Last Two Stops in Cinque Terre: Vernazza & Monterosso
Welcome to the Cinque Terre stop of our ongoing European adventure, where myself, my wife Erika and our three kids aged seven, five and one explore Europe on planes, trains and cruise-ship. In today’s entry we wrap up our tour of the five picturesque seaside towns that make up the Cinque Terre region of Italy. We just finished visiting Manarola, Riomaggiore and Corniglia – our next stop on our whirlwind Cinque Terre tour: Vernazza
Cinque Terre Stop #4 – Vivid Vernazza
After our downhill hike in Corniglia (our previous stop in the “Five Lands“), we boarded the train for Vernazza. The train station, conveniently located in the town center, spared us the uphill climbs that we had to endure in our previous stops. If you are here after reading our previous entry, you won’t be surprise to find out that Vernazza is yet another “charming coastal town in Cinque Terre”.
By now we were all a little tired and starting to feel a little loopy. I kept calling Vernazza “Monterosso” and Erika thought she lost our baby (our baby, Emma, was safe with me the whole time). We decided to make a beeline to the Vernazza Seafront since it was so close to the town center where we were.
The vibrant colors of the buildings against the sea were a feast for the eyes and the waves rolling crashing against the rugged cliffs created a mesmerizing spectacle. No matter how tired we were and how many times we had seen this seafront view in our Cinque Terre tour, it never failed to amaze.
As we strolled along the promenade, our boys couldn’t help but be captivated by the fishermen casting their nets into the choppy waters. Even our baby, Emma, seemed excited. We topped off our visit to Vernazza by getting some gelato and headed back to the train station.
Cinque Terre Travel Tip – Use Google Maps for Public Transport Schedules in Europe
Technology has simplified travel a great deal – even compared to when Erika and I made the same trip 10 years ago. Roaming data plans for cell phones across Europe are much more affordable now then they were back then. Thanks to online services like Google Maps, the days of poring over train schedules and worrying about missed connections are long gone. We used Google Maps to check train schedules and platforms in real-time, ensuring a seamless journey to our next destination.
Cinque Terre Stop #5 – Mesmerizing Monterosso al Mare
After a day filled with exploration and gelato, we boarded a train back to Monterosso. Monterosso is divided into two separate parts: an old town and a new town. They are connected by a pedestrian tunnel, which is a fun to walk across since it has various window cutouts built into it with exhibits highlighting the local history. For more on our explorations of Monterosso, check out our Day 5 in Europe blog post.
The day was coming to an end, as was our time in Cinque Terre. The plan for our last day in Monterosso was for dinner and then back to the hotel. Unfortunately, the restaurant I had in mind, which got great reviews, was booked solid so we had to scramble for an alternative. Thankfully we had a great meal at La Cantina Del Pescatore Bar Enoteca, which was also busy, but managed to accommodate us.
On the walk back to the hotel from the restaurant I couldn’t help marvel at how enchanting Monterosso was in the evening when the day-trippers and cruise ship crowds departed. A peaceful evening walk was a fitting end to our busy day.
Cinque Terre Travel Tip – Baby strollers
It’s entirely possible to explore this stunning region with your little one in tow. Go for a lightweight, easily maneuverable stroller that can handle uneven terrain. Be prepared for staircases and steep inclines. As you can see it can be a challenge to carry the stroller (with baby!) up the stairs in some of the hilly Cinque Terre towns.
The End of Our Time in Cinque Terre
Back at our cozy hotel in Monterosso, Erika was at the bar getting drinks and I was in bed reflecting on our day’s adventures. Emma was toddling around the room and our two boys were having the time of their lives creating mayhem in their bunk beds. As the night settled in, we sipped cocktails and were recharging our batteries for the next leg of our journey — Pisa.
Cinque Terre Travel Tip – Family Friendly Hotels
Cinque Terre is an ideal destination for a family vacation. Fortunately, there are several family-friendly hotels in the region that cater to the needs of both parents and children. The hotel we stayed at, Hotel Souvenir, is a great option for families. It’s located in Monterosso al Mare and makes for a great base to explore the rest of Cinque Terre.
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