Amalfi Coast vs. Cinque Terre: Deciding Between Italy’s Most Popular Coastlines

the beautiful blue waters and stunning cliffs of the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre attract countless visitors each year. Here's how to decide between them
The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are two of the most beautiful coastal regions in Italy. How do you choose between them?

When it comes to spectacular views and cute seaside towns, both the Amalfi coast and Cinque Terre of Italy make for excellent destinations. So deciding between them can be a little difficult, especially if you’ve never been before!

Trying to pick between the Amalfi coast and the Cinque Terre? Here’s help!

From Florence or Milan, the Cinque Terre; from Rome or Naples, the Amalfi coast

The Cinque Terre's small villages, like the town of Manarola here, are easily reached from Florence or Milan

The Cinque Terre’s small villages, like the town of Manarola here, are easily reached from Florence or Milan

Here’s one easy way to decide between the two coastlines: the Cinque Terre is located on the coastline in northern Italy, while the Amalfi coast is in southern Italy. So one stretch of coastline might be much easier for you to access than the other!

From Florence, you can get to the Cinque Terre in about 2 hours, either by car or train. From Milan, you can drive to the Cinque Terre in a little under 3 hours, or get there by train in 3.5 hours.

The Amalfi coast, meanwhile, is better accessed from Rome or Naples. From Naples, it’s just an hour on the local Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. From Rome, you either can take the train first to Naples and then switch to the Circumvesuviana train or to a ferry (the fast train from Rome to Naples takes only 1 hour 10 minutes). Or you can take the train directly from Rome to Salerno, on the other end of the Amalfi coast (the fast train takes just 2 hours). (Check out our blog post on why you might want to consider staying in Salerno as an alternative to Sorrento or other Amalfi coast towns!).

For warmer weather, the Amalfi coast

Vineyards in Ravello on the Amalfi coast

Vineyards in Ravello on the Amalfi coast

If you’re coming in the shoulder season—say, April or October—then remember that the weather will be balmier, and drier, the farther south you go… so the Amalfi coast might be a better bet. That’s also true because when it rains in the Cinque Terre, the famed hiking trails can get washed out.

If you’re coming at the height of summer, on the other hand, the Cinque Terre tends to be slightly cooler.

For hiking, the Cinque Terre (maybe)

Cinque terre in winter

Hiking in the Cinque Terre: sometimes tough, but beautiful!

The Cinque Terre is famed for the hiking paths that link the five towns, and with reason. They’re spectacular! With gorgeous views of the sea and even of the towns themselves (we love the path that comes into Vernazza, giving you a beautiful panorama of the village from above), they’re a must-do for any hiking enthusiast.

That said, there are a couple of caveats. First of all, these paths get very crowded in the high season, roughly from May through September. Secondly, they’re also extremely narrow, with steep, sheer drops to one side—so if anyone in your party is slightly unstable on their feet, or scared of heights, we don’t recommend them! (Instead, stick to the Via dell’Amore, the wide, flat, paved path that links Manarola and Riomaggiore).

The Amalfi coast, on the other hand, has some great hiking, too. We especially love the Sentiero degli Dei, or “Path of the Gods.” (And check out our blog post on hiking in Italy beyond the Cinque Terre for more ideas of where to hike and trek in Italy!).

For sightseeing and day trips, the Amalfi coast

St. Andrew's Cathedral in Amalfi town

One of the Amalfi coast’s top sights: the Duomo of Amalfi Town

Yes, both the Cinque Terre and Amalfi coast have spectacular, seaside views. But when it comes to “sights” of the historic or cultural variety, the Amalfi coast has the Cinque Terre beat. The list includes the gardens and villas of Ravello, the historic cathedrals of Amalfi Town and Salerno, and a number of (small) museums, including the ceramics museum in Vietri sul Mare, paper museum in Amalfi, and Roman villa museum in Minori. And that’s not to mention all of the attractions in Salerno alone, including its castle.

The Amalfi coast is also better-positioned, and better-connected, for day trips to other major sights. Depending on where exactly you’re staying, you can easily day-trip to Capri, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum, and Naples, among other options. So when it comes to “sightseeing,” the Amalfi coast has our vote. (Don’t miss our post on five must-see sights on the Amalfi coast!).

For 5-star hotels and restaurants, the Amalfi coast; for a more backpacker-ish feeling, the Cinque Terre

Calamari on the Amalfi coast

Eating on the Amalfi coast

The Amalfi coast’s history as a posh resort area means it’s chock-full of luxury hotels and 5-star restaurants. (Of course, you also can find economical B&Bs and a more laid-back atmosphere, especially in more off-the-beaten-path towns like Ravello, Vietri sul Mare, and Salerno). But the main centers definitely have a little bit more of a “resort” feel to them, especially Positano.

The Cinque Terre, on the other hand, has developed as a tourist destination in more recent years. So the establishments in the Cinque Terre tend to be cheaper, family-run B&Bs, rather than high-end, luxury resorts. That also means that, while there are just as many crowds in the Cinque Terre as the Amalfi coast, they tend to be of a different variety: There aren’t a ton of backpackers heading to, say, Positano any more, but you will still see them trekking the Cinque Terre.

For spine-tingling drives, the Amalfi coast

The SITA bus can be spectacular and comfortable -- in the off season

The famous Amalfi coast road

The road that winds along the Amalfi coast is world-famous for its gorgeous views, adrenaline-inducing curves, and sheer drops to the water. If that sounds great to you, head to the Amalfi coast—the Cinque Terre doesn’t have anything equivalent (in fact, it’s usually better to take the fast, cheap local train between the five towns).

Just remember that, while renting a car and driving the Amalfi coast road is recommended for confident drivers only, the SITA bus, which follows the same route, gets quite crowded (and hot) in the summer.

