Cinque Terre Insider

American expat insight into Italy's fabulous "Five Lands"

I’m back in the saddle after baby #2’s arrival and I have a lot of catching up to do here on the blog.  However,  I think it’s imperative to first get you all up to date regarding the misinformation that has been swirling in the global media in the past few days.  First, let me just clarify:

THERE WILL BE NO CAP ON THE NUMBER OF VISITORS TO THE CINQUE TERRE IN 2016.  

The misinformation all started three days ago.  The President of the Cinque Terre National Park, Vittorio Alessandro, was quoted in an Italian news article stating that there would be a limit of 1.5 million visitors to the Cinque Terre in the 2016 touristic season (which would shave 1 million visitors off of the estimated number from 2015) and that this would take place through a sort of reservation by purchasing the Cinque Terre Card online in advance.  The park’s general director, Patrizio Scarpellini, was also quoted in the article as saying that the park intended to install electronic pedestrian counters as well as introduce a smartphone app that would permit visitors to view the status of crowds in each of the villages.  A blog post by Ilaria Borletti, the Italian government’s Sottosegretario al Ministero dei Beni e Attività Culturali (Undersecretary for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities), seemed to further corroborate and authenticate the news.

VISITOR CAP

The article caught the attention of international media and the story was translated and disseminated in multiple languages worldwide (see herehere and here, for just a few examples), creating a bit of panic and alarm amongst international travelers planning to visit the area in 2016.

I was skeptical of the news, to be quite honest, as there were plenty of logistical holes to address.  I was also displeased, as were local Cinque Terre city officials and citizens alike, to learn about this new proposal via the media and not from the park itself.  Lastly, knowing full well the time constraints and the tedious pace of Italian bureaucracy, I couldn’t fathom how the national park thought they could have all of this ready to roll out in time for the 2016 touristic season.

Today, three days after the first article was published, guess who retracted and started back pedaling?  The Cinque Terre National Park.  To call this an embarrassment for the park is an understatement.  While there’s no doubt that measures need to be taken to preserve the Cinque Terre and better distribute visitors, this was not the way to introduce a plan (as there was zero collaboration between the park, local entities and citizens and an unrealistic timeline to boot).

park back pedaling

Rest assured that if you are planning to visit the Cinque Terre in 2016 you will not be turned away, nor is it necessary for you to purchase a Cinque Terre Card in advance.  Heck, you don’t even have to buy one at all!  More information on what the Cinque Terre Card is and what it offers can be found in my previous blog post here.

I will go further into detail in a future post, but I wanted to reassure readers and future visitors to the Cinque Terre regarding the actual situation as soon as possible.

18 thoughts on “Limit on the number of visitors to the Cinque Terre in 2016? Nope, not happening.

  1. Nancy says:

    Thank you Amy! I did get nervous. We’ll be coming in early June and can’t wait to explore this part of Italy. We’ll have our 16 year old daughter and 13 year old son with us. Santa Margarita will be our home fore 4 nights while we explore this region!

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    1. You’re very welcome, Nancy! I’m happy to get the correct information out there. 🙂

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      1. Kathy Berg says:

        Amy,
        Can you please tell me if Via dell’Amore will be open this Oct. 2016?
        Cannot find any updated information.
        Thank you.
        Kathy

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      2. Ciao Kathy!

        Unless a miracle happens (which I don’t foresee), the Via dell’Amore will not be open this October. Keep an eye on the blog as I keep the path status updated. Thanks for reading!

        Amy

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      3. Kathy Berg says:

        Thank you, Amy.
        I appreciate your being watchdog on Cinque Terre.
        Kathy

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Davide Tedeschi says:

    Amy: Congratulations to you and your husband on baby #2. I have to tell you, your blog is phenomenal! The amount of data you provide to tourists is astounding.
    I can understand how you became so enchanted with Italia. I’m planning a seventh visit with my wife and six friends in September 2016. We’ve been to all four quadrants of the country and each is more perfect than the other. All different; all meravigliosa!
    We visited the Cinque Terre back in 2005 but very briefly. Also had lunch on the harbor in Portofno–the exact spot where Andrea later filmed one of his concerts.
    When we return this time we land at Malpensa and travel diectly to Lerici. We stayed there last time and we loved it! What’s there not to love – the Gulf of the Poets! When we travel we always hire una guida/autista privato to take us around to an itinerary I put together of things to see and do. After Lerici we head to Malcesine on Lago di Garda, making a little stop halfway to tour a bit of Parma. Then on to Lago di Como, the Bernina Express, St. Moritz and Lake Lucern and end up back in Milan. An ambitious 18 day trip.
    Getting back to our time in your gorgeous part of Italia; I’m trying to figure ot what would be a good itinerary for us to visit. We are not really trail hikers! We are all 70 years old – two of us are in mid 80s. We are adventurous, but not crazy! Walking is okay; hiking? Not so much.
    I am thinking of maybe hiring a guida/autisto privato to take us through the villages wth brief stops in Vernazza, Riomaggiore and Monterosso. Or maybe train travel from Lerici (LaSpezia) or even the ferry from Lerici. Can’t decide what would be best! Any suggestions?
    Grazie mille! And again, auguri a te e tuo marito.

