TrenItalia, Italy’s national railway system, has recently raised rates which has caused the multi-service Cinque Terre Card (which includes the hiking pass + unlimited train trips between the five villages, La Spezia Centrale and Levanto) to increase in price.
See below for the new rates, valid from March to November, 2022:
Where can I buy a Cinque Terre Card?
Cinque Terre Cards can be purchased in person at the Cinque Terre National Park TI offices throughout the Cinque Terre or at the train stations in Levanto or La Spezia Centrale. The passes can also be purchased online via the national park’s website, which I highly recommend doing so that you can avoid standing in long lines.
What about the hiking pass? Has it increased in price as well?
Unlike the multi-service Cinque Terre Card, the hiking pass (a.k.a Trekking Card) has not seen an increase in price (as it does not include the trains). To refresh your memories, here’s the current rates for the hiking pass:
Guided Tours & Excursions with Cinque Terre Walking Park
The Cinque Terre National Park offers free tours & excursions for those who have purchased the multi-service Cinque Terre Card (€16 per day, the card includes the hiking pass, unlimited trains between the Cinque Terre + Levanto and La Spezia, the ATC buses in the villages, and affiliated public restrooms). More info on the card can be found here.
See below for July’s schedule:
The calendar is color coded; dates in blue are walking tours, yellow dates indicate trekking (a.k.a. hiking) tours and dates in pink refer to e-bike tours.
Cin cin! Some tours offer the possibility for an optional local wine tasting (for an additional fee).
Advance reservations for tours are required and can be made either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (+39 0187 743 500).
If you’re planning to visit the Cinque Terre this summer you’re probably keen on the idea of taking the ferries between the villages. Don’t forget that the ferries stop in just four of the five villages (Corniglia is located high above the sea so there’s no docking point there). The ferries also run further down the coast to picturesque Portovenere (which I highly recommend visiting).
Here’s the ferry schedule for this summer:
The current rate for an all-day hop-on, hop-off pass within the Cinque Terre is €27 per adult / €15 per child (ages 7 to 11 years). If you’d like to include Portovenere with that pass the price increases to €35 per adult (but remains €15 per child). Children 6 years and under are free when traveling with an adult.
There’s also the possibility to buy point-to-point tickets. To give you an idea of pricing:
Riomaggiore to Manarola: €7 adult / €5 child
Riomaggiore to Vernazza: €11 adult / €5 child
Riomaggiore to Monterosso: €13 adult / €5 child
Riomaggiore to Portovenere: €14 adult / €10 child
WHERE TO BUY TICKETS
Unless you are a group of 20+ people, tickets are not sold in advance. It’s recommended to turn up 30 minutes prior to your first departure to purchase your tickets at the stand near the docking point.
INSIDER TIP: While the website mentions they accept credit cards it has been my experience that oftentimes they do not. Rather than scramble to look for an ATM at the last moment, bring enough cash to cover your tickets — just in case.
The ferries are run by Consorzio Marittimo Turistico 5 Terre Golfo dei Poeti. You can check out their official website and full offerings here.
Heads up: Don’t confuse the ferry service (which is essentially like a water taxi taking you rather quickly from point A to point B) with the small boat private or semi-private tours. While typically more expensive than the ferries, these boat tours offer a relaxed pace and intimate ambience with optional swim stops and aperitivi. If you are interested in a private or semi-private boat tour please support local. If you’re interested drop me a message and I’ll forward you a list of tried and true local boat tour companies.
We’re into our second pandemic summer here in Italy. In an effort to ensure adequate social distancing, Monterosso’s mayor has passed an ordinance requiring reservations at the village’s public beaches (just like last year). The beaches, which are free of charge, have been equipped with numbered poles and each reservation allows for space for two adults + children next to one of these markers. These beaches are overseen by stewards from the village’s ProLoco association.
