Emma Carter

I’ve always loved the idea of culture and experiencing the unique and authentic travel destinations of the world. Places where I can taste and feel the essence of culture to create a unique travel experience. I tend to avoid crowded cities that are over flowing with tourist that make the whole experience seem somewhat falsified. During my adventures through Italy, I found five towns linked together through mountains and coastlines, which the Italians call Cinque Terre. It quite literally means The Five Towns in English.

Cinque Terre is very small and holds some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered, and not to mention Gelato to die for! I remember stepping off the train in Monterosso (one of the towns), and I was immediately greeted by sounds of the ocean, music from street performers, and the voices of the locals bargaining for the best deal on fish caught fresh that day. One of them even tried to sell me a bucket of fresh salmon. I have to admit the fish’s googly eyes and very pungent smell made me a little hesitant to accept the offer.  Luckily, I could also smell the chocolate éclairs wafting from the bakery just down the road.

cinque terre

The beach was perhaps the coolest thing I’d ever seen - dark sand covered by orange and blue sun beds perched perfectly next to crystal clear water. Cinque Terre is full of hidden treasures found within its colourful streets, which are filled with little shops and wooden windows.  If you’re looking for an adventure that’s a little outside of your comfort zone and that’s different to the main travel destinations in Italy, then Cinque Terre is your place!

Don’t get me wrong, Venice, Rome and Florence are all wonderful places to visits but these five towns offer you an experience that is much more authentic to Italian culture. Check out my five tip guide that is essential when exploring Cinque Terre.

1. Walk around instead of taking the train

Although it’s much easier to take to the train around each of the five towns, if you want to see some amazing views I suggest hiking. The track starts at the first of the five towns and ends in Monterosso, which is the last. It does take a whole day to visit all of the towns so I suggest you take water and snacks. Perhaps learning a little Italian would help as well, just in case you get lost. This hike was the best experience of the whole trip!

cinque terre

2. Try the local seafood

Because the towns are so close to the coastline, the majority of the cafes and restaurants serve a wide variety of delicious fresh seafood. What better way to enjoy some fresh garlic prawns then to be seated literally two meters from the beach in a quaint Italian café.

seafood in italy

3. Suisse Hotel Bellevue

Even if you don’t stay at this amazing hotel, you can catch a shuttle bus to the top of the mountain in Cinque Terre to discover its fantastic views. You can see all of the five towns from this location, all whilst bathing on a sunbed. The hotel also has a café for you to grab a bite to eat if you get hungry. The staff speak fluent English, which was great for a foreigner like me whose Italian isn’t the best.

4. Hike Corniglia

Corniglia is located in the middle of the five towns but has the highest mountain peak. Although it’s a bit of a hike to the top, it’s definitely worth it. What better way to take a moment to experience and appreciate the beauty of Italy than on top of a mountain overlooking the ocean. 

5. Take a Camera

You’ll regret travelling though this beautiful place without capturing some of it for you to keep forever. You won’t want to miss any photo ops! 

cinque terre

Emma Carter is an Aussie university student who loves to travel and experience the real essence of a country. When she’s off exploring the world, you’ll find her soaking up the culture and making memories that last a lifetime. She shares her adventurous spirit through telling stories about her latest travels. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and are meant as travel inspiration only. They do not reflect the opinions of Cover-More Insurance. You should always read the Policy Documents available from your travel insurance provider to understand the limits, exclusions and conditions of your policy and to ensure any activities you undertake are covered by your policy.