An itinerary to explore the wonders of Cinque Terre, tasting the flavors of traditional cuisine and admiring the breathtaking scenery of the Ligurian coastline
The Cinque Terre, a hidden gem along the beautiful Ligurian coast, is a dream destination for lovers of food and fascinating scenery. This unique stretch of coastline, located between Levanto and La Spezia, consists of five picturesque fishing villages overlooking the Ligurian Sea: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. They are world-renowned for their breathtaking landscapes, colorful buildings on the cliffs, terraced vineyards, and delicious food.
The typical dishes of the Cinque Terre
In addition to their natural beauty, the Cinque Terre offer a variety of local dishes that satisfy even the most discerning palates. Let’s discover together the must-try culinary experiences in this corner of Italian paradise.
Pesto: Liguria is the home of pesto. Prepared with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese, pesto is traditionally served with trofie, a short, curly pasta. Sip a glass of local wine and enjoy this delicacy at one of the restaurants overlooking the sea while taking in the spectacular views of the seaside villages.
Salted anchovies from Monterosso: salted anchovies are a specialty of this coastal area. Fresh anchovies are cleaned, boned and preserved in sea salt for several weeks in a jar called an “arborella.” The result is an incredibly flavorful and versatile fish, perfect for serving on crostini or added to salads of fresh tomatoes and basil. Savor the local culinary tradition with this delicacy from the sea.
Focaccia: focaccia is another culinary treat not to be missed in Cinque Terre. Genovese focaccia, soft and fragrant, is a local specialty that you can find in many local bakeries and stores. Often topped with olive oil, coarse salt, and sometimes taggiasche olives, it is a perfect snack to enjoy during your excursions between villages.
Sciacchetrà: You cannot leave the Cinque Terre without tasting the famous Sciacchetrà wine. This sweet, aromatic wine is produced locally using white grapes and is often paired with almond desserts or aged cheeses. Sip a glass of Sciacchetrà while enjoying a romantic sunset over the sea and you will be transported to a unique atmosphere.
Fish: Cinque Terre is a true paradise for lovers of fresh fish. Typical of the Cinque Terre are whitebait fritters and mussels stuffed with breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley.
Desserts: the Monterossina is made of pastry filled with sponge cake, chocolate, custard and jam; the Sciacchetrà cake is with raisins, candied fruit and the addition of the local wine of the same name.
Discovering the Cinque Terre
What to see in Cinque Terre and two other nearby special seaside villages:
Monterosso is the first of the Cinque Terre on our itinerary. It is known for its beach and the crystal clear waters of the Ligurian Sea. Many points of interest can be discovered here, such as the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Capuchin Convent at the top of the hill, and the statue of Neptune.
Among the villages of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is characterized by the ancient Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia and Doria Castle with Belforte Tower, located on the hill overlooking Vernazza. Admiring its centuries-old walls and medieval towers, you immerse yourself in the history of this charming seaside village, enjoying breathtaking views of the coast and the sea.
Situated on a hill, Corniglia is the hidden jewel of the Cinque Terre. To reach it, one must walk up a staircase of 382 steps. This charming village offers a unique charm with its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and breathtaking panoramic views of the sea.
Manarola, one of the picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre, is nestled between sheer cliffs and terraced vineyards. Admiring unforgettable sunsets, you can have an authentic experience in this charming village, where the beauty of nature and culture come together in a magical union. This is where the “Via dell’Amore” starts, a path with breathtaking views that reaches Riomaggiore.
Riomaggiore is a seaside village nestled among the cliffs overlooking the sea. Its colorful houses date back to the fishermen’s need to always recognize their home from the sea. From Riomaggiore Castle and the Church of St. John the Baptist, colorful landscapes of the Ligurian sea and the village’s colorful houses can be admired. This is where the “Via dell’Amore” and also the “Sentiero Azzurro” arrive, allowing you to walk between villages, enjoying spectacular views of the sea and hill terraces.
Portovenere and Lerici
Not far from Cinque Terre are two very special Ligurian villages: Portovenere and Lerici.
Portovenere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it blends natural and architectural beauty. The Church of San Pietro is built into the rock on the sea. Nearby are Byron’s Caves, a place from which the writer drew inspiration for his poem “The Corsair.” At the top of the village, crossing picturesque narrow streets, is the Doria Castle and a beautiful panoramic view.
On the other side of the small gulf is Lerici. The lines of the maritime village are outlined by the Castle overlooking the Gulf of the Poets, so called because Byron, Lawrence and Shelley stayed there, as well as being mentioned by Dante in the Divine Comedy.
Cinque Terre: the magic between breathtaking landscapes and delicious food of Italian cuisine
Cinque Terre offers a unique travel experience that combines breathtaking landscapes between sea and rocky coastline, colorful houses of fishing villages overlooking the sea, delicious food of the best Italian cuisine, culture and history. With its delicious traditional dishes and local specialties, this Italian destination offers an unforgettable culinary experience. From pesto to focaccia, from salted anchovies to Sciacchetrà wine, every bite will transport you to the culture and culinary traditions of this fascinating region.