For rustic, small-town life, neither

The small town of Riomaggiore, on the Cinque Terre

The small town of Riomaggiore, on the Cinque Terre

The Towns of the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre are not the small fishing villages they once were. Instead, they’re resort town and really amazing resort towns at that. But don’t expect to be the only person in them speaking English, especially not in high season.

Of course, this isn’t that surprising. The Amalfi coast has been a major tourist destination since at least the 19th century. As a result, its most famous towns, particularly Positano, Amalfi Town and (even though it’s not technically on the Amalfi coast) Sorrento, are full of people from all over the world seeking out great food, sunshine, and crystal clear waters..

The Cinque Terre is as old a destination as the Amalfi Coast but it blew up in popularity a few years ago.. Yes, these five little towns were once authentic fishing villages. And yes, many of the establishments there remain small, family-run operations. But the towns themselves are now almost completely reliant on tourism; fishing makes up relatively little of the local economy.

If your top priority is getting a feel for authentic, Italian fishing villages, therefore, we recommend a different region altogether, like Puglia (here’s our list of reasons to visit Puglia, in pictures!), the Tuscan coast along the Maremma, Le Marche, or Sicily.

But as long as you know what you’re getting into these are some of the most beautiful and relaxing coastal towns in the world. Whether high or low season we definitely recommend giving them a visit.

Have you visited the Amalfi coast or the Cinque Terre? Which one did you prefer? Let us know in the comments!

The blue waters and dramatic cliffs of the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are very inviting. Check out our guide for how to decide between the two.

 

106 Comments

  • sharon says:

    Both wonderful to experience, love driving the Amalfia but so enjoyed hiking the Cinque Tere then again, hiking around Capri was fabulous and driving the coast near Portofino; maybe it was the week near Picinisco that was so special…I cant decide! #travel #ttot

  • gina says:

    While I absolutely love both destinations and think this article did an excellent job of listing the many deciding factors, the additional towns along the Ligurian coast outside of the Cinque Terre are certainly worth a mention adding to the lure of this region. My favorite little town up by Santa Margherita is called Comogli – fishing is still the livlihood – but so indeed is fine art of living…. and there are many wonderful trails in this region. Hike to the monestary of San Fruttuoso for an amazing experience. Ahhh, Italy. So much to love!!

  • No doubt that they are both spectacular, but also too ‘touristy’ in the summer. That said, Positano is a favorite hide-away of ours at other times.

  • I’ve been to both places and think your comments are spot on. I also agree with the commenter who mentioned Comogli as a nice little place to visit (good crepe eatery too). We need to get back to Italy soon! I posted this piece on our FB page so others can see it. Thanks! https://www.facebook.com/BlondeBrunetteTravel?ref=tn_tnmn/dontfollow

  • Susan Nelson says:

    I shared your link on Amalfi vs. Cinque Terre on my post about 5 Reasons to Visit Amalfi. Please look at my site and feel free to link to me. I am now delightfully following you!

  • Rebekah DeLibro says:

    Hi, just discovered your blog and love it! My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy next May and were just considering the same question. Amalfi vs Cinque Terre? This is the problem we have: We are visiting our friends in Ferrara for 4 days then planned on taking train to either Cinque Terre or Amalfi. Now I know it would be closer and less travel to do Cinque Terre but I really rather see Salerno, Ravello ect… plus we may bring our 11 and 8 year old so not sure about those narrow hiking trails for them ( only been hiking 3x and not that rugged of terrain) What advice would you give us?

    • Hi Rebekah,
      Thanks for stopping by, and for your kind words! Be aware that it’s quite a haul from Ferrara to either the Cinque Terre or the Amalfi coast. The fastest train from Ferrara to Salerno takes 5.5 hours (that includes one change), while the train to La Spezia is 4 hours, and then it’s another 45 minutes or so to the Cinque Terre. So either way, you’re in for a little bit of a trip. It’s worth it if you’re planning on spending more than a couple of days in either place, of course, but might be worth reconsidering if you only wanted to go for 2 days or fewer, especially with little ones.

      Since either one is going to be a bit of a trip, we’d say go with your inclination and head to the Amalfi coast :-) The Cinque Terre can definitely be fun for kids, but no, we wouldn’t say that all of the hiking trails are appropriate for children, as they can be quite long and difficult.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Rebekah DeLibro says:

        Hi, sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Plans have changed a little, we will not be taking kids and we will be visiting friends in Ferrara first for five days and then to the Amalfi coast for seven days. We are staying in Praiano so were planning to take the train to Naples but the owner of the B&B said to take train to Salerno then ferry to Positano. We will be there the end of May. What would you suggest?

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Rebekah, we agree with the B&B owner that the ferry to Positano is the best option, followed by taking the SITA bus, a traditional taxi or water taxi. Another option would be to take the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, followed by a bus to Praiano. Do let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Great comparisons! Looking forward to check it out personally!

    Rose

  • I think that I’m partisan, maybe :) but I love Cinque Terre!

  • Mariah Hartle says:

    My family and I were planning on going to the Cinque Terre, but found all this info that the trails are closed because of a landslide. I was just wondering if this was true, and should we avoid the area all together because of the crowds.

    • Hi Mariah,
      A trail can be closed for a landslide one day and open the next, so don’t let it deter you! This also happens much more in the early spring and late fall than in the summer months, so it depends on when you’re coming. Of course, in the summer, yes, there are tourist crowds. If you’re looking for a seaside area more off the beaten path, which the Cinque Terre no longer is, you might want to look into Puglia, Calabria, or even the area of Maremma in Tuscany. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • MICHELANGELO D'AMBRISI says:

    My decision is very easy since I was born in Salerno therefore the AMALFI is my Paradise.
    I have walked and driven the Amalfi Coast from Salerno to Sorrento

  • Kristine says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your blog. We’re going on our honeymoon in September and trying to decide whether to go to Amalfi Coast or Cinque Terra. Other places we want to visit in Italy is Rome and Venice and then departing to either Barcelona or Seville in Spain. I keep changing my mind from all the info I get haha!

