Cinque Terre, if translated literally, means Five Lands. The Five Lands are small towns situated on the part of Riviera between Florence and Genoa in the province of La Spezia and surrounded by a natural park. This place is unique for its colorful houses built randomly over the rocks with exceptionally picturesque views on the sea and its bays. The famous coast is washed by the Ligurian Sea and attracts people from all around the world not only to see this astonishing landmark, but also to do trekking in nature, course through rocks by train and overlook Cinque Terre from the water taking one of the boat trips from the sea. You will be speechless once you see this beauty!
The five lands of Cinque Terre consist of the following towns: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. These colorful names make a perfect match with the radiant landscape of this extraordinary landmark. The towns are very close to each other and interconnected by hiking trails. There are different such routes, some of which spread for 9 km going high up into the mountains and then taking you down to the seashore through the stairs, bridges and paths. Those who would like to avoid trekking can take a train that connects all of the five towns and get you in no time to the next one. Another way to see Cinque Terre is to overlook it from a boat that circulates along the coast and will provide you with absolutely mind-blowing sceneries. Everyone deserves to see such beauty in their lifetime!
As it often happens in Italy, places often date back to the Roman times. However, after the fall of the Roman Empire many Italian cities were abandoned until the 11th century, when places began to reappear after the Dark Ages. The same story happened to Cinque Terre. The oldest town of the Five Lands became Monterrosso, which after the fall of Rome was first mentioned again in 1056. Interestingly, back then it belonged to the Genoa Republic (as we know, until the 18th century Italy was divided into dozens of republics). Thanks to the fact that Cinque Terre was born during the Medieval period, today tourists can experience this amazing contrast between medieval and modern: cobbled alleyways, old souvenir shops, Italian family restaurants, dramatic churches and castles. A cherry on top of this cake is an exceptional beauty of the local nature with its spectacular rocks, azure water in the sea and fantastic weather.
As it’s often the case in Italy, trains are the best way to hit your target when you want to travel a little bit further than planned. As opposed to a car or a bus with its six-hour ride at its best, the length between Rome and Cinque Terre can be covered just in 3.5 hours, which means you can have a day trip if needed.
One of the best ways to see everything is to take a day guided tour to Cinque Terre, so not to forget anything and not to worry about timing and locations. But going on your own won’t be so complicated if you get prepared beforehand and stay in Rome not for the first time.
First, in order to set off from Rome you will need to catch the high speed Trenitalia Frecciabianca train “Rome to La Spezia Centrale” and from there you need to take Cinque Terre Express, which by the way will stop at each of the towns of the Five Lands. To obtain the ticket for the train you need to visit their website and obviously buy the ticket. The train in Rome starts off at Termini Railway Station, which is easy to be accessed by different kinds of traffic: the metro station Termini and onland traffic is at your service. From Termini you need to arrive at La Spezia Centrale (3.5 - 4hrs) and then change to any local train moving to or passing Cinque Terre (appr. 15 minutes). As you see, one needs to wake up early to accomplish this route, but it would be very rewarding - trust all the tourists who are in awe after their journey to this amazing land.
A tip: a good option for you is to buy the one-day Cinque Terre Card for 16 euro, which will allow you to move freely between the towns of Cinque Terre. The ticket also includes access to walking trails along the famous paths and many other benefits.
Do you want to have a look at what other day trips from Rome are possible?