Cinque Terre


Cinque Terre Italy

What a wonderful, glorious three days we spent in Cinque Terre! The Cinque Terre — pronounced Cheen-Kwah Terra and literally translates to Five Lands — are five small fishing villages along the northern west coast of Italy on the Mediterranean Sea. And hands down, it’s one of the most beautiful, picturesque places on earth. All I can say is Wow. I cannot believe this place is real!

Cinque Terre Italy

This is the beach on Monterosso, the northern-most village where we stayed.

Cinque Terre Italy

Five tiny colorful, old-world villages, hidden away and unhindered by modern intrusions, are nestled on jagged cliffs and tower over sparkling teal waters below. It’s like something out of a fairytale. On a clear day, from the beach in Monterosso you can see the other four villages: Vernazza, Corniglia, (pronounced like the name Cornelia — In Italian, gli is pronounced like the ll in million, like in famiglia and Milo Ventimiglia, swoon) Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Cinque Terre Italy

Rocky cliffs in Monterosso.


Cinque Terre Italy

The first time I saw a photo of Cinque Terre, I knew someday I had to go there. Some way, some how, I had to get there. I had to see this place in person! This was the number one place I wanted to go. I couldn’t feel humbler that we were able to turn this dream into a reality. I am already missing this beautiful place.

Cinque Terre Italy

This is the small beach in Vernazza. In October, massive flash floods and landslides swept through the Cinque Terre, hitting Vernazza and Monterosso the hardest. Thirteen feet of mud covered the village of Vernazza as cars were literally swept into the sea. We talked with one store owner who narrowly escaped with his life, just catching the last train out. It was hard to see Vernazza in this state of devastation, but there were also signs of hope — bright colors, painted doors, and new shops opening every day. The people of Vernazza are working hard to reclaim their town. Each day we visited there was something new. I have no doubt that Vernazza will one day soon be returned to its full glory. Even the way it was… I think Vernazza was my favorite.

Cinque Terre Italy

So happy to be in my dream place.

Cinque Terre Italy

Vernazza at dusk.

Cinque Terre Italy

Quiet cemetery in the hills above town.

Cinque Terre Italy

Cliffs of Vernazza.


Cinque Terre Italy

A simple train runs from each of the five villages and carries passengers and goods to and from the city.


Cinque Terre Italy

This is the first thing you see when you step off the train in Corniglia — a perfect view of the village Manarola high on the cliffs above the sea.

Cinque Terre Italy

The train drops you off down by the water, but to get to Corniglia, you have to take the stairs. If you remember from the first photo, Corniglia is the highest of all the villages. But at least you have this view!

Cinque Terre Italy

About half way up!

Cinque Terre Italy

Ahh, here we are. Foggy morning in Corniglia. Remember, we started all the way down there at the water! :)

Cinque Terre Italy

I loved the views in Corniglia.

Cinque Terre Italy

Colorful houses.

Cinque Terre Italy

Foggy vineyards.

Cinque Terre Italy

Beautiful landscapes.

Cinque Terre Italy

Orchards on the cliffs.

Cinque Terre Italy

Starting to clear up into a gorgeous blue day at the beach.

Cinque Terre Italy

Tiny village, high on a hill.

Cinque Terre Italy

Low clouds in this mountain town.

Cinque Terre Italy

There are hiking trails between all five villages, and I would’ve loved to have hiked them, but most were closed due to the floods. Next time, though. For sure.

I’ll be back with photos from Manarola and Riomaggiore. See you soon!

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39 Responses
  1. Keith Matheson

    Visited Vernazza and Monterosso in Sept. 2015. Absolutely beautiful scenery.Spent only one day there but should have planned 2 or 3 days to properly see all 5 towns. A must visit for anyone touring Italy.

  2. Syma

    Hi Amanda,
    Beautiful photos!! Could you please tell me where you took photos of Vernanzza from if you didn’t hike. We are going in May and I plan on hiking only on the easy path between Manarola and Riomaggiore. (Spelling might be wrong!) Thanks for any advice!

  3. Beatriz @ My Napoleon Complex

    Hi Amanda,

    I’ve been following your blog for more than a year now (it’s one of my favorites)! I love your travel pictures. I’m living in Rome now and went to Cinque Terre this past summer and your pictures were great for inspiration! Anyway, I love your blog and thanks for sharing all your amazing pictures!

  4. Sherrill French

    Hi there,
    I just came across your photos–they are amazing! We took a day trip to Cinque Terre last year, and as fate would have it, it was on October 25, 2011—the day of the flood. We were in Vernazza and Monterosso during the worst of it all. Your photos show the amazing beauty continues and will forever continue even after the tragedy of that day. Thank you for sharing! So glad to see the sunshine!

  5. amanda cargioli


  6. Bev @ Bev Cooks

    I just can’t get over it! I’ve always wanted to visit these villages and these piiiiictures. OMG. I’m so jealous.

