Traveling in Italy’s Off Season: Cinque Terre

November 08, 2012

We love the Cinque Terre—even in the winter! But before you go to this grouping of five small villages on the Ligurian coast, famous for their seaside views, spectacular beauty, and gorgeous walking trails, there are a few things you should know.

(This post is part of a series on popular destinations in Italy in the off season; check out our earlier posts on Venice in the off season and Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore in the off season)

Visiting the Cinque Terre In Winter

When is the off season in the Cinque Terre? Mid-September to mid-June, excluding Easter.

What to expect in the off season: In the summer, this group of five tiny, seaside towns is overwhelmed by foreign visitors. Hotels and B&Bs book up far in advance, the narrow streets are filled with English speakers, and the hiking paths, for which the Cinque Terre is so famous, become practically shoulder-to-shoulder. So getting to visit these towns outside of the high season can be a real treat!

Beautiful Vernazza will be quieter in the off season…. but every bit as pretty!

However, it’s worth keeping in mind that these villages are usually best appreciated in non-rainy weather. This isn’t just because of the spectacular, natural scenery, but also because the hiking paths—usually an activity that’s on the top of visitors’ lists—are closed if the weather is inclement. Even if it’s not raining by the time you arrive, if it rained recently, sections of paths might have washed away, forcing the entire route to be closed down until the path is repaired (something that can take one day, or several). When we visited the Cinque Terre last March, for example, the weather was clear and beautiful; because of recent rains, however, only two of the paths were open during our four-day stay.

On the plus side, while rain (or even snow) is more likely in the winter months, it’s by no means guaranteed; there are plenty of cold, sunny days this time of year, too! And we, at least, would prefer going for a hike on a deserted trail in the cold, than on a packed trail in the (sometimes very uncomfortable) August heat.

As far as the cold goes, remember that these towns are on the seaside. So yes, it is quite cold in the winter!

Finally, as with other resort towns, some restaurants and shops in the Cinque Terre close down in the quietest months of the off season.

If you come to the Cinque Terre out of season: Pack lots of layers of warm clothes. And when it comes to hiking, prepare to be flexible!

Before you go, you can check to see which hiking paths are currently open, but be aware that this changes on a day-to-day basis.

Read More: Hiking the Cinque Terre

by Walks of Italy

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147 responses to “Traveling in Italy’s Off Season: Cinque Terre”

  1. Pretraveller says:

    I have visited Cinque Terra in both peak and off peak (August and January) and I totally agree with your comments.

    Even with all of the tourists summer is fantastic. You can swim at the beach, enjoy the walks and enjoy lazy meals into the evening. We walked all the way from Vernazza to Riomaggiore and had a wonderful day.

    Winter is different – I visited 20 years ago by myself and arrived in Corniglia on a Wednesday. The local shop was shut, the restaurants were all closed. I managed to find somewhere to stay, and they opened the shop just for me!

    It felt pretty empty, and I walked to Vernazza in the fog and light rain the next day all by myself. I had one of those moments where I felt totally alone and if something happened to me no-one would ever know…

    When I saw Vernazza appear in the mist I was so happy – and even happier when I went to the local bar and had my first ever Italian Hot Chocolate!

  2. The via dell ‘amore and the lower #2 trail is completely closed and will not be open till spring. Due to rock slides on the via dell ‘amore and mud slides on the vernazza & monterosso trails. Please be advised of this problem and do not cross on to the closed trails. You can follow me on Facebook for up dates on all happenings in Cinque Terre.

  3. Ines says:

    I will be in Cinque Terre from the 19th to the 22nd of September and I wanted to know if there are still boats running during this days? I couldn’t find info about this.
    I would like to do a bout trip through the 5 villages or one way from CT to Portofino.
    I will be arriving on the 19th to Genoa at 8pm and wanted to know if it will be ok to take the train to Monterosso (I found a train around 10 pm) or if it will be better to sleep in Geona.
    Is there any ferry/boat that goes from Genoa to Portofino or CT in mid September? I will really appreciate any info about this (website, schedule, prices..) Many thanks!