    We only have 3 weeks so don’t want to spend our whole time travelling.

    • Hi Kristine,
      We’re happy to help! It’s all really down to personal preference, which is why we try to outline some of the main differences between the Amalfi coast and Cinque Terre in this post. As a general rule of thumb, though, remember that while 3 weeks is a good amount of time, you probably don’t want to feel rushed or stressed on your honeymoon—so err on the side of packing in less and enjoying more! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Elizabeth R says:

    Hi, I really want to go to both places. My husband and I will be in San Gimignano for a wedding July 12 and 13. Then we were going to head to Florence for one night, 14th. Then to Cinque Terre for one night, 15th (I would like to get some hiking in) and then go to Positano the 16, 17, and 18. Then go to Milan for the night because we are flying back home early on the 20th. Does this sound like too much? Please let me know as soon as you can. Can you get to Positano from Cinque Terre?

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      We’re happy to help! You’re certainly packing in a lot—keep in mind that Florence alone really takes at least 2 days to see all of the major sights. However, if you just want to get a feel for various parts of the country (and you don’t need a lot of downtime!), your itinerary could work. Everyone is different!

      One thing we would recommend, though, is not doing just one night in the Cinque Terre and then heading south to Positano the same day as doing a hike. Positano is definitely not easy to get to from the CT, so that does sound like too much. (You’d have to take the local train from CT to La Spezia, another train La Spezia to Florence, another train Florence to Naples, yet another train from Naples to Sorrento, and a bus from Sorrento to Positano. Yikes!). Because the Amalfi coast and the Cinque Terre each offer many of the same things (hiking, beautiful views, seaside, resort towns), we’d recommend that you pick one or the other for this trip.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Kesh says:

    Hi there,

    I love your in detail comment and it really has helped put things in perspective for me.

    My family and I (3 adults) are going to be driving from Rome to Munich and we have about four days to do it.

    I want to visit Cinque Terre and am hoping to cross into Germany via the Stelvio Pass (wishful thinking i hope it’s not).

    My question is, how do we get to Cinque Terre from Rome, which route should I take and should I do it in a day or break it up in Florence or some other recommendable place. We don’t mind a small Italian town either, just to get a taste for the typical Italian way.

    I understand you’re no tour guide, but right now, any advise would be great.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Kesh,
      Of course, we’re happy to help. From the Cinque Terre, you’ll take a train from La Spezia to Rome (you’ll have to switch); just put in La Spezia as your starting point and Roma as your destination on trenitalia.com and it will tell you exactly what to do. It does take several hours, so breaking it up with a night in Florence can be a great option—there’s a lot to do in Florence, so you might even want to spend a whole day there. Other, less touristy cities we like, depending the route you take, include Bologna and Lucca. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Maria says:

    Hi,

    First off great advice! I’m 22 and will be travelling through Italy for 10 days at the end of August, so I need all help I can get. As a solo traveller, have you got any recommendations as to where I should I visit? I’m starting off from Rome for a few days then was contemplating Florence and Cinque Terre. I do want to meet people, but don’t want to have to fight my way through swarms of tourist (despite my decision to travel in August). I like the sound of Puglia as it’s not a place you hear mentioned as much, so any similar suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks :) Maria

    • Hi Maria,
      We’re happy to help! Rome and Florence will be great for sightseeing, but also for meeting other young travelers. We’d also definitely recommend Puglia, and possibly instead of the Cinque Terre, as in August the Cinque Terre tends to be filled with more American tourists than locals. (The coastal towns in Puglia get their fair share of tourists, too, but mostly Italian). You might also consider Umbria, one of our favorite regions, which is a lot like Tuscany but less touristy. This post should help you get started. Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • John says:

    Hello, my family and I will be fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks Italy and will most likely be able to visit both of these locations!!!!We will be in Florence for about 5 days and 1 of those days we wanted to do the Cinque Terre. I’m sorry to ask but from what I’ve read we can take a train from Florence to La Speiza which takes about 2 hrs? Then connect there to any one of those towns to catch a trail? Can I buy train tickets online or are the transfers and everything readily avaliable to buy at the train station the day of? Any help would be appreciated and thank you!

    • Hi John,
      Yes, that’s correct! You can buy train tickets to La Spezia online, but not for between the CT towns; you can do that just before the train departure, at the station itself. Here’s everything you need to know about taking trains between the Cinque Terre towns. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • arun cariappa says:

    We have been to Rome, Florence and Venice multiple times. We want to visit the Cinque Terre as well as the Amalfi coast in June 2014. We would like to spend a week in ether place – mostly hiking in the north and sightseeing in the south. We will probably fly into Rome and out of
    milan.

  • Cindy Brown says:

    My husband and I will be heading to the Amalfi coast in July 2014 where we will celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary hiking between towns. How would you compare the trails here with those of the Cinque Terre?? I read your post comparing the two destinations. You talk about the trails in the CT but no details about those on the AC. Any info. would be appreciated, thanks!

    • Hi Cindy,
      That sounds lovely! Like the Cinque Terre, the Amalfi coast has a variety of hiking paths, ranging in difficulty, and with spectacular views; they’re just a bit less well-known than those in the CT. The most popular hikes are Atrani to Amalfi, and the “Path of the Gods” we mention. For more complete info about hiking in Amalfi, check out this site.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Anda says:

    My husband and I are planning a 1 week trip to the Amalfi coast for our 10th anniversary. We will go last week in June 2014. I’m not sure if that is high season or not, but do you have any recommendations on the best places to stay (towns, lodging)? We’re not on a budget, but I’ve heard that Europe in general is very expensive, so we’re looking for something in the middle price-wise. Do you have any recommendations on how we should start our research? Thanks.

