Introducing: Cinque Terre

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Unless you’ve spent some time looking into a trip around Italy, you may not have heard of the Cinque Terre. I certainly hadn’t. But since moving to Geneva a few people had mentioned it to me, saying that I must go and see “the five lands”. I did a bit of research and the pictures looked absolutely stunning, a photographer’s paradise. So since it’s a 5 hour drive from Geneva a long weekend was on the cards. Having lived in Geneva for more than 2 years just an hour from the Italian border, this was (shamefully) the first time I had ever been to Italy! I have to say I did not expect the place to live up to my expectations, and was wary of comments I’d read saying it would be crammed full of tourists. And whilst that was the case, I think it’s still the most magical place I’ve visited yet.

The Cinque Terre is a series of five small communes perched impossibly on the cliffs and shoreline of the Italian riviera in the north of Italy. I mean, to look at some of these buildings you might think they were defying gravity. There were so many things that I loved about this region, but if I had to boil it down to two things they would be:

1. The natural landscape is absolutely spectacular. There is something inexplicably special about being right on the cusp of the meeting of land and ocean. It may have been the weather whilst I was there, but the sea was quite rough and standing right beside the shore as waves were crashing into the rugged cliffs really gave you a sense of the sea’s power.

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2. The colours. Oh the colours! Not only do you have the fantastic combination of turquoise blue sea and lush green vegetation seemingly disappearing into the ocean at ridiculous angles, but the range of colours in the buildings really does provide a sensory overload. Β Pinks, yellows, oranges, reds, greens – it really has it all.

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I’m planning a few more blogs on the Cinque Terre, a look at each of the five towns, their beautiful colours and some tips I picked up along the way. But in the mean time, here is my favourite spot for a glass of wine overlooking the harbour and coastline from Riomaggiore – Bar La Conchiglia. I hope you enjoyed my first full blog and look forward to seeing you back here soon! Cheers!

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Have you been to the Cinque Terre? Planning a trip to Italy? Feel free to comment below!

18 thoughts on “Introducing: Cinque Terre

  1. neverclipmywings

    Of course I found your blog when searching tips about Cinque Terre, and thanks God that I found it! πŸ˜€ Here I could see amazing pictures and now I’m more excited than ever to go there. Congrats for your job! Following for sure.

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      My first comment! I feel like this is an important milestone. Thanks for the feedback πŸ˜€ I hope you have a great time when visiting Cinque Terre, it really is a special place. If you have any questions about the area let me know, I’m more than happy to try and help!

      Reply
      1. neverclipmywings

        Actually I have a question! Did you do all the “5 lands” in one day? I have only around 8 hours to spend there, and I’m still trying to figure out if it’s possible to do everything… Thank you for replying my comment, very kind πŸ˜‰

        Reply
        1. Ben Post author

          No problem! I managed 4 in one day but I spent a lot of time snapping photos. I think if you’re well prepared (which it seems like you will be!) you should be able to see all 5 in 8 hours. They are very close by train – about 5 minutes between each one – but the trains are not very often so you’ll need to have an idea of how long you want to spend in each town and work it around the train timetable. Three of the main walks were closed while I was there so I used the train a lot! For Corniglia there is a 15 minute walk from the train station to the town, but if you look out for it there is a bus service you can get to save some time. At all of the other towns the train stations are close to the centre/coast. Hope that helps! You can find a train timetable here: http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/images/stories/cinque-terre-timetable-2013.pdf. Happy planning!

        2. neverclipmywings

          Yaaay, I’m back! Thank you for the tips! In fact, I managed to see 4 lands (I skipped Corniglia), but just because I wanted to spend more time relaxing in Monterosso. It was amazingly sunny, so I really wanted to stay at the beach πŸ˜€ As you told me, they are really close to each other by train, and I used it all the time. From Vernazza to Monterosso I decided to get a boat πŸ˜‰ Next time I’m coming just for hiking and taking pictures. I took some, but it was soooo hot that I couldn’t concentrate! hahahaha! I’ll post the few pictures soon πŸ˜‰

  2. Ben Post author

    Haha, that’s great the weather was good for you! Yeah I was going to say if you skip one I would say Corniglia because of the extra time it takes to get to, and the beach at Monterosso is lovely in the sunshine. Glad you had a good time, the boat sounds like an excellent idea. Look forward to seeing the pictures! πŸ˜€ Which was your favorite of the four you visited?

    Reply
    1. neverclipmywings

      Sorry for taking so long to reply! Final exams are making me crazy!
      The ones I like the most are Riomaggiore and Vernazza. Riomaggiore is a mess, and that’s why it caught my attention. The colorful boats all around and the local people living naturally as if it wasn’t a touristic place is just amazing. Vernazza is my second favorite one because of that small beach made of rocks. Have you been there? Also the food (that delicious seafood cone) helped me to fall in love with this piece of land πŸ˜‰
      Pictures soon!

      Reply
      1. Ben Post author

        No problem! I agree completely, I think Riomaggiore has little bit more charm than the other towns, it felt more ‘lived in’ I think partly because it was a bit bigger. We were just looking for the beach but ended up going in completely the wrong direction so saw a lot more of it than we intended, which turned out to be an excellent mistake! And yeah I really like the harbour and small beach area at Vernazza, it was a great place to just sit in the sun and the waves were really crashing against the rocks as well.

        Good luck with your exams!

        Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Simone! The Cinque Terre is such a picturesque destination, there is an incredible shot around every corner. It’s hard to take bad photos there!

      Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks! I always try to bring out the colours as best I can, they’re what makes the world such a beautiful place. I hope I can inspire people to get out there and explore!

      Reply
  3. Andrew Seal

    Love your blog. Thanks for visiting mine. Cinque Terra has been one of our favorite places to visit. I’ll email you one of my paintings of Manarola, which will look very familiar to you.

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Andrew, my pleasure! I love reading about other people’s adventures at Machu Picchu, I get some great ideas for my future (as yet unplanned) visit! Sounds great, I’ll check the emails πŸ™‚

      Reply
  4. Pingback: Travel theme: Multicoloured | Flights. Camera. Satisfaction.

  5. twoblackdoggies

    Your photos are excellent and inspire me to want to return to Cinque Terre and explore the towns from a different perspective. We were there in 2011 prior to the mudslide and fell in love with Vernazza, the delicious food and the uniqueness of the villages.

    Reply
    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Sam! It’s such a beautiful place, I’d love to return some day too. Perhaps spend a bit more time up on the walking trails which were closed while I was visiting. The food really was fantastic, I hope you have the chance to get back out there one day!

      Reply
  6. thelittlezebra

    I came across your top photo of Cinque Terra and knew I had seen something almost identical earlier this week. Turns out, this is the same angle as Etihad Airways has used in a sales campaign this week – except yours has a much more impressive depth and colour to it. Beautiful!

    Reply

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