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.

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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).

Tasso di soggiorno: Cinque Terre’s new “city tax”

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Perhaps you’ve been online trying to find accommodations for your stay in the Cinque Terre and you’ve noticed that people are mentioning a new tax for those staying in the area.  Like many popular Italian cities (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc.), the Cinque Terre villages are following suit and imposing a city tax on visitors staying here.

Before you get too excited, don’t worry… this tax shouldn’t make or break you.  The tax is 1 euro, per person, per day, for a maximum of three days (so the maximum city tax per person for any single stay would be 3 euro).  This amount will need to be paid directly to your hotel or the owner of the room or apartment you have rented (they, in turn, will have to fill out paperwork and submit the tax to the Comune).  As it currently stands, the new tasso di soggiorno will apply to those that stay in the villages within the Comune di Riomaggiore and the Comune di Vernazza between the dates of March 1st and October 31st, 2015.  This means if you stay in the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Groppo, Volastra, Corniglia, Prevo or Vernazza you should expect to pay the city tax this year.  At the moment, the Comune di Monterosso has not approved a tasso di soggiorno so those staying there are exempt.  

The city tax was not welcome by most locals in the Cinque Terre, many of which are dependent on tourism for their livelihood.  City leaders in both the Comune di Riomaggiore and Comune di Vernazza assure locals that this city tax will help with the costs of maintaining not just the villages but also the surrounding territory, trails and dry stone terraces.  Time will only tell if that will truly be the case.  In the meantime, our fingers are crossed.