    • Hi Anda,
      That sounds like a lovely trip. Yes, you are going to the Amalfi coast in high season (high season there is essentially late April to October), so prices will be higher than in other times of the year, but you can still find deals. We recommend booking a B&B or apartment over a hotel, which tends to give you more “bang for your buck,” and that you also consider staying in one of the more off-the-beaten-path towns, like Ravello or Salerno, opposed to the more touristic (and therefore more expensive) spots like Positano or Amalfi. For where to start your research, why not start with the number of posts we’ve written on the Amalfi coast and what to do and see there, here.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Barb says:

    Hello,
    My husband and I are planning a family vacation with our adult children for 2 weeks the end of Sept. 2014. We were thinking of flying to Pisa and spending a week along the CT and Almalfi Coast then a week in Siena doing day trips. I am really concerned about the crowds while in CT and Almalfi Coast. If we went north or south of CT do you have any suggestions? I was looking for less touristy but still enjoying the coast and some hiking.
    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hello, Barb! We think the end of September is a great time to visit the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre as the crowds generally decrease compared to the prior summer months. We love the Golfo Paradiso area west of Cinque Terre and very close to the large city Genova. Salerno is also a good alternative to the Amalfi Coast with stunning panoramas and less tourists. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ilana says:

    My husband and I will be travelling to Italy for 8 nights in April/May 2014 with our 7 month old daughter.
    We are thinking of the Amalfi Coast (maybe staying in Sorrento) so we can do day trips to Amalfi, Pompeii, Capri etc.
    Any advice you could give regarding this with a 7 month old would be great.

    Thanks, Ilana

    • Hi Ilana,
      That sounds like a lovely trip. However, we’d suggest an alternative to Sorrento; Sorrento is lovely, but quite touristic and can be expensive. We like Ravello and Salerno as alternatives. With a baby, just make sure to pace yourself, but the Amalfi coast is quite relaxing, so you shouldn’t have any trouble! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • monique says:

    Hi we really are stuck on Italy. We are 24 year old females and we want to experience as much of Italy as possible. We have 14 days in Italy and start in Milan. The places we would love to cover are venice, florence, Rome, Naples and try fit in Tuscany if possible. We can’t decide on Cinque Terre or Amalfi coast. We are pack backing and want beautiful scenery, beaches and nightlife/history culture.

    Any suggestions would be great

    Thanks xx

    • Hi Monique,
      You’ll find more nightlife in the Amalfi coast than the Cinque Terre, but be aware that neither area is particularly well-known for its nightlife! Neither coastline also boast great beaches; they’re more about the scenery.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ashley says:

    Greetings! This article, and your site, is great!! My husband and I will be traveling to Italy next month (omg) so I’m trying to nail down our time line! I am photographing my friends’ elopement in Cinque Terre, but wondered how many days/nights you might recommend for the following timeline:

    fly into Milan — CT — Florence (or should we do Venice?) — Rome, where we leave to head home.

    We land on March 31st, and leave on April 7!

    Thanks for any help/suggestions!!! This is our first time and we are super excited!! :)

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ashley, the itinerary looks great! We’d recommend two nights in each city and we think you could add in Venice and Florence if you’re interested in visiting both of the unique and beautiful cities. We invite you to have a look at our wide range of tours in Milan, Florence, Venice, Rome and Vatican city on our website: http://www.walksofitaly.com :)

      • Ira J. says:

        Hi, really liked the article, very informative.
        We were planning a trip to Italy in sep-oct this year and have bought our tickets, flying into milan and then flying out from rome.
        Itinerary we had planned was milan, lake como, venice, florence, tuscany region, rome. Was also wanting to squeeze in either cinque terre or amalfi coast. We have a total of about 18 days.
        Can cinque terre be fit into this route, given we are landing in milan and flying out from rome? or will we be backtracking a lot if we go from either venice or florence to cinque terre and then to the other? Thanks for your suggestions !

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Ira, thank you very much! Either of the two destinations can fit into your itinerary as Cinque Terre is a 2.5 hour drive from Milan and the Amalfi coast is around 3 hours from Rome. You may want to arrange your trip to visit Milan, followed by Cinque Terre and then head down to Tuscany, or do a weekend trip to the Amalfi Coast before departing from Rome. Buon viaggio and do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Kelsey says:

    Hi! I loved your post. I’m planning a wedding for next year between August-Sept. I need advice!!! :) I’ve been in Cinque Terre a few times when I backpacked in college a few years ago. I loved it and so did my family but I am wondering if it is the best place to tie the knot. I will be having about 20 friends and family members with me. What area do you think would be the best to accommodate my group of young, active, people. Most are not familiar with traveling to Europe. I’ve lived in Bergamo, Italy for several summers and love it there but am unsure if my guests would enjoy that city as much as me. Any advice on cities and/or locations for this size are greatly appreciated!!!! Thank you! :)

  • Melissa says:

    Hi There,

    Thanks so much for your amazing article – so informative! My friend and I are going to Cinque Terre in May for one week and I was wondering where else we should go in that week besides Cinque Terre? We are interested in beautiful beaches, scenery, good food and wine, and going to bars at night? So what would the closest and best option be to visit for a couple of days?

    Also, in Cinque Terre where do you reccommend we stay? I noticed you advised someone visiting the Amalfi Coast to stay in B&B or apartments but is that the same in Cinque Terre or do you reccommend a hotel?

