After a heavy lunch of Italian Pasta, next to the Gesu’ Redentore church, we drove to our hotel located in La Spezia with a broken air-conditioning and an angry sun.
La Spezia is a small port city close to the famous area called “Cinque Terre”, literally meaning the five lands. Almost 5 hours was needed to reach our destination as we get stuck in a traffic jams after Genova. We find out in the narrow streets a parking place close to the hotel which was located in front of the port. We arrived at about 5 pm and went out for a walk in the port after a short break. Few old boats are parked close to the ostentatious Yachts. Walking in the La Spezia streets was interesting and I shoot different kind of buildings facades: traditionnal ones and more recent in concrete with straight lines, shaped by the cost saving, rather than any aesthetic purpose.
Cinque Terre gather 5 beautiful fishing traditionnal villages, between rocks, cliffs and sea, that are today stormed by tourists during the summer. However, some local people still keep agriculture and grow vineyards and olive trees. Monterosso is the only village that mainly keep the fishing activity and its hold the largest beach.
The next morning, we went to the La Spezia’s railway station -over crowded at 10am in August- and we got a card for the 5 villages, which allow to stop in all villages for a decent price (you can get a one or two days card), from early morning until late (about 11 pm). Trains are very frequent, something like every 20 minutes and distances between each villages are very short with an average of 8 minutes, so it is super convenient. The train pass through a lot of tunnels, next to the cliff to reach each villages. Between two tunnels we can sometimes admire the sea for few seconds, quite surprising and beautiful. Single tracks also links each villages from above, as well as a road for cars, but don’t espect to find a single place to park your car.
We arrived at first in Riomaggiore, the first village, at about 11 am and visited Cinque Terre the whole journey and we had time to visit properly 4 villages. It was quite exhausting at the end with the over 35 degrees, crowd, heavy lenses and many stairs to climb up and down. Quite a sporty day !
The most beautiful villages for me are the first two: Riomaggiore and Manarola, certainly the smallest ones without real beach, but they are both so charming and aesthetic. Yes, this destination is over touristic, but it’s truly something to see. Also, obviously, better is to avoid July and August. I bet that in winter it should be a great time to enjoy those villages, I can imagine how the light is probably so beautiful, without tourist and with certainly a special atmosphere at this period of the year.
Hoping you enjoyed this amazing place! Let me know in the comment if you have ever been in Cinque Terre and what is your fav village from your experience or from my photographies.