Don’t forget that in this post we are talking about public beaches, as an alternative there are also private beaches where you can pay to rent an umbrella and a sun lounger for the day. Usually at these private beach clubs you can just turn up but during peak times they can fill up so beware.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW
Time slots for the public beaches are released just 40 hours in advance, so there’s no possibility to reserve weeks (or months) prior.
If you are staying in Monterosso be sure to speak to your hotel or host first as they have the possibility to reserve for you.
These are the three possible time slots:
1. 9am to 12pm
2. 12pm to 3pm
3. 3pm to 7pm.
There are four beaches to choose from:
1. Fegina public beach
2. Il Gigante public beach
3. Portiglione public beach
4. Tragagià public beach
The first three options are in Fegina (the side of the village closest to the train station) whereas Tragagià is the only option in Monterosso Vecchio (the historical center).
Book your spot, step-by-step guide
For non-Italians the reservation process might seem a bit daunting (as the website is only in Italian) but I will walk you through it.
2. Scroll down and click on “Per visitatori giornalieri nel Comune e proprietari di seconde case.”
3. Now click the arrow to see the different beach options and then choose one (hint: chances are you’ll probably have to try all of them before you find a spot available).
4. A map will come up of that particular beach. Scroll down to the very bottom and choose your date. Don’t forget: Slots are set to release 40 hours in advance (so you can’t book far in advance).
5. After you’ve chosen your date if you see this message it means there are no spots currently available for that particular day. Boo!
6. Try changing dates and/or beaches until you find an available date. If you see this on your screen… JACKPOT! Choose your preferred time slot and click “PRENOTA” (reserve).
7. Now fill in your details to confirm the reservation and click “PRENOTA.”
Honestly, I doubt they will read or pay much attention to the “Note” section so I wouldn’t invest much time or effort there.
8. In theory at this point you’ve done everything correctly and you should receive a confirmation email to the address you provided. Save that email or take a screenshot so you can show it to the beach steward. You’re all set!
Please be considerate. Be sure to cancel your reservation (via the link in your confirmation email) should you not be able to make it to the beach at your allotted time.
Considering calling off your 2020 Italian vacation because of the coronavirus? Hold your horses. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified Italy as Level 2 and their advisory is directed at two specific subgroups of travelers: “Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.”
My advice? Unless you fall into one of those two categories (aging adult or infirm) take your finger off the cancel button. Research your existing bookings and their cancellation policies (and know until what date you can opt out without penalty). This is a dynamic situation, unless you are due to depart immediately there’s no need for a rash decision—watch & wait.
Here are the most reliable and credible resources that you should be referencing:
Please note: This is an ever-evolving story due to the dynamic nature of contagion. All data was correct at the time it was published. Periodic updates will be posted as footnotes to this post.
Let me start by saying, as of today there have been zero confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Liguria (the region in which the five Cinque Terre villages are located). Because we neighbor regions where there have been confirmed cases, our regional government has enacted special precautions which include closing schools and public venues as well as canceling sporting events until March 1, 2020. On that date the situation will be reevaluated and the ordinance will either be lifted or extended.
The Italian government is taking the coronavirus seriously and they have implemented measures to isolate the outbreak. A coordinated response has also been enacted to quell alarm and the dissemination of fake news.
Despite media hype, the coronavirus is considered only slightly more dangerous than the average flu and mortality rates confirm that. The most challenging aspect of the coronavirus from a logistical standpoint is its rapid transmission.
There are currently 283 confirmed cases in Italy, with the majority in the regions of Lombardy (206 cases) and Veneto (38 cases). Overall, infection rates continue to be very low in Italy, which has a population of 60.48 million people.
What can you do to limit the spread of the coronavirus?
Wash your hands thoroughly and often
Avoid contact with people who have respiratory illnesses
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands
Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
Do not take antibiotics unless prescribed by a doctor
Clean surfaces with disinfectants
Wear a face mask ONLY if you think you are sick or assisting the sick
In Italy: Call 112 if you have fever, cough or respiratory difficulties, especially if you have recently been to China or you have traveled to identified areas of contagion
Most importantly, keep calm and don’t panic. It’s currently life as usual in the Cinque Terre, with some extra hand washing thrown in the mix.