    Your help is much appreciated!!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Melissa, thanks so much! If you’re interested in exploring nearby cities, we’d suggest a short train ride to Pisa, Lucca, Genova or Milan for a day trip or overnight stay. We also recommend staying in a B&B or apartment in the the Cinque Terre to save money and enjoy an authentic stay. Buon viaggio!

  • Melissa says:

    Sorry, I also have the following questions:

    1) If flying in from England, where would we fly into if we’re staying at Cinque Terre?
    2) Would we need to catch any trains to get to CT?
    3) We have 7 days in Italy, would you reccommend spending all 7 days in CT or visiting another city? If so, which city?
    4) If we wanted to do some sightseeing, where would you reccomend we go aside from CT as i read you had mentioned there is not much sightseeing in CT

    Appreciate your help!!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Melissa, Genoa is the closest airport, but is pretty small. If you can’t find a flight into Genoa, Milan or Florence would be your best bet. We would recommend spending half your time in CT (especially in the summer so you have time to enjoy the great beaches) and visiting other nearby cities like Genoa, Florence, Milan and Pisa. Do let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  • Matt says:

    Thinking of a November ’14 trip. Which place would you recommend this time of year? We are considering 10 days – Rome and Amalfi Coast or Florence and Cinque Terre. I understand that this is the offseason but will most of the shops and restaurants be open this time of year? I assume the weather is far better in Amalfi Coast than Cinque Terre? Thanks for your help.

    Matt

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Matt, if you’re looking for warmer weather we would suggest Rome and the Amalfi Coast as temperatures are usually higher in Southern Italy. Restaurants and shops are usually open along the Amalfi Coast in November with a much lower number of tourists. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Laura says:

    What an informative article! My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon in Italy for spring/early summer 2015…our dates are flexible but we really want good weather, when would you reccomend?
    I have fallen in love with Positano based on my research, mainly the photographs. Is it so much of a tourist trap? I really want to get a feel of an ‘old world’ lifestyle. Does Selerno give you more of this feeling? I would really like to hear more Italian than English, with farmers markets instead of gift shops.
    We were planning to fly into Naples.

  • Alyssa says:

    Hi, love your blog, appreciate all the information! I’m planning my first trip to Italy in September, I’m a little unsure of where to go and now a little overwhelmed with all the options. I’d of course love to see everything but I don’t want a hectic trip, so I think I’d love to stay in only one or two places and just be able to relax. I’d like to avoid any overly crowded touristy spots, but I also would love to be close to great restaurants and beaches..if that’s even possible? Almafi and Positano were on the top of my list, along with the CT. but it sounds like they are all pretty crowded? I’m in my 20’s and I’ll be going solo so I don’t want to be somewhere completely remote, I’d just like somewhere with a slower pace, great restaurants, beaches, etc. I think I’ll be flying into Rome and thought maybe I’d stay just a day there..and from there I can’t seem to decide. Venice also seemed like a great option. What would you suggest? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Alyssa! Can you give us a bit more information like when in September you plan to leave and how long you will be visiting for so we can give you some tips on where to stay? :)

  • Freddie says:

    Hi, This article is so helpful. I’m a landscape photographer and I will visit Italy for two weeks in May. I’m going to stay Tuscany and Rome for 5 days each.I want to go both Cinque Terre and Positano to taking photograph. What if I have to choose only one, which town will be better to taking photograph? Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Freddie! Both are equally beautiful, it just depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re searching more luxury you should try Positano and the Amalfi Coast. If you prefer a more rustic and backpacker-ish feeling, head to Cinque Terre. Be sure to let us know which one you pick!

      • freddie says:

        Ah ha, I still want to go both but after I read your comment, my balance is a little more Positano side. Thank you again.
        P.S I am also a backpacker :) so maybe I will try both.

  • Jane says:

    Hello, what a wonderful, informative guide. Thank you for such insightful recommendations. I would love to hear your opinion regarding a plan my husband and I have for travelling to Italy.
    We shall be coming from Nice, France and have 3 ‘spare’ nights prior to staying in Rome. Initially we planned to fly to Venice, then catch the train to Rome. After some deliberation I am now wondering if we should plan on catching a train/s to Rome from Nice via some of the smaller more authentic (and beautiful) Italian towns. We have no preference for rural or coastal towns although most people we know have recommended the Cinque Terre. We like beautiful scenery,architecture, walking, fabulous food…interesting history. I wish we had more time…however not possible this trip. I would be most grateful for any recommendations…

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jane! We’d suggest an evening or two in the Golfo Paradiso for an authentic feel of the Italian Riviera. From there, we think you’d enjoy spending an evening in Lucca before heading to Rome. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Linda says:

    I love your blog! It is so informative.
    My husband and I are going to be in Italy for about a week. We have decided to take the train from Rome to Florence where we will spend just one short day, We will then drive to the Cinque Terre area to sprend two nights in Manarola with friends. What in your opinion is the best way to go and where is best to leave the car and find our way to the place we will be staying?
    When we leave CT we are heading to Venice for two days and then back to Florence to take the train back to Rome.
    any advice’s here are welcome too.
    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Linda! Since the towns of Cinque Terre are not very cae friendly, we would suggest taking the train from Florence to the Cinque Terre. If you do decide to take a car, you can park in La Spezia and take the train to Manarola. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Patrick says:

    Thank you for this information.

    We’ve always wanted to visit the Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Our first trip to Italy finds us in at the end of Tuscany tour ending in Florence on a Friday afternoon in late September needing to return to the US the following Monday morning.
    Would you make the trek to the Amalfi Coast to avoid a missed opportunity and fly back from NAP or FCO -OR- opt for the Cinque Terre instead due to proximity to FLR?
    The mult-step process to get in/out of Positano has me concerned that it may not be enough time.