  4. Vonnie says:

    Hi, are there any day tours operating from Florence or Milan during mid Nov? Can you please point me where to book. Thanks.

    • Hi Vonnie,
      Unfortunately, we don’t offer any day-long tours of the CT, and we’re not very familiar with any other operators that do, so we’d recommend looking on Tripadvisor for recommendations. In reality, though, you don’t necessarily need a tour of the CT; it’s fairly easy to get to on your own, and there isn’t much in the way of “sights” in the towns themselves—it’s just about soaking in the atmosphere.
      Enjoy your trip!

  5. Jameson says:

    Hello! I am a 21 year old student studying abroad in Barcelona and am looking to make a trip with my girlfriend from Rome to Florence, then Florence to CT, and back to Rome to fly out. Due to school we will only have about 5 days to do all the above. Any tips?

    • Hi there,
      We’re happy to help! Doing all of that in 5 days will be a squeeze, but it’s possible. We’d recommend giving the most time to Rome, as you’ll probably find that’s where there is the most to see and do. Still, trying to see Rome in anything less than 3 days or Florence in less than 2 is difficult; also, keep in mind that it’s a bit of a haul from Florence to the Cinque Terre. For these reasons, we’d urge you to consider skipping the CT for this trip, and save it for a future one—particularly if you’re planning on coming in November or after, as the weather can be quite rainy and wet, and many of the hiking paths closed.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  6. laurette Edmonds says:

    We are planning a trip to Cinque Terra next September 2014. Is the route well marked? I am planning to walk without a guide. Does any one know of a tourist office I can get information about this hike. Thank you so much for your help.Laurette

  7. Cruise 1-day visit says:

    Our mid-November cruise includes a 1-day stop at the La Spezia port. I am trying to decide if I should risk inclement weather at this time of year to visit Cinque Terre, or just go with a Pisa/Florence day tour. If I understand correctly, the ferry will not be running at that time of year, so access will be by train. Any input will be appreciated for traveling there in mid-November. Thanks!

    • Hi Cynthia,
      We’re happy to help! Yes, rainy weather is always a possibility in mid-November. If going to the Cinque Terre means you’d miss out on Florence and Pisa altogether, we’d recommend going with Florence and Pisa. However, do be careful of signing up for a cruise ship excursion; these tend to have huge groups and, in our experience, not-great guides. We’re biased, of course, but since we hand-pick our guides, find the most interesting sights in each city, and always have a maximum group size of 12, we’d suggest checking out our site before you book anything; our “Florence in a Day” experience is especially perfect for cruise passengers.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  8. Rebecca says:

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in early February 2014. We would like to stay in one of the Cinque Terre towns (probably Vernazza) or Portovenere. Would the hotels be open during that time of the year? If we do decide to stay in Portovenere, will the ferries still operate to bring us to the CT towns? Any suggestion is welcome as our plans are still indefinite as to where exactly we will stay during those 3 nights in the area.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Rebecca,
      The ferry schedules will be limited in February, and may not be running at all, depending on weather. Some hotels, however, should be open. We’d recommend staying somewhere where you don’t need a ferry to get elsewhere (any of the CT towns is fine, for example, because you can always take the local train in between them).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  9. clare says:

    hi….I am planning a trip to CT in April 2014, somewhere along good friday and easter, say about 18 April 2014 to 20 April 2014. Would like to find out if the ferries will be in operation during such period. Thanking you in advance for your advise.


    • Hi Clare,
      Ferries generally start running more regularly around Easter, but it depends on the weather. However, the train functions frequently year-round, so you won’t be stranded no matter what! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  10. Christie says:


    We are flying into Milan and would like to come to 5 terre.

    Is there public transportation from
    Milan or Venice in late December? I saw that the ferries are not consistent in the winter.


  11. Pat says:

    We are coming to Italy in January and trying to see if we have enough time for Cinque Terre. What are the conditions expected to be for late January 2014 and are there many tracks open?



