Discover Cinque Terre on Your Private Tour
Cinque Terre (The Five Lands), is a short piece of coastline at the beginning of the Italian Riviera, where five medieval fisherman villages have survived intact across the centuries. The villages have been so well-preserved due to the fact that they were isolated until most recently, as if they were on an island, which means that they could only be reached by sea. The villages feature a unique architecture and unbelievable landscapes around them. This is unquestionably one of the most beautiful spots in Italy and a top priority for any tourist who really wants to get to know the real Italy. Cinque Terre day tours from Florence, Pisa, Lucca or Livorno are an exciting undertaking, and we know just how to go about organizing them.
As we approach Cinque Terre from Florence, Pisa, Lucca or Livorno, we will drive through La Spezia and start climbing the promontory that separates this large city from the magical territory of Cinque Terre. The scenery from above Riomaggiore, the first town, is breathtaking. Once parked at the top of the village, we will start winding down the pathway that leads to the shoreline, walking through the clusters of houses which line both sides of the ravine.
The constructions involved with these homes seem so daring, almost terrifying at times, with their seemingly precarious positioning, that one often wonders how could these medieval buildings have survived the centuries despite their seemingly extremely unstable position.
The walk down will end at the ancient marina. The marina, which has served the fisherman and their boats since the earliest days of the village, is still intact, and for the most part appears almost exactly the same as it did about 1000 years ago. After a visit to the marina, we will head onto the famous Via dell’Amore, the Walkway of Love, a romantic, easy and flat trail carved along the cliffs that offer spectacular views over the coastline, connecting to Riomaggiore to Manarola, the second town on our agenda. At each new spot along the progression of the trails between the towns, the scenery, the rock formations, the vegetation, and the foliage colors change completely.
Chauffeured Tour to Enjoy Cinque Terre
Manarola is possibly the most photogenic of the five towns. It’s composed of a myriad of alleys which go all around it. These alleys are the pathways that the residents have traversed for centuries as they go about their day. The city is a wonder for the eyes and walking toward the point of the promontory will allow you to take in the most breathtaking view of it.
The tour will continue using either a local train or ferry, depending on the time of day. In about ten minutes, this will transport us to Vernazza, our third town, and without a doubt the most picturesque of the five. Here you will enjoy lunch at your leisure while your guide drives to meet back up with you. While dining, be sure to enjoy the fresh fish and possibly “Trofie al pesto alla Genovese,” a local favorite and a recipe whose origins in Cinque Terre dates back centuries.
Driving out of this area is a fantastic moment as the road is one of the most breathtaking and scenic in all of Italy, especially when we will begin to approach Corniglia, the fourth town on our list for the day. It is also the only one of the five that is not located directly on the water. Corniglia also has the distinction of being not only the most ancient of the five, but in most opinions, the quaintest.
After we leave Corniglia, we will head to our final destination. On the way back we will be coasting along mountains and cutting through the terraces. It is a driving experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Ideally, we park the vehicle in Riomaggiore. From the parking location to the heart of the town, it’s a 10-minute walk downhill. From the marina, we will have to walk back up the equivalent of about 50 steps to reach the walk of love. The trail itself is about 800 meters long (1/2 a mile) it’s wide, has a handrail and despite its appearance and age, it is 100% safe. There is an admission fee of Euro 5 per person to be paid by clients. The Via dell’Amore ends at the train station of Manarola those who are tired of walking, can wait for the train to continue on to Vernazza. In order to take the ferry, which is a bit more scenic, we will need to walk another 5 minutes, but it is well worth it. Riding on the train offers very limited views, as it’s primarily in tunnels. Whether using the ferry or the train, the guide will normally let clients get from this point on by themselves. He will meet up with them again in Vernazza. After meeting the guide, we will drive to Corniglia where we will spend about 20 minutes. At this point, the drive is possibly the most beautiful one of the day, since we will reach the highest part of the mountains that form Cinque Terre. The road is very winding and at every turn the scenery changes. Soon you will find yourself immersed in the vineyards of the terraces. Driving out of Cinque Terre from Corniglia takes about 45 minutes.
When touring from from Florence, Pisa, Lucca or Livorno you can easily add this incredible experience to your itinerary and have a true Italian history encounter like no other.
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