Gay Guide • CINQUE TERRE | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly
GAY FRIENDLY CINQUE TERRE
Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !
Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 1 - Cinque Terre - Google Maps (from La Spezia by boat / train to Monterosso, then to the other villages)
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our itinerary)
Approximate time required: 5 City + Via dell’Amore (currently closed) = about 4 hours + waiting for trains 5 City + All four sections of the Blue Path = about 8 hours
We advise you to visit the Cinque Terre in order, we have done as follows: La Spezia - Monterosso (by train 23 min) Monterosso - Vernazza (by train 3 min) Vernazza - Corniglia (by train 3 min) Corniglia - Manarola (on foot 1h30) Manarola - Riomaggiore (on foot 40 min)
Riomaggiore - La Spezia (by train 11 min)
for train timetables you can check: www.trenitalia.com
Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map
WHAT TO SEE in CINQUE TERRE?
5 THINGS TO SEE in CINQUE TERRE
(Marco's favorite!) The most famous city of the Cinque Terre and certainly one of the reasons why this area has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Situated on a hill, the city extends through a small valley to the seashore, where the small port and the seaside area known as Marina di Manarola are located. A real pearl of the Ligurian coast!
(Simone's favorite!) This beautiful city full of colorful alleys is located on a small promontory. There are many points of interest such as the view from the Tower of the Doria Castle and the Church of Santa Margherita with its beautiful square. We recommend you to venture into the narrow streets near the port and enjoy the atmosphere. Around the city there are several vineyards and olive trees. The most spectacular way to reach this town is to walk from Monterosso al Mare, although in the height of summer it can be long and difficult due to the heat.
Its location on a steep mountain is simply amazing and its colorful houses that extend to the marina are a strong point of this town. In addition to the breathtaking views, it is worth getting lost in the alleys of the historic center until you reach the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the Castle and the Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta. From the promenade, if you follow a small path, you will reach a rocky beach, perfect for a refreshing swim.
The smallest town to see in the Cinque Terre and the only one with no direct access to the Ligurian Sea. This city is located on a promontory over 100 meters high, surrounded by terraces of vineyards and olive trees. Be prepared because to reach the top of the city you will have to climb a long staircase of 382 steps known as the Lardarina.
Monterosso al Mare
In a small natural gulf, it is the city with the largest number of inhabitants and the largest to see in the Cinque Terre. Here you will find really cheap hotels and guest houses considering the area with high tourist interest. In addition to cheaper accommodation, Monterosso is known for the area's largest beaches and a wide range of restaurants and bars. Also enjoy the beautiful old town with several points of interest such as the Aurora Tower, the Church of San Giovanni Battista and the statue "Il Gigante", symbol of the city.
the MOST BEAUTIFUL PANORAMIC VIEWS in CINQUE TERRE
Enjoy the whole area from one of the best viewpoints of the Cinque Terre that we recommend:
Viewpoint Sentiero Azzurro from Monterosso to Vernazza
If you venture on foot along the path that starts from Monterosso and reaches Vernazza (about 1.5 or 2 hours of walking) you will enjoy an amazing view of the two towns from afar. Just before arriving in Vernazza, you will be surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, and right on a corner of the path, you will have the most beautiful view of the town from above.
Viewpoint Port of Vernazza
Thanks to the colorful boats this small port offers a lot of ideas for fantastic photos.
Viewpoint Sentiero Azzurro from Corniglia to Manarola
In this part of the path the photographic points are breathtaking: vineyards on one side, crystal clear sea on the other and the city of Manarola which is getting closer and closer.
Viewpoint Punta Bonfiglio in Manarola
Just before arriving in Manarola coming from Corniglia, there is a fantastic panoramic point, known as Punta Bonfiglio, from which you will enjoy the most beautiful view of the city. We recommend that you stop at Bar No Dorma to enjoy a good aperitif with a breathtaking view of the port of Manarola.
Viewpoint Port of Riomaggiore
If you want to capture the best side of the town of Riomaggiore, walk up the hill to the left of the port to the small terrace from where you will have an incredible view of the village and its colorful houses.
WHAT TO DO in CINQUE TERRE
Sentiero Azzurro & Trekking
The Cinque Terre are a perfect place for those who want to venture into breathtaking walks among cliffs, vineyards, olive trees and fairytale villages. The most famous route is the Blue Trail (about 12 kilometers) which connects the five villages in a wonderful and undemanding way. We advise you to consult this site to find the complete map of the trails and the relative openings / closings for maintenance work and / or bad weather: https://www.cinqueterre.it/sites/default/files/Hiking_Map_0.pdf
Via dell'Amore (Closed until May 2023)
The part of the Sentiero Azzurro between Riomaggiore and Manarola (the most spectacular) is known as the "Via dell'Amore", a simple but highly scenic route of about 1 km.
Without doubt one of the best ways to observe the Cinque Terre is from the sea. We recommend that you reach Monterosso by boat from Portovenere or La Spezia. By doing so you can enjoy a unique view. There are several companies, public and private, that carry out this service. We advise you to consult the site Navigazione Golfo dei Poeti for all information and related costs (also useful to consult if the weather allows you to reach them by boat or if you need to use the train).
Wine Tasting & Vineyard Visit
The Cinque Terre area (especially Corniglia) is surrounded by vineyards. Here an excellent DOC wine is produced and many wine bars or bars offer delicious wine tastings. From dry white wine to sweet and fortified wine, such as Sciacchetrà, there is something for everyone!