    • Hi Pat,
      The trails will likely be closed in late January due to weather, aside from the very easy “Via dell’Amore”. At this time of year, if you’re tight on time anyway, we’d recommend spending your time in another area of the countryside or in a town rather than in the CT, at least if you’re hoping to hike.

      Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  12. Lisa says:

    My husband and I, along with 3 of our children ages 19-22, are planning to come to cinque terre on January 15 for 2 nights, any recommendations on best village to stay at this time of year or best places to see?

    • Hi Lisa,
      Any of the villages will be lovely—but very quiet! Keep in mind that, as it’s not peak season, some restaurants, shops and hotels will be closed, and also that the hiking trails will likely be closed (they can only open for safety reasons in optimal conditions). However, it should be a lovely time to see the towns when only the locals are around.

      Enjoy your trip!

  13. Kimberly Z says:

    I am planning a trip to Italy in September 2015. At what point in September does it become less busy/touristy and what are the average temps during that time?

    • Hi Kimberly,
      It will remain busy throughout September, but the later in September, the less busy it will be. Average temperature for the area for September is between 15 and 25 Celsius (59 and 77 Fahrenheit). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  14. Leandro says:

    Hi! Great blog! Thank you very much for all the information you’ve posted.
    I will be in CT for just one day in early March, staying for the night in La Spezia. I only have a few hours (from 2pm) to visit the CT, so I would like to ask you which towns you think I should visit, and if it would be a good idea to try to have dinner in any of them or I should go back to La Spezia to eat. Any extra advice is welcome!

    Thank you very much and regards from Argentina!

    • Hi Leandro,
      It’s very much up to you! Vernazza is generally considered one of the finest gems of the area, but each of the five towns is charming. We’d recommend planning on going to just two of the towns, but see how you feel when you get there and if you have extra time, fit in a third (it’s very easy to get between towns on the train, even last-minute). For the full experience, you might want to eat in the CT.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  15. Barb says:

    My husband and I would like to visit CT in March 2014 for 2 nights. Which town(s) are most likely to have hotels/restaurants and open trails? thanks!

    • Hi Barb,
      There’s no way to guarantee which towns will have trails open, since that will depend on the weather right before you arrive (and if rain washed out any trails!). But all of the towns should have their accommodation and restaurants open by March. Monterosso al Mare usually seems to have the most options for accommodation. Safe travels!

  16. Tim says:

    I’m planning a trip through Italy in late March/ early April and was planning on spending a few nights in CT.

    Will most of the restaurants/shops be open at that time of year and would you have a recommendations as to which one of the towns to stay in?


    • Hi Tim,
      By that point, most restaurants and shops will indeed be open. We especially like Vernazza, which is often considered the gem of the area, but Monterosso al Mare probably has the most accommodation options. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  17. John says:

    I will be traveling with my fiancé to Cinque Terre the weekend of February 15th. We would hoping to hike while we are there between villages, but are realizing most of the trails are currently closed. Should we expect that they will still be closed come middle of February?

    • Hi John,
      You’ll have to play it by ear, we’re afraid. Some trails might be officially open, but there’s always the chance of inclement weather and them closing last-minute. However, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for you, and who knows—February often is a cold, sunny, dry month to come, so perfect for hiking! Enjoy!

  18. Lauren says:

    Hello, we are visiting CT this Easter for our honeymoon. However we are leaving CT on Easter Monday and heading to Florence via train. Just realising now that it will be a public holiday, will this be possible? All our accomodation is booked!
    Thank you!

  19. Joe says:

    Hi all,

    My wife and I had planned to visit the Cinque terra in the week after Easter 2014 but have to cancel due to work commitments. we have an opportunity to visit in February 16-20th instead, what is the weather likely to be and will we be able to hike? can you recommend this time of year or should we postpone until next year.

    • Hi Joe,
      It completely depends, unfortunately. It’s not uncommon for hiking paths to be closed because of inclement weather, even if the weather was a couple of days ago (if it rains and the trail washes out, they have to fix the trail before it can open again), but the plus side is that it’s one of the most tranquil, least touristic times to be there!