    Appreciate any assistance you can provide.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Patrick, a trip to the Amalfi Coast may be a bit rushed, but doable. You could spend Friday and Saturday night there, then head to Florence Sunday evening before your flight. Flying is faster than taking the train, but tends to be more expensive. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Mary Raymond says:

    We are planning a trip to Northern Italy next July. The trip starts is Milan and ends in Milan.
    It includes Parma, Genoa, Santa Margherita, Lake Maggiore and Cinque Terra. This a tour of 8 days. We have never been to Italy and would like to see more. Maybe Venice and then to the Amalfi Coast. I reailze we are all over the place. What is the best way to include these places.
    We can go a few days earlier before meeting the tour and stay about a week longer. Is it feasible to go to Venice first and Amalfi after the tour. Please advise. Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mary, Venice is doable, but you should give yourself a few extra days to see the city after your tour. We would suggest taking a train from Milan rather than renting a car. The Amalfi Coast is in Southern Italy and takes around 6 hours by train, so we would suggest spending an extra few days to explore the towns. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Melanie says:

    I love your blog! My fiancé and I are planning a honeymoon trip to Venice, Rome, Florence and possibly Cinque Terre or Sorrento. It will be 11 days. If I decide on Sorrento we will fly into Naples, if not, then will fly to Rome. I am looking for something romantic, and a getaway from the hustle and bustle, but also a place with a little nightlife (bars not clubs), as we like to go out for drinks later in the night to relax. I have read your honeymoon blog and think it’s great too, but the cities seem too far from the area I will be (Florence, Rome, Venice). What would you recommend?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Melanie, we think the Amalfi Coast may be what you’re searching for! Let us know if you have any questions :)

  • May says:

    Hi,

    A friend and I are flying into Milan early morning on 7/27 & depart early morning on 8/2. We plan on spending the first night in Milan and also going to Venice, Rome, and possibly Florence. We would also like to spend 1 day at the beach. Which beach would you recommend? Is this too much for 1 week? Which city would you say we should cut out, if any?

    Thanks so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao May! We would suggest heading from Milan to Liguria and visiting the beaches near Genoa (Camogli, Santa Margherita, Portofino), then following to Florence, Rome, Venice and back to Milan. The travel may be a bit hectic, but it will give you a chance to see all the cities on your list. Let us know if you have any questions :)

  • carters says:

    Hi,

    After reading all of the above comments, both locations sound so amazing and I don’t know how to choose! How feasible is it to try to do both in one (approx 10 day long) trip? Perhaps flying in near one and then taking the train to the other and flying home from there?

    Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! Yes, it is definitely possible to visit both the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre over a 10 day period. We suggest flying into Milan and heading to the Cinque Terre, then taking a train to Naples and flying out from there (or vice-versa!). Let us know if we can help :-)

  • Daniella says:

    What a great article! My daughter will be studying abroad in Florence and my husband and I, along with my kids, 11,13, will be visiting her for 10 days on our Easter break 2015. We want to either do CT or Amalfi Coast. I feel the time of year dictates we go to Amalfi Coast. We plan on taking our college student as well. Does it make more sense to just go to CT? We also plan on spending a few nights in florence and possibly do pisa and/or venice. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Daniella! CT is closer to Florence and the other cities you’d like to visit (Pisa and/or Venice), so logistically it would be the best option. Although you will be traveling in the off season, most shops and restaurants will be open in CT around Easter. Let us know if we can help with anything else :-)

  • Brad says:

    Hi There,
    My wife and I are traveling to Italy with our 2 adult sons. We are flying into Rome and driving directly to Positano. My questions are- which is the best route and will I have an issue parking in Positano?
    We are there for 4 days- is that long enough to see the local towns and Capri?
    Thank you for your insight!!
    Brad

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Brad! You can find the best route from Rome to Positano here using this link to the map. Parking is usually limited in Positano (especially during the summer), so we suggest checking in with your hotel to see if they have a space for your car. There are public and private options for parking throughout the town if this is not an option :-) 4 days should be enough to see the towns and enjoy a day trip to Capri. Let us know if you have any questions :-)

  • Nardia says:

    This article is great! Thankyou so much. My husband and I are heading to both cinque terre & amalfi coast in September 2015. Your article helped me work out how to get there and where from. Since we are doing both areas would you suggest flying into Milan then heading to cinque terre, back to milan then flying to Naples and head to Positano (our base for exploring the amalfi coast)?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Nardia! We’d definitely suggest flying into Milan and visiting CT, traveling by train to Naples, then flying out of Naples. Let us know if you have any questions :-)

  • Melanie says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this great article!
    My fiancee and I are planning our honeymoon to Italy!
    We can’t decide between Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast. Could you help me?

    We will be there around May 11th. Would Amalfi Coast be significantly warmer in May than Cinque Terre?

    We only have about 6 days. I thought if we decide to go to Cinque Terre, we can do couple of days in Florence and then head to Cinque Terre. If we decide to go to Amalfi Coast, we can do couple of days in Naples and then head to the Amalfi Coast. Do you think this is a good idea?

    Also, which town in the Cinque Terre region do you recommend for a young couple? What about the Amalfi Coast?

    Thank you in advance and happy new year!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Melanie,

      Italy is a great place for a honeymoon and both locations are beautiful – you’ll have to make the ultimate decision based on the reasons the article states and what you’re both looking for. It’s true that the Amalfi Coast will be much warmer than Cinque Terre, but CT should still have a nice spring weather by May. The trip to Naples from Amalfi or Florence from Cinque Terre are both possible options as well. Have a great honeymoon!

