Trip to Italy – Cinqueterre
Staying in Santa Margherita, as I mentioned before, makes it easy to visit other towns in the region. Given I had a lot of days there and one or two days is enough to experience a lot of what Santa Margherita can offer, I used one of the days of my stay to visit three of the Cinqueterre towns: Manarola, Vernazza and Monterosso.
The trip from Santa Margherita to Manarola takes about 90 minutes and you need to switch trains at Sestri Levante.
Some years ago, I assembled a 1000-piece puzzle of a photo of the town. So how could I skip it?
Manarola, like Portofino, does not have much to keep you there for a long time, but being able to view the same scene I assembled in the puzzle was a fantastic experience.
When I came to Vernazza, part of the streets and part of the shore had been thrashed by the sea and was covered in debris.
A must-have experience in the place is going up Castello Doria’s tower, which gives you a 360-degree view of the town and the Mediterranean.
However, just like Manarola, Vernazza consists of a street that takes you to the town facade and the visit there does not take long.
The bad weather made the sea furious that day and watching such violent waves hitting the rocks and the shore was one of the most amazing things I have seen in my life. It was unbelievable how high the waves could hit the rocks, upon which sat walking paths I considered taking (idea shortly discarded after I saw where the waves could reach).
I could have spent the whole day watching that spectacle.
But there was more to see.
Differently from the other two towns, Monterosso felt like a place where you could stay to enjoy a couple of days of relaxation. The town has the only sand beach I saw in the entire trip, more than just one interesting street and inviting cafes and restaurants. The city is divided into two halves, one to each side of the train station. Walking from one side to another will take you somewhere between five and ten minutes.
Summing it up
The Cinqueterre is worth the visit and you can see all five towns in two days. The views of towns and sea will keep your spirit elevated. The spritz at the seaside helps a bit too.