  20. Nella says:

    I am interested in traveling solo to CT in July and I am wondering if there are any casual groups that I could join to hike with? Nothing expensive or over programmed, just a group of hikers that meet up at a certain spot and hike together.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nella, the trails will be pretty crowded in July and you should be able to meet groups of hikers or other solo travelers who would like to explore the trails together. You could also inquire at your hotel or at the tourist center to sign up for an organized group hike. Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  21. Janice says:

    Cruise port of call in Livorno last week of March and would like to drive to CT. As boats may not be running we will probably take train between villages. Must I get a train pass? Where do I get it and can I purchase it prior to arrival in CT?

    Thank you…

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Janice, the Cinque Terre Train Card with unlimited access to the Levanto – Cinque Terre – La Spezia line can be purchased at all CT train stations and tourist points. Unfortunately it is not available for purchase before arrival in the CT. Buon viaggio and be sure to tell us about your experience!

  22. Kris says:

    All your advice is most helpful. When should we visit Florence to catch the Christmas Markets? We also want to see Cinque terra this time in Italy. Is booking a day tour from Florence that uses bus and water transportation available that late in the year: or is it better to take the train and stay at a nearby town. What would you suggest?

  23. darice says:

    Hi, my husband and I, and our 2yr-old daughter will be travelling in Italy in the first half of April 2014. We will rent a car from Venice airport after a few days there and plan to drive down to visit CT and then Florence. Do you have any recommendations for places to stay in CT that are suitable for a family with a car. We’d like to do a lot of hiking (we are serious hikers and campers) with our daughter. Are there any dangers we should be aware of on the trails for her if we will carry her during the hikes? Are there any trail closures this winter? Is the beginning of April considered winter still? Are there any limitations for cars in the park?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Darice! Parking in Cinque Terre is quite limited and visitors must pay for parking in any of the five towns (15 euro/day). If you’re looking for free parking, we’d suggest finding a hotel that offers parking or to park your car in Levanto where there are two large parking lots, free of charge (near the train station and by the sea). If you’d like to park in Levanto, Monterosso al Mare would be the best place for you to stay as it is the next town over. As for the hiking, the beginning of April may bring rain and some trails mail close depending on the intensity. Before planning your hike, please check the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre to see which trails are open and their level of difficulty. Do let us know if you have any further questions!

  24. Barbara says:

    Hi, We have reservations in Manarola May 17-21. A few questions: We want to travel by train there from Nice. I’m guessing we need to switch to a local train in Genoa to get to Manarola? Will we need reservations, and if so can we get them just the week prior? We know we won’t need a car during our stay in CT as we can use the trails (fingers crossed they’re all open) and trains. When we leave, we’d like to pick up a one-way rental car in Manarola or La Spezia if that’s the closest place and then drive for our remaining days in Italy. We’ll have 4 nights in Florence, and the last night in Pisa as we fly back to the US from there. This will be our first trip to Italy. Do my transportation plans make sense to you? Thank you so much! Your info is more detailed than most and I think I will bring my folding pole and and ‘real’ boots instead of day hikers. I’m 62 and the extra stability might be helpful even if heavier and bulky.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Barbara, we suggest switching to a regional train in Ventimiglia (about a one hour ride from Nice), which is the first stop after the Italian-French border. After arriving in Ventimiglia, you can purchase a regional ticket for the train to CT at the station. Your transportation plans look great! Please note that some of the trails in the CT are still closed (including the famous Via dell’Amore), so please consult the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre updated status before planning your hike. Buongiorno and be sure to let us know how it goes!

  25. SRL says:

    My wife and I are planning a trip to Cinque Terre for end of August 2014. Are we in danger of missing out on good local food and such because of the Italian holiday? We’ve heard everything is closed. We might have the option of pushing our trip back a week but wanted to check on this concern before we did. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      The end of August is actually the busy season in the Cinque Terre as Italians and tourists alike flock to the beach for a summer holiday. You’ll have no problem enjoying local specialties like freshly caught fish and pesto. Buon appetito!