    See you in a few days in Seattle! <3

  7. Sharon

    Hi – I found your blog through a pinterest post and am so glad I did! I just invested in a Canon DSRL because I’m going to Italy in October (a lot of the same places!) and I’m starting to learn how to use it. All of your tutorials and pictures have really helped – it’s great to look through your Italy pictures and see what type of lense you used, so I can get a better idea of which ones I should buy (as well as your photography posts)! Thanks!

    1. Amanda

      Of course! We stayed at the Hotel Cinque Terre.

      I really liked it. It’s totally nothing fancy, but it’s in a good location. The other towns were smaller and it seemed like you would’ve had to drag your luggage uphill or up stairs for a bit to get to the hotels. This place was close to the beach and train station, and it was flat all the way there. :) WiFi is in the lobby only, but it worked well. They had a good breakfast in the mornings. Staff was very friendly. Shower was good. :) The beds have comforters on them — the kind that probably don’t get washed between each guest, which doesn’t thrill me, but I’m not a huge germophobe so we dealt, and managed to make it out unscathed. :) But just a warning if that is a dealbreaker. :)

      Hope this helps! :)

  8. Kathy C.

    My family and I were is Cinque Terre last May. It truly is breathtaking. Your pictures are gorgeous. Please share more.

  9. Kathy C.

    My family was in Cinque Terre last May and were upset to see the devastation of the flooding. What a wonderful experience we had there. The people are some of the friendliest in the world. No one can really explain how picturesque the villages really are. Your pictures capture their beauty. Please share more.

  10. Nicole

    Wow is it gorgeous!! I bet the people that live there are very healthy walking up and down those hills and probably eat a lot of fish living right on the ocean! I just love the colors of the buildings, the bright green hills and the cool blue ocean! Gorgeous-Beautiful-Breath-Taking-Spectacular! Thanks for sharing these pictures!!

  11. Erin @ Texanerin Baking

    Yay, the Italy posts are back! We only drove past this area and it kind of killed me and it’s killing me all over again. You two look so happy there! And that’s too bad about the flooding. At least it survived. :)

  12. Becky

    All I can say is wow….I wasn’t going to leave a comment because I am having a busy bee day and didn’t think I had time but after seeing how stunning your pics were I knew I had to leave one even if I just had to say a big “WOW”….truly a place anyone would be lucky to visit. Now I am wanting to oil paint something like this…’s crazy good. lol. Thanks for sharing because I doubt I would ever get the chance to go there. So glad we can see some beautiful places you and Kevin get to travel too. It just makes me more eager to see your next stop. Thanks again…..((Hugs)), Becky

  13. Debra Rector

    I was fortunate to have toured Italy for two glorious weeks last fall. We traveled around Tuscany and Rome, and spent an entire day traveling through the small towns of Cinque Terre by train. Two weeks after our visit to Cinque Terre the rain and floods occured, paralizing the small coastal towns. Vernazza was hit terribly hard. Very, very sad to see photos of the destruction. The colorful shops and quaint restaurant that we dined for lunch were covered to the tops of the doors in mud. So happy to see tourists returning to the hard hit towns and that recovery is underway. Cinque Terre was absolutely magical — would love to return some day soon.

  14. Jeanette

    Wow, what a beautiful place to visit! Your pictures are amazing and now I’m dying to visit Monterosso and those vineyards….just stunning!

  15. Elizabeth Rhyneer

    I did try to see your pictures yesterday and really thought I had a computer problem. Good to see them today and love each. This place is one of such outstanding color.. I want all them in my back yard. Tried a bright blue and pink now I need to add more. Thank you for the inspiration.
    Looks like such a great memory maker for you and Kevin. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lori @ RecipeGirl

    I truly must go to this spot! I hope you stayed somewhere cute in all of that colorful mess of buildings! Gorgeous- all of your Italy posts!!

  17. Vicki Dame

    Amanda, I have to say that I love your blog and your posts. Though I think most of the time I gain weight just looking at your pictures. However, your trip to Italy is my favorite. As a travel agent, one of the places on my ever growing list of where I want to go is Italy. But not until you posted these pictures of Cinque Terre have I REALLY wanted to go. I’ve always wondered where that little beach is, and now I know it is Vernazza. That’s always been one of my favorite little places. Thanks so much for educating this person who is in the travel industry. p.s. I really hope you used a local travel agent to help plan the parts of your trip not provided by Michael Angelo’s.

    Thanks tons for all you do!

  18. Sandra

    I have heard about Cinque Terre but had not idea how glorious they are! THANKS for sharing these photos with us. They are definitely on my bucket list!

  19. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    That’s a shame about the landslide. I have such fond memories of Cinque Terre. Thanks for sharing your pics.

  20. SaRaH L

    Out of three weeks in Europe, I think our stay in Monterosso was my favorite! Your photos are gorgeous!! I love reading about your trip :)

  21. Kia

    Exquisite photos, Amanda! :) I really like how you have saturated the colors, it looks great. . Thanks for the happy memories!

  22. Kellie

    My gosh, your photos look like paintings. You could probably sell them for lots of money! Looks like an amazing trip.

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Meet Kevin & Amanda

Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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