  • Connie Martinez says:

    In the last week of September and first week of October 2013, we were able to enjoy a wonderful visit to Italy for the first time. We spent 5 days on the Amalfi Coast, and found a lovely, old world, apartment to rent facing the sea in Minori. Minori does not have the tourist feel of Positano, or Capri, or any of the other towns surrounding the Amalfi Coast,so we experienced a more honest and natural visit, at a much more reasonable price. The people, the restaurant’s, the cafe’s, everything made our time there the most relaxing and memorable of our trip and we would most definitely return. Using Minori as our base, we visited surrounding towns, and Naples and Pompei, then traveled by train to Venice for 3 days, which was lovely and memorable for it’s rich history, but cold and rainy, still we enjoyed every moment, then onto Rome and our apartment in Trastavere for the end of our visit, where we visited all that Rome and the surrounding area has that we could fit into our stay. Trastavere, would be second on our list of most enjoyable places visited, but Minori, was the most relaxing and symbolic of true small town living.

  • Meredith says:

    This is so helpful! I am planning a trip with my husband in late September/early October. We wanted to do 2-3 nights in Florence, 1 night in Tuscany (thinking Montepulciano ), and then 3-4 nights in almalfi. Is this too much? Almalfi seems more desirable to me than Cinque Terre, but it seems like we would be spending a long time traveling from the north to almalfi. Thoughts? Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Meredith,

      You can travel from Florence to Naples by train in 3 hours, so it’s probably worth the journey. If you’re driving it will take around 4.5 hours – but probably still worth it. It will be warmer in the south that time of year and there are a lot of towns to explore on the Amalfi Coast. It really depends on what you’re interested in though. If you like walking then Cinque Terre has beautiful tracks between the towns that you can walk, and some vineyards on the upper terraces. If you have a car to drive around, you can’t beat the Amalfi Coast. It’s a difficult decision but there are no wrong answers, you’ll love it whatever you do. Based solely on the weather, we’d probably recommend making the journey to Amalfi.

  • Ash says:

    Hey,

    My husband and I will be flying in to Rome, will be staying in Rome a couple of days, then we will take the train from Rome to Naples, for a day visit. Cant decide if we want to travel to Amalfi or Cinque Terre, but the plan is to travel by train to Pisa, Milan and Venice, where we will be flying out from back to Denmark. We will have 15 days of traveling. Would you suggest some other small towns to visit with beautiful scenic view?

    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ash,

      If you only have one day in Naples and are otherwise headed north, we suggest Cinque Terre instead of the Amalfi Coast based on time and travel constraints. Italy is filled with wonderful small towns. In Tuscany you can check out some of our favorite day trips here and some of our favorite small Tuscan towns here. That said, we always recommend to spend a bit more time in the places you have planned, rather than trying to visit a new city every day, as it can often be a bit rushed and stressful. Let us know if you have any more questions!

  • Alejandra says:

    Love your article!!! Thank you very much for all the useful info.

    My boyfriend and I are plannig a trip to Italy mid October this year.
    We have only 10 days. After reading your article, I would definitely like to stay aprox. 4 nights in Amalfi. On a previous trips to Italy, we visited Rome and Venice. What other romantic, breathtaking, magical places would you recomend? the leght of stay you suggest at each place? This might be “The proposal trip” so I want it to be extremely special and magical! Where would you suggest we land / Deppart ? We want to make the most out of our 10 days!

    Thank you so much!

  • lev says:

    Hi,

    I am flying in with my wife on June 18th into rome and we fly back from Rome on the 27th. Have been contemplating renting a car and going to one of the two places. What would be your recommendation. We have been to Rome, Florence, Venice before and loved Florence and Venice.

    Thanks in advance for advice.

  • Taylor says:

    Hey,

    My soon to be wife and I will be honeymooning in Italy in June. Our plan is to fly into Venice, rent a car, drive to Slovenia, back to Venice and onto Florence. Since we’re most likely going to be flying out of Rome, thoughts on the easiest option between Cinque Terre and Amalfi. Other than good hiking and nice views, are there good beaches in Cinque Terre? How is driving in Italy?

    Thanks,
    Taylor

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Taylor,

      That sounds like a lovely honeymoon! With the route you’ve laid out, perhaps Cinque Terre would be easiest and most time efficient, that way you don’t go further south than you really need. If you do choose Cinque Terre, there are great beaches along the coast. Most are pebble beaches. The only sand beach is in Monterosso and it’s also the biggest beach. Also take into consideration that Cinque Terre is a car-free area. Perhaps it would be easiest to take trains from Venice to CT, Florence and Rome, that way you don’t have to worry about parking which can be very difficult in all three cities (and pricey!). If you do decide to drive, it is very easy and well connected, but be prepared to pay tolls for the highway! Have a great trip and let us know if you have any more questions. :)

  • Lim says:

    Hi,
    We are thinking of travelling to the Amalfi Coast for a week with kids (aged 8, 4 and 2) and grandparents (relatively fit). Is it doable? Where would you recommend us staying? Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lim,

      It is absolutely doable! Though we can’t decide your stay for you, we often suggest Salerno over the more-popular Sorrento. Read here for more information. Have a great trip!

  • Jess says:

    Hi, I’m planning a trip to Italy this June and would love your advice! I’ll most likely be flying into Rome and spending 2/3 days there, and then either going to the Amalfi Coast or CT. I’m 21 and travelling with a friend- and I know that CT is more backpacker-friendly and affordable, but does that mean Amalfi isn’t a viable option for us? I’m not averse towards hiking but I don’t know if hiking every day really is my sort of thing! Do you think someone of moderate fitness would find it ok?