  26. simone says:

    My husband and I will be spending 10 days in Italy in early-mid November 2014. We are considering staying a couple of nights in Cinque Terre, but will most of the restaurants/shops be closed at that time of year? Could you suggest which is the best town to stay in during the off-peak season? Or should we skip Cinque Terre at that time of year (that would mean our trip would be 4 nights Rome, 3 nights Florence, 3 nights Venice).

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Simone! Some restaurants and shops do shut down, but you will still be able to find some things that are open. We suggest staying in Monterosso al Mare, one of the bigger towns with more things open. We think one or two nights should be sufficient for a trip during the off season. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

  27. BeckyBenett says:

    Hi, I’m hoping to visit CT in mid Nov 2014 for 2 nights. My husband and I are not planning to hike rather explore the towns. Is it worth going? We thought of going from Florence to CT and then head to Bologna after.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Becky, sure, we think it’s a great idea! Although it’s the off season, lots of restaurants and shops will be open and we think you’ll enjoy exploring the towns. Be sure to let us know about your trip 🙂

  28. Susanne Watson says:

    So glad I stumbled across this blog – I will be checking out many of your articles for our two week stay in Italy! A group of us will be staying near Lucca in a villa for 10 days and plan to do a side trip to Cinque Terre for an overnight visit to this area. Can you recommend the best way (value and time considerations) for a larger group (9-10 of us) to travel from Lucca to CT? We would like to stay overnight – and we are all active and fit – so moving between the villages is desirable as well.
    Any recommendations or thoughts you have on the best way to take advantage of the two days we have in CT and options for housing a larger group like ours would be very much appreciated.
    Thanks again for your informative blog – it has a ton of valuable tips that I will be paying attention to for our trip next month (we are in the Lucca area from May 17-26, 2014).
    With gratitude!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Susanne! Have you considered renting a small coach bus with a driver from Lucca to CT? You may be able to find a great group deal since you are a large group. As for lodging in CT, we recommend having a look on AirBnb for renting large apartments or finding group deals with local hotels. Let us know if you have any questions!

  29. Jan Kobal says:

    Hello, I observed that most of the paths by the coast are closed, will it be any difference for the easter holidays ?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jan! Some paths are still closed and will remain inaccessible until they are completely restored. Some of the more challenging paths are open and you can check the updated status of all trails here. Buon viaggio!

  30. Matt Clinton says:

    Thanks for all the great information you provide on this blog! Im planning on visiting Cinque Terre in early June. Is this still before the really busy season? And will the water be warm enough to swim yet? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Matt! Early June will be the beginning of peak season, so you will see a lot of tourists around the towns. The water should be just right for a swim if the weather is warm and sunny. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

  31. Marc says:

    Awesome information so far. My girlfriend and I will be spending three days and three nights in CT in early to mid September. We will be coming in via train from Florence and taking the same train back through Florence eventually ending in Venice. How early do you think we should be making reservations for lodging and in which town would you recommend? At what cost should we be anticipating for a private room?


    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Marc! Although mid-September is towards the end of the high season, we would still suggest you to start looking for a hotel now. If you’re looking for something larger with more options, Monterosso al Mare would be a great choice. If you’re looking for something a bit more quaint, check out the other 4 towns. Depending on the hotel, rooms cost about 50 euro ($70) to 120 euro ($170) a night. Buon viaggio!

  32. Jeanette says:

    We will be in Cinque Terre for three fully days. What walking paths are open? We are in our fifties but are fairly fit (not experienced hikers) but do sport regurlarly… Please suggest nice paths as an alternative to all the closed no. 2 trails… our maximum amount of time we want to walk on any trail is three hours. Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! You can find the updated status of the trails on the official Cinque Terre website. Most of the trails that are open are range from medium to difficult. If you’re game for a bit of a challenge, we’d suggest The Trail of Sanctuaries or the other routes that are open (almost all trails but #2 and #5), for example inland from Manarola to Riomaggiore. Let us know if you have any questions!

