It’s that time of year again! Schedules for guided hikes in the Cinque Terre

For the second year running, the Cinque Terre National Park has announced that they will offer free guided hikes for Cinque Terre Card holders (that’s the National Park’s all-inclusive pass that I talked about here).  For those without the Cinque Terre Card, a minimal fee is requested (which, to be honest, is a steal at just €2.50 per person).  Do the math to see which option works best for you and your plans for the day.  I know Chiara, the guide, personally and I’ve received great feedback from those that have hiked with her.  Plus, she gets bonus points because she speaks English and she’s a bona fide local Riomaggiorese.

Below you’ll find the schedule for the months of March and April (don’t worry, as the schedules for other months are released I’ll be sure to post them).  Disclaimer:  The flyer is not my own, so please don’t credit me with the grammatical errors and typos.  You’ll want to reserve your spot at least a day or two in advance by sending an email to the address listed or ringing the number provided.


Keep in mind these are hikes so proper footwear, a bottle of water and decent athletic abilities are recommended.  Further into the season the park will also offer guided tours of the Cinque Terre villages themselves (which is great for those not wanting to break too much of a sweat while they’re here).

Local and national holidays in Italy

Carnevale 2015

Carnevale in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

So, you’re heading to Italy.  Maybe you want to relish in our country’s holidays.  Or, maybe you want to avoid them (and the crowds they can bring).  Here’s a listing of both local and national holidays to help you out.


  • January 1st:  New Year’s Day
  • January 6th: Epiphany                                                                                                                         
  • Carnevale: Not an official public holiday, but festivities are celebrated throughout Italy six weeks prior to Easter Sunday
  • Easter Sunday and Easter Monday: Dates change each year based on the religious calendar
  • April 25th: Liberation Day
  • May 1st: Labor Day
  • June 2nd: Anniversary of the Republic
  • August 15th: Ferragosto (Assumption of Mary)
  • November 1st: All Saints’ Day
  • December 8th: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 25th:  Christmas Day
  • December 26th:  Santo Stefano (commonly known as the 2nd day of Christmas)


Each city or village in Italy has its own patron saint and will have special festivities on their saint’s day.  The Cinque Terre villages are no exception with suggestive religious processions along the narrow streets, some ending with fireworks over the water (like for San Lorenzo in Manarola).  See below for each village’s patron saint and their day of celebration.

Riomaggiore:  San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), June 24th

Manarola:  San Lorenzo (St. Laurence), August 10th

CornigliaSan Pietro (St. Peter), June 29th

Vernazza: Santa Margherita di Antiochia (St. Margaret of Antioch), July 20th

Monterosso: San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist), June 24th

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Just outside of the Cinque Terre but most definitely worth a visit for their patron saint festivities:

Portovenere:  Madonna Bianca (Miracle of the White Madonna), August 17th

Levanto: San Giacomo (St. James), July 25th