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 moor-up and allow the romance to soak in.
Grand Hotel Portovenere
Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 5, 19025 Portovenere SP
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 pebbled 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.
Osteria La Torpedine
Via Antonio Gramsci, 25, 19017 Riomaggiore SP
A real local treasure, tucked away from the centre of Riomaggiore in a tiny wooden-panelled eatery is Osteria La Torpedine. Chef and owner Nico sources only fresh, local ingreditents - with a strong ethos around 'slow food'. His wife Alice is front-of-house managing their two dinner sittings (7pm and 9pm).
There are claims that Manarola is the oldest of the five villages. Famous for its 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.
Via Renato Birolli, 82, 19017 Manarola SP,
You absolutely cannot come to Manarola without trying this sandwich. You want the spicy tuna, on the seppia bun (thank me later)
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 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.
Porto Roca Hotel
Via Corone, 1, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP
Hotels are hard to come by in Cinque Terre, and this is chic as it gets around here. Sitting tall above the town allows for cascading terraces and balconies, with panoramic views and sundrenched afternoons.
Il Gattaccio - Acciugheria & Street Food
Via Visconti, 17, 19018 Vernazza SP
A little harder to find, but well worth the journey. Chef Mario takes his craft very seriously, curating two tasting menus for you to experience all the delicacies, from the seafood caught that day. In true authenticity, the chef speaks just enough English to prepare your order.
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.
Ristorante Il Ciliegio
83 Quai de Valmy, 75010
Sitting high in the hillside (near 200m above sea-level) is the very beautiful Il Ciliegio. The view stretches across the incredible Gulf of Monterosso. Hosts, Gianni and Rossana have generation of Ligurian roots, with recipes being passed down for generations. An incredibly charming experience.
Via Fegina 104, Monterosso al Mare
Offering a food and wine journey through Ligurian flavours, Michy and Simonetta opened their Osteria in 1980 and have continues delivering their unique and refined take on Italian cooking. This is also one of the few places around town to be holding a Michelin Star.