Cinque Terre: A gateway to explore Italy
I was super excited for my first visit to Cinque Terre in September this year; its dreamy Coastline, flexible walks through the Cinque Terre fishing villages and of course the Ligurian seafood. One of the many things which I found incredible was the accessibility of travelling onward to explore other areas of Italy. Just 1 hour 20 minutes from Pisa Centrale, and how completely contrasting the landscapes were. When my trip finished I was continuing onward to Amalfi. Although quite a long journey around 7 hours in total, it was a completely stress-free smooth sailing adventure; I finished my book, ate a salami sandwich and planned my Amalfi itinerary.
Here are 5 trips which I would recommend combining with Cinque Terre
Leave the Coastal towns behind and enjoy more challenging walking days in Tuscany (around 17-22 km) which are rewarded with walks through classic must-see Hilltop towns such as Volterra, San Gimignano, and Siena. A flexible walking itinerary: You can choose to kick back and relax, sightsee, or enjoy lovely loop walks.
Fancy challenging yourself to one of Europe’s classic pilgrim walks (Via Francigena – known in Italy as the road from France) in the middle ages this was the major pilgrimage route to Rome from the north. One of the most popular and well-waymarked sections is San Miniato to San Quirico, you walk through quintessential Tuscan landscapes and vineyards!
You don’t want to leave the Italian Seafood just yet? Head further north for a road trip exploring the Italian Lakes where you will visit Como, Lugano, Maggiore and Orta. Don’t worry if you would prefer not to drive, we have a tempting selection of itineraries to chose from.
Has hiking the Dolomites been on your bucket list? Fancy Alpine walking at around 1500-2500m with views over lakes, forests and peaks. Staying in authentic mountain rifugios with offer a great sense of Camaraderie. Why not finish your hut to hut experience with a few days in Cinque Terre, reward those legs with gentle walks around the Coast and wonderful food & wine.
I’ve tried and tested it, and it works! As long as you are willing to spend a good few hours on a train (looking at dreamy landscapes) to get to the Amalfi Coast, then these trips work great together. Although both have Coastal Walks, the food, landscapes, and vibe feel completely different. They are both must-do trips! Top tip – if you are travelling by train to Amalfi, stop at Salerno as opposed to Naples. It cuts the journey time, and its a more enjoyable experience! Also - I would recommend booking your train tickets in advance: avoid the busy ques and its cost-effective.
Italy certainly does have much to offer, its one of the few places I want to visit over and over again. In my opinion it has it all: spectacular cities, ancient ruins, wonderful museums, soaring mountains, great beaches, and beautiful natural scenery. Not forgetting their slow pace, "dolce vita" lifestyle, and ability to make you fall in love with food. If you are thinking of visiting I would recommend a trip to Cinque Terre, and perhaps make use of their great transport links and explore more of its beauty. My suggestions here will hopefully inspire you to create your own grand tour of Itlay.