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Thinking About Heading to the Cinque Terre in Italy? Be Prepared Before You Go

/ January 15, 2018 / Comments: 0 / In: Uncategorized

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Ten years ago, I was a hiking guide in the Cinque Terre national park and the surrounding area in the region of Liguria in northern Italy where the Cinque Terre is located.

Here I am, 10 years ago – maybe a little bit thinner than I am now, but still with the same passion for bringing people to extraordinary destinations!

Jesse - Lerici

The Cinque Terre and Italy were a very different place a decade ago than it is today, where millions of tourists each year are visiting each year now.

In fact, in 2017 there were said to be over 8 million visitors to the area which has prompted the region of Liguria to implement a tourist tax into the area, and with good reason.

However, it is not only the sheer number of tourists that are causing problems in the park.  It’s the fact that the infrastructure within the confines of the park to comfortably house tourists do not exist

Last year we hosted 2 educational trips for travel professionals to experience what we are saying here… but still many others do not want to take our advice or experience in this area for FACT.

Here are the facts about travelig to the Cinque Terre:

  1. There is so much demand for hotels and accommodations, in this area we recommend you book many months in advance and we do recommend you book with an agent or an operator with credentials.
  2. Many of the hospitality structures are able to charge huge amounts of money for really very basic accommodations, many of which do not have elevators and for elderly travelers especially the lack of hotels with proper amenities which can cause difficulty. In fact,  there have been some reported incidents of injury  – but for the most part many incidents go largely undocumented or unreported, such as the vast majority of incidents involving tourists in Italy where mass tourism is concerned, often do.

There is NO doubt, that the Cinque Terre  national park is a national treasure, but visiting here takes a little bit of “in-the-know” and preparation prior to travel especially for the elderly and for those traveling with small children.

Towns like Vernazza, while definitely worth the visit, in terms of making it a base and finding accommodations here, we feel it should be avoided by the elderly and by families with children, for the stairs up and down the accommodations (especially with large suite-cases) are often very problematic, so Vernazza, may be a great place for young adults and those in good shape, it is certainly not one to be considered by those who have mobility issues and the same is true for Corniglia and Riomaggiore.

Monterosso al Mare is the largest town in the national park and has wonderful beaches with a number of different hotels that can work well.  Similarly, Manarola can also make a great base, though it is far more limited than Monterosso which has superior beaches and more dining options, but let’s get one thing very clear: The Cinque Terre national park is a small stretch of area on what is known as the Italian Riviera, which offers a treasure trove of destinations that the vast majority of visitors to the CT seem totally oblivious to, however if you are reading this article, hopefully you will be one of the few to recognize that the Cinque Terre national park is a small territory on a beautiful coastline that is home to a wide range of truly spectacular towns and islands.

These include, though are not limited to:






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