Road of Sanctuaries
Each village of the Cinque Terre has its own sanctuary, suspended between the sea and the sky. They are places very dear to the inhabitants and draw a sort of natural Via Crucis. If you want to venture along this path, you can take the Via dei Santuari delle Cinque Terre. The main sanctuaries that dominate the Cinque Terre villages are: Our Lady of Montenero in Riomaggiore, Our Lady of Grace in San Bernardino in Corniglia, Our Lady of Health in Manarola, Our Lady of Soviore in Monterosso and Our Lady of Regio in Vernazza.
MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACHES in CINQUE TERRE
Near Conriglia, it is one of the most beautiful to see, with a wild aspect and crystal clear waters.
A pebble and rocky beach located behind a cave.
The only sandy beach in the area and the largest.
A stony cove known as Porto Pidocchio.
Bonassola Beach & Levanto Beach
Two other beaches just after Monterosso towards Genoa.
BEST EVENTS of the CINQUE TERRE
Manarola Nativity (December - January)
The hill of Manarola is transformed into a huge nativity scene. 300 characters made with recycled materials that are illuminated at night.
Sagra dei Limoni di Monterosso (May)
Several competitions to celebrate this citrus fruit, from the competition of the biggest lemon to the most beautiful statue made with lemons. Also not to be missed are culinary specialties such as limoncino and lemon cake!
San Lorenzo a Manarola (10 August)
During the day of San Lorenzo you can attend the procession of Manarola and the blessing of the sea. For this event many artists come here to paint in the moonlight.
Pirate Festival in Vernazza (August)
The Pirate Festival is a celebration of Vernazza's battles against the Saracens. There are even landing simulations.
Feast of Anchovies and Olives in Monterosso (September)
A gastronomic festival held every year in September. You can taste different local dishes made with the wonderful anchovies and the delicious Monterosso olives.
WHERE TO STAY in CINQUE TERRE?
BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS, VILLAS & APARTMENTS in CINQUE TERRE
La Spezia - ARI Guest House
® Tested by World Mappers (excellent location very close to the station)
Monterosso al Mare - Suisse Bellevue ***
Monterosso al Mare - Hotel Margherita ***
Monterosso al Mare - Eremo della Maddalena
Manarola - La Torretta Lodge
WHERE TO EAT in CINQUE TERRE?
BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS of CINQUE TERRE Quality / Price
Monterosso - €€ - Gastronomia San Martino
Monterosso - €€ - Enoteca da Eliseo ® Tested by World Mappers
Monterosso - €€ - Ristorante Milky
Vernazza - €€ - Belforte
Vernazza - €€ - La Torre
Vernazza - €€ - Il Pirata delle Cinque Terre
Corniglia - €€ - Enoteca Il Pirun
Manarola - €€ - Nessun Dorma (A glass of wine with a breathtaking view, what more could you want?) ® Tested by World Mappers
Manarola - €€ - Trattoria Dal Billy
Riomaggiore - €€ - Enoteca Dau Cila
Riomaggiore - €€ - Bar e Vini a Pie 'de Ma'
Riomaggiore - € - Il Pescato Cucinato (Take Away Only - Great Fried Fish!) ® Tested by World Mappers
WHAT TO EAT in CINQUE TERRE / LIGURIA ?
BEST TYPICAL DISHES of CINQUE TERRE / LIGURIA
The farinata di ceci is a very low savory pie made with water and chickpea flour, cooked in a wood oven. Simply exquisite!
Focaccia Ligure e Sgabeo
One of the best focaccias in Italy is Sgabeo, leavened bread dough, cut into strips, fried in oil and salted on the surface.
Frittelle di Fiori di Zucca
Delicious and crunchy courgette flower fritters
Stoccafisso con Bietole
Stockfish with Swiss chard
Torta di Riso di Monterosso
The Ligurian rice cake is mainly used for standing dinners or receptions. It is appetizing and fragrant even consumed as a snack by the sea.
TRAVEL TIPS about CINQUE TERRE by World Mappers
Can the Cinque Terre be visited in one day? One of the most frequently asked questions we have been asked. The answer is certainly "yes", but if you want to fully enjoy this area, we recommend that you stay at least one night.
Without a doubt the train is the fastest way to visit the Cinque Terre without stress. You can buy the "Cinque Terre Express" ticket to take advantage of the regional trains that make stops in all five locations of the Cinque Terre Park. There are trains practically every hour.
To visit the Cinque Terre you can buy the "Cinque Terre Card", very useful if you want to go trekking or take some or all of the paths that connect the cities. If you are traveling with your family there is also the solution of the family card. It can be purchased at the tourist information points in each city and in the La Spezia station. In case of bad weather, the sale of the Card can be suspended, as the trails remain closed in case of heavy rain. Info & Prices can be found at this link. There are two versions of the Cinque Terre Card:
Cinque Terre Trekking Card: Includes access to the park, guided tours (if scheduled during the days you visit the park), buses, toilets and wifi. There is also the 48 hour option. Children between 4 and 12 pay a reduced ticket (€ 4.50).
Cinque Terre Train MS Card: Includes everything included in the Trekking Card and, in addition, the use of regional trains in second class. If you buy the Cinque Terre Express ticket, this card is not convenient.
Another piece of advice we give you is to download the App Parco Nazionale delle 5 Terre plus Hiking Guide to consult the paths and their accessibility, with rich information on the level of difficulty (Tourist, Escurisionistico, Expert), photos and videos.
La Spezia is not only the ideal starting point for exploring the Cinque Terre, but it is also a very nice city. We recommend the port area and the La Spezia Naval Technical Museum. From this city you can take one of the local trains that will take you directly to the Cinque Terre (in no time).
If you have time available, we recommend a trip to the Gulf of Poets, to visit the wonderful towns of Portovenere, Lerici and Tellaro, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
A few kilometers from the Cinque Terre is Genoa, a beautiful city with a historic center declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Also take a look at our