5 things I wish I had known before traveling to Cinque Terre

1. Pack light, like REALLY light.

Having to carry our two rolling suitcases and two backpacks up what seemed like a million stairs to reach our Airbnb was NOT how we wanted our stay to begin. So, if you have a hard time carrying a heavy suitcase, I highly recommend bringing a small backpack or carryon since most hotels or Airbnb's will require you to walk up a TON of stairs.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy, Luca

Riomaggiore, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

2. Avoid the summer months!

When we first arrived in Vernazza, we had no idea how crowded the streets were going to be. We thought we had outsmarted the rest of the tourists by being there before the summer months (we went in mid May), only to find that everyone else had tried to do exactly the same thing. If your plan is to spend most of the time at the beach, then you'll just have to deal with the crowds during the summer. However, if like us, you are there to explore or hike to each of the 5 towns, then you would probably be happier visiting when it's a little bit colder and a lot less crowded.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

3. Make reservations as soon as you book your trip.

If you are looking forward to eating at some of Cinque Terre's top restaurants, make sure you make a reservation as soon as you know your travel dates. Most of those restaurants will have a website or Instagram account where you can contact them and make a reservation.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

4. Take in the view of town from a hiking trail.

All of the crowds will be in the places where everyone wants to get their picture taken, but you will be able to fully take in the town's beauty from a distance. It's really easy to find a trail or street that takes you away from the town where you can get a view like the one below. We were able to enjoy the sunset here by ourselves and it only took us 10 minutes to walk to that perfect spot🤩.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

Riomaggiore, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022


5. Pick one town to stay at, but visit all five.

The train that takes you to each of the towns runs with enough frequency during the day that you could easily pick one town as your "home base" and visit the others just for the day. There's also a hiking trail that takes you to all of the five charming towns.


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022


Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Vernazza, Italy - Copyright Cristina Carrizosa Photography 2022

Hopefully these 5 quick tips will make your visit to Cinque Terre a fun and worry-free adventure. Don't forget to enjoy the afternoon with a glass of wine and an aperitivo by the water, salute!