UPDATE (25 February 2020, 15:15)
Less than an hour after publishing this post it was made public that a woman in Alassio, Liguria (the westernmost portion of our region, the Cinque Terre is located on the eastern border with Tuscany) tested positive to the coronavirus. She has been hospitalized and is listed as being in good condition.
The year 2020 in the Cinque Terre will start off with major works (amounting to €3.7 million) on the railway lines. If you plan to visit our area between January 7th and March 7th expect less frequent trains as they will be running on just one line (for both directions) instead of two. Is this a problem for visitors? Not really, so long as you plan out which trains you plan to catch in advance (using the TrenItalia app, official website: http://www.trenitalia.com or the handy schedule below) so as to avoid wasting time at the stations. In most cases there will be one train per hour in each direction during prime time but there is an instance in which there’s a two hour gap between trains (between the 8am and 10am trains).
The planned works will focus on the Riomaggiore train station where they will expand the second platform and modernize the station itself. Works will also take place in the tunnel that connects La Spezia to the Cinque Terre; the current drainage system will be updated and security measures will be optimized.
The nativity scene is a quintessential holiday tradition in Italy (the Christmas tree, although now just as popular, is considered imported). Most of us are familiar with static versions of the nativity scene but if you are lucky enough to happen upon a dynamic, live version the experience is magical.
Monterosso will host its very own live nativity scene on Saturday, December 7th, from 12 noon to 7pm. Visitors will wind their way through the historical center on medieval lanes where they can witness vignettes portrayed by locals and sample traditional cuisine. If you are in the area that day you won’t want to miss it!
Today, November 27th, the Cinque Terre and surrounding areas are on a level orange weather alert from 8am to 6pm.
The Cinque Terre villages are located in zone C
Forecasters are predicting heavy rains, gusty winds and thunderstorms. What’s of most concern to both meteorologists and geologists is the level of ground saturation after weeks of constant rain.
Are you wondering why weather alerts and storm warnings are seemingly so frequent in our area? Check outthis post.
Alerts are classified as either yellow, orange or red depending on the level of risk associated (yellow being the lowest on the scale and red the highest). As this is an orange alert, extra safety precautions within the Cinque Terre automatically go into effect. In theComune di Riomaggiore(which encompasses the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Volastra and Groppo) businesses located within potential flood zones are required to close, vehicles must be moved to areas not prone to flooding and organized tour groups are not permitted to visit the villages (amongst a plethora of other ordinances, but these are the main ones that affect those visiting our area).During the weather alert all hiking trails in the Cinque Terre National Park are officially closed.
If you are staying in the Cinque Terre we recommend buying food and snacks to tide you over as many businesses (bars, restaurants, shops, offices, etc.) are required to close. Only a select few businesses (with secondary emergency exits or outside of the flood zones) are allowed to remain open. Add to that the fact that we are in the off-season with many businesses already closed doesn’t leave much room for choice.
Here are the businesses that are permitted to stay open during a level orange weather alert for the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola (but keep in mind that just because theycanopen doesn’t mean that theywillopen).Keep in mind that we’ve also officially entered the off-season where many businesses are closed regardless of the weather.
Coop 5Terre (grocery market, the one located higher up on via Colombo)
La Zorza (bar/café)
Dau Cila (restaurant)
Trattoria dal Billy (restaurant)
If you are staying in Corniglia, Vernazza or Monterosso speak with your host to see how you will be potentially affected by the weather alert.
At 6pm the weather alert is expected to downgrade to yellow, meaning that businesses are able to reopen.
What do I recommend?Use this time to catch up on sleep or some much-needed R&R. Delve into a new book or catch up on emails. If you decide to venture out, be prudent and prepared for heavy rains (and be ready to turn back should conditions worsen). Steer clear of low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.Don’t be alarmed, just be cautious.
P.S. You can monitor the status of the alerts on theARPAL website(they are the government agency that issues the alerts).