    Also, how many days would you recommend in each place? We’re kind of looking for a shorter stay than something like 8-10 days. Thanks so much in advance!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jess,

      If you have 8-10 days in Italy, we suggest you spend at least three days in Rome, and the rest of the time in either Amalfi or CT, whichever you prefer. Both locations are completely doable for hikers and non-hikers alike! The Amalfi Coast can often be a bit more expensive, though the two are rather similar in price and should be budgeted accordingly. If you’re worried about time, you can try a day trip, like our Amalfi Coast day trip from Rome or another one of our planned tours to keep you on track!

  • Jadan Huter says:

    Hello! How far is Puglia from Cinque Terre & is it possible to do both in just 10 days? Puglia has me very interested!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jadan,

      It’s approximately an 8.5 hour train ride from La Spezia (the train station just outside of Cinque Terre) to Bari, Puglia, with a connection at Rome. (see here: https://www.rome2rio.com/s/La-Spezia/Bari) You can definitely split your time between Cinque Terre and Puglia, but keep in mind that you’ll lose almost a day with traveling, or two if you need to return to CT for a flight connection. Both areas are beautiful and with a bit of planning we’re sure you’ll be able to have a wonderful travel!

  • Belinda says:

    Hi
    Just found this site on a search and wow it’s so informative.
    I’m coming to Italy in September and have booked 5 nights in positano. My problem is that I’m anxious to go in that coastal road and having trouble confirming if ferries run at this time. Sept 24 to 29.
    I’m thinking to train from Rome to Salerno and then ferry to positano.
    Is this possible at this time of year? Can I prebook the ferry if it is! Which ferry company? The sites I have found at ever confusing.
    Thank u and look forward to your response.
    Belinda

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Belinda,

      Thank you, we’re glad we could help! Ferries absolutely run that time of year. Though we don’t know for sure based on the website, it’s likely that they don’t have that information so far in advance, a common theme on Italian transportation websites. While you can book in advance, you certainly don’t have to, especially for end of September when there are fewer visitors. Here we’ve found that the Salerno to Positano should take about 70 minutes and cost 10 euro. Or, if you prefer to follow the road, you can take one of the many SITA busses that follow along the entire coast, stopping at any city you wish along the way!

  • Farah says:

    If in doubt, go both! I will travel from Milan-Florence-Naples-Rome. Really cannot wait!

  • Heidi says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I are heading to Europe in October. We are doing two nights in Dublin and two nights in Paris before landing in Venice. We will be in Italy for 9 days. Of course, I want to see everything but I know that is not possible. Is it insane to try to fit in Venice, Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Pisa and Pompeii? How would you recommend the itinerary go?

    Any guidance here is appreciated as I am getting so confused.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Heidi,

      It’s certainly a lot to do in 9 days! It’s true that all of Italy is beautiful, but we think moving so much in 9 days makes it hard to really get to know and see the cities that you’re in. Consider that Pisa can be an easy day trip from Florence and Pompeii and Sorrento are nearby, you might be able to put together a few cities based on geography! Another way to get the most out of your time is by taking one day tours such as our walking Florence tours or our special-access Pompeii tours. There’s plenty to choose from!! :)

  • Amazing ! This is just gorgeous !*love* it all as the messages, the pictures and the quality of the writing. Thanks !

  • Matt says:

    Great article and very informative blog. We are a bit like Heidi above – so much we want to see and what’s the best way to do it. Arriving in Italy early October, we are thinking either fly in to Milan or Rome from Paris and hire a car to do our travel. We’d like to see Milan, Lake Como region, Venice, Rome, maybe Florence / Pisa and had been tossing up between Amalfi coast or CT. From what I’ve read above it sounds like the Amalfi Coast would suit us better to unwind at the end of the trip before we fly back to Australia. The dilemma is that if we pick up a car in Milan, we have to work out which is the best way to do the rip and arrive back in Milan to avoid excessive remote drop off fees. Any thoughts?

  • Rachel says:

    Hello and thank you for your blog – it is so informative!
    I am travelling with my son for only 5 1/2 days. We are planning to spend 1.5 days in Rome then move on (before heading quickly back to Rome for our flight home).
    I had read your blog – and was really interested in Cinque as it looks just beautiful however I am thinking the Amalfi Coast may be easier to get to – is that true? I am really interested however in the pictures of Puglia, and salerno, and the coast.
    Any thoughts for a quick 3 day trip (out of Rome) would be really helpful – am a bit stuck!
    Cheers Rachel

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rachel,

      Seeing as how you only have a short time, we definitely suggest you head to the Amalfi Coast rather than Cinque Terre – You’ll waste less time on public transport! You can spend a few days in Rome, one in Naples and one along the coast as it’s all rather connected. We have many short day trips throughout the Amalfi Coast that can help you and your son get the most out of your time, such as our Pompeii tour from Rome with a private Amalfi Coast Drive. Or, if you’re looking for a shorter tour, you can try our Pompeii and Vesuvius tour with a jeep ride up to the crater of the volcano!

      • Rachel says:

        Thank you so much!! This is really helpful. Will also look at the walking trips, may save us time and be a little more adventurous!
        Thanks again, warmly Rachel

  • D says:

    Hi! Loved the article and info. Decided on CT this time round. What is the easiest way to get there? Flying to Italy from NYC/JFK and would like to take a direct/non-stop flight- followed by the quickest/direct train route to CT. It seems Florence and Milan are the best bets for airports? But what do you suggest? Thanks in advance!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Great decision! You will most likely fly into the Pisa International Airport. From there, you can take a direct train into La Spezia, the final station before entering Cinque Terre, in under an hour. (If you do somehow fly directly into Florence, it’s a very quick and inexpensive train ride from there to Pisa). Milano Malpensa is a large and efficient airport, but the train into Cinque Terre makes many stops and you might even have to change lines. Let us know if you have other questions!

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