part. Climb towards the church of San Lorenzo, with its beautiful rose window and enjoy the panorama of the village. Then go down to the sea escorted by the colored houses, get lost in the steep alleys and don't forget to go up to the cemetery, where you can take the typical postcard picture of Manarola. In a couple of hours you do everything quietly.
Second day, Saturday.
Wake up early in the morning, let's say 9.00. If you have already visited Manarola, take the train to Monterosso, the largest in the Cinque Terre, dedicate the whole morning to it and have lunch here. Go around the historic center, the beach of Fegina with its rock, the Capuchin convent on the hill of San Francesco and go up to the statue of the giant (at the end towards Levanto). You are spoiled for choice on where to eat in Monterosso and also where to buy Sciacchetrà, the famous passito wine or limoncello of the Cinque Terre.
After lunch, go back to the station and take the train to Vernazza, some say it is the most beautiful of the Cinque Terre, but decide for yourself. You have several panoramic points from which to admire the village and take photographs: from the pier of the small port, with the colorful houses and the church of Santa Margherita; from the Doria castle; from the beginning of the path to Corniglia, climbing the steps up to the tower of an old mill; from the beginning of the path to Monterosso; from the square of the Padri Riformati.
Stop at one of the bars of Vernazza for a break, before taking the train back for Corniglia, the middle village, with no access to the sea. It is also the smallest. Once at the station, go up the Lardarina staircase instead of taking the shuttle, you will be rewarded. More than 300 steps but once in the village the effort passes by magic. From the church of San Lorenzo, walk along the main street towards Largo Taragio, where there is a beautiful oratory and then further down to the terrace of Santa Maria. To go down to the sea, if you feel like it, a staircase from Largo Taragio leads to the Marina di Corniglia, calculate the times well. It's already getting dark, you can take a drink in Corniglia before returning to Riomaggiore for dinner.
Third day, Sunday. Here we are at the last day, quiet wake up, nice breakfast and then, if you arrived late on Friday, you can dedicate the morning to Manarola, or walk the Via Beccara, the ancient mule track that connected Riomaggiore and Manarola before the Via dell'Amore. One hour to go and another to return, you can have lunch in one of the restaurants in Manarola, before leaving.
Three days are more than enough to visit the Cinque Terre, you could also do it along the paths that unite them, without using the train, choose your favorite travel combination.
Cinque Terre travel times
What if it rains in Cinque Terre?
The Cinque Terre in a day
The Cinque Terre in a day on foot
The Cinque Terre in in two days on foot
The Cinque Terre in two days (two days, one night)
The Cinque Terre in a weekend (three days, two nights)