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Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre.

Cinque, translating to five in Italian is a perfect string of Italian fishing villages nestled high above the Italian Riviera in the region of Liguria. For sometime, these floating villages were only accessible by mule tracks, however over centuries the town has gradually been built up, creating a cascading oasis amid the grape and olive groves. Overlooking the sublime Mediterranean Sea, Clinique Terre is the quintessential Italian experience – so we’ve teamed up with Hotels.com to bring you an unbeatable itinerary. 




Riomaggiore:

Acting as a somewhat ‘unofficial capital’ of Cinque Terre is Riomaggiore, the largest of the five villages. Stacked up behind a tiny harbour is a clutter of pastel buildings creating the perfect chaos of colour. The view from the sea is truly unbeatable, so park your boat and allow the romance to soak in. On the land you can loose yourself in the picturesque botanical garden or the golden pebbly beach.

Stay in Riomaggiore: 
Grand Hotel Portovenere:
Just a short boat ride from Riomaggiore is the quaint Portovenere, where you will find the Grand Hotel Portovenere. The hotel is set in a 17th-century monastery, and just moments from the famous rocky beaches. Your stay has all the modern luxuries of a boutique hotel, fused with the ancient past of the Franciscan Convent, and the unbeatable landscapes of Portovenere, Palmaria Island and the Gulf of Poets.

Dine in Riomaggiore: 
La Lanterna:
This is a real local treasure, tucked away from the centre of Riomaggiore in a tiny wooden-panelled eatery is La Lanterna. The owner is serious about fishing, only serving the freshest, self-caught seafood; and their spaghetti is the talk of the town.

Manarola:

There are claims that Manarola is the oldest of the five villages. Famous for it’s fragrant Sciacchetrà wine, thanks to the vibrant grapevines surrounding the village. Manarola draws in visitors with its elaborate jump rocks and its' fishing-boat lined port. Divert from the main street and a short uphill walk will get you to Punta Bonfiglio, a relaxed eatery with the best views in town.

Dine in Manarola:: 
This is the place to be if you want fine seafood overlooking the incredible stretch of sea that is Manarola.




Corniglia:

Known as the ‘quiet village,’ Corniglia is sitting atop a 100m-high rocky outcrop encircled by vineyards. Corniglia is the only point you can see all five villages at once, allowing for a kind of breathtaking view you wont find anywhere else. While being the only village to lack direct access to the sea, there’s something special about being so removed from the bustling five.



Vernazza:

Vernazza is home to Cinque Terre’s only proper harbour, meaning you can arrive by sea. The village’s trademark narrow lanes (known as caruggi) create a maze of stairs between the tiny terraces, with only slight ocean glimpses emerging with every now and then. However, it is when you delve deep into the Piazza Marconi, full with its sea-facing pastel houses, that you will really feel that tug on your heartstrings.

Stay in Vernazza: 
Hotels are hard to come by in Cinque Terre, and this is as close to luxury as it gets. Sitting tall above the town allows for cascading terraces and balconies, with panoramic views and sundrenched afternoons.

Dine in Vernazza: 
Gambero Rosso: 
Boasting the most coveted position in Vernazza, Gambero Rosso is located in the Piazza Marconi, between the bell tower of Santa Margherita and guarded by the Doria Castle. Keep it simple and order the pasta, it’s rolled fresh by the hour and is truly exquisite.


Monterosso:

It is here in Monterosso that you will find the on strip of proper beaches. The golden stretch is full with orange and green umbrella chairs, ensuring an authentic Italian experience. The village is renowned for the lemon-tree lined streets and the fresh seafood on every corner. Monterosso is ideal if you’re not up for the hassle, being the most accessible village by car.

Dine in Monterosso:
La Cambusa is a safe choice for locally sourced wine, the perfect al dente pasta; all served up in an alfresco dining setting.

Miki:
You’ll be drawn into Miki by the fresh-caught seafood stacked up in the wooden fishing boat at the entrance. Even though this is a more low key choice, the atmosphere is bold and vibrant.


The Editorialist © 2017