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    1. Ciao Davide!

      Let me just say that I am so impressed and I aspire to be traveling like you when I’m in my seventies!

      I would recommend traveling by ferry. You can pick one up directly from Lerici that will take you across to Portovenere (which is beautiful!) and from there you can head by ferry to the Cinque Terre.

      You don’t have to stop in all of the villages if time doesn’t permit. I would recommend stopping in Manarola (stay in the lower portion of the village, near the harbor, to avoid schlepping up a steep hill). You can walk out to the point to get those amazing views of the village and maybe even grab a glass of wine or snack at Nessun Dorme? You’ll find more details in my Village Spotlight post on Manarola.

      Vernazza is a must-see, just know that you’ll probably encounter crowds. Perhaps you could make reservations for lunch at Belforte? There are stairs to climb to reach it but I promise the food and views are well worth it!

      Lastly, I would recommend Monterosso as a stop as it’s the flattest of the five villages, has a lovely promenade (on the newer side of the village) and lots of great little shops.

      Grazie mille per gli auguri! E buon viaggio!

      Amy

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  3. Diane Nielsen says:

    Hi Amy! I’ve enjoyed looking at your website. We will be in CT in late August 2016 & staying in Volastra. Do you have hope that the Via dell’Amore will be open by then?

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    1. Ciao Diane!

      Unfortunately the Via dell’Amore will not be open this year. At very best, we hope for it to reopen in 2018. When you are here you will be able to see firsthand the fragility of this land and how prone it is to slides. The Via dell’Amore must be deemed safe for pedestrians before it can once again connect Riomaggiore and Manarola.

      Best,
      Amy

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      1. Kathy Berg says:

        Thanks so much for the update. We look forward to visiting Cinque Terre in Oct., but will miss a walk along Via del Amore! Kathy

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hei Lau says:

    Hi Amy,

    We are going to visit Cinque Terre in mid Jul (2 more weeks to go). Would like to double check that there is no limit on the number of visitors to Cinque Terre, right? Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Hei

    Like

    1. Ciao Hei!

      Don’t worry, no limits on numbers.

      Enjoy your time here!

      Amy

      Like

  5. Ralf Hilber says:

    Thank you for getting the right information out. My wife and I will be traveling to CT in October. We have never been here and are sooooo looking forward to it, the pictures are incredible. We were really concerned that there would be a cap on the number of visitors for the tourist season. Is there a cap on the number of people that are allowed to go in during the day or is that also a myth.

    Thanks

    Ralf
    New Hampshire USA

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    1. Ciao Ralf!

      Not to worry, no cap whatsoever.

      Enjoy your stay!
      Amy

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  6. Thank you for your informative updates on life and travel in Cinque Terre! It seems the rumor that they would limit the daily visitors to Cinque Terre was just a misstep that spread like wildfire. But will they try and limit the number of visitors in 2017? or is the entire idea off the radar now? I have several travel clients who are making plans to visit in 2017 but no one can find any definitive info about 2017. Thank You! Christine

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    1. Ciao Christine!

      I have serious (and I mean SERIOUS) doubts that there will be any limit on the influx of visitors in 2017. There are just too many logistical factors to address and there’s no way to do that overnight. If your guests are independent travelers they have no need to worry whatsoever about traveling here in 2017. What’s “on the radar” here are the large tour groups that are currently completely unrestricted and uncontrolled (which is not a good thing). Our hope is that a local entity will control and organize these groups so arrivals can be staggered and less overwhelming for the villages. With that said, I still doubt they will take any resolute action in 2017 regarding these tour groups.

      I hope this info helps!

      Amy

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  7. Nicole Carroll says:

    Any updates on this issue? Have there been any restrictions made?

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    1. Ciao Nicole!

      No, not really. The Comune di Riomaggiore (which includes Riomaggiore, Manarola and secondary villages Volastra and Groppo) now requires tour buses coming to unload passengers in Manarola to register in advance via an electronic portal. However, aside from a few select holidays there are no limits on the number of buses that are allowed to enter (so long as they register online in advance). All other “measures” mentioned by the national park have yet to become anything concrete.

      Amy

      Like

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