  33. Lyn Khoo says:


    My family of 5 are planning a trip of 12 -14 days to Italy in early December this year. We hope to do scenic day hikes (or that will bring us to good views) and unwind over good food in the evening. We are fairly experienced hikers. However, when I read a book on hiking in Italy, it seemed as if most of the hikes were not recommended in December. We hope to base ourselves in 2-3 areas and explore those areas. Where would you recommend we base ourselves in December? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Lyn! Many of the hikes are not recommended in December because of winter weather along the seaside and snow in the mountains. Check out our Hiking in Italy—Beyond the Cinque Terre article for more information: we think the Florentine Hills and the Sentiero degli Dei would be good options, but there is often the risk of inclement weather like cold temperatures and rain, which causes unsafe hiking conditions on the paths. Let us know if you have any questions!

  34. Gina says:

    Hi there,

    Great information graci! I am travelling to Cinque Terra in early January 2015 and wondering which would be the best village to visit, since you emphasise that many places are closed due to it being off peak season? I am not really a hiker but my friend and I are keen to wander and absorb the culture and vibe, so any ideas in ‘must-sees’ would be appreciated. Being romantic I think the walk of love Via dell’Amore sounds magic….
    Also, we are both women so is it safe to backpack there?


    Gina 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Gina, we suggest staying in Monterosso during the off-season as it is the most “happening” town of the Cinque Terre. Please note that the Via dell’Amore is currently closed, so we suggest having a look at the offical Cinque Terre National Park website with the current status of the trails before planning your trips. We believe that it is absolutely safe to backpack there. Let us know if you have any questions!

  35. Morgan says:


    My fiance and I are going to Italy on our honeymoon and are trying to decide between Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast. We prefer the Cinque Terre but the time of year worries me. We will be there October 28 – Nov 1st…..Will restaurants & shops be open in the CT or will it be pretty derserted? The weather and rain is also a concern that time of year, although I know that’s not something you can plan for

    Any suggestions would be helpful

    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Morgan, we think the Amalfi Coast will be a bit more lively at the end of October, so you may want to consider spending a few days there. Check out our Amalfi Coast vs. Cinque Terre article for more information to help make your decision a bit easier 🙂

  36. Lauren says:

    Thanks for the great post! Should my fiance and I be worried about things being closed in late September? Or is that still close enough to the busy season for everything to be open? It is next (2015) September 21st that we would arrive and stay for 4-5 nights before we move on to our next destination. And is the water/weather still warm enough to swim?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Lauren, you will find the majority of things open at the end of September because the weather is still warm and there will still be many tourists. The water is generally warm enough to swim, even in late September. Let us know if you have any questions!

      • Ana Devic says:


        I am planning on traveling to Cinque Terre alone from September 19th to 23rd. Apart from seeing the villages, I would also like to have a swim. Is it reasonable to expect that the water and weather would be agreeable? Would you recommend a particular place with a beach to make my base, and look for a pension there? Is it complicated to get there if one flies to Milan/ Venice/ Bologna?

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Ciao Ana! There has been a lot of rain in Cinque Terre this summer, but some sun is predicted for the second half of September. We hope the weather will be in your favor and that you will be able to swim 🙂 Monterosso is a great base with a large, beautiful beach, and easily reachable by train from the larger cities. Buon viaggio!

  37. Brian says:

    My girlfriend I will be traveling throughout Italy mid November – Milan, Como, Florence, Parma, Bologna, Rome – and are looking for a picturesque, quiet town to spend 5 days. Either Cinque Terre or somewhere inland in Tuscany. We are avid hikers and love the water so we gravitated to Cinque Terre initially, but the countryside seems tranquil as well and more fitted for the weather. Would would you suggest this time of year?

  38. Rafael Peregrina says:

    Hello, I´m deciding to visit CT in August 26th for a week, I also have another free week in December 15th, I know in both cases will be pro´s and con´s but based on your opinion, which will be the best time? ist it too cold in year´s end?
    Thank you very much for your help!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Rafael, we think August would be the best time to visit if you have the chance as you can enjoy the beautiful sea in CT! December is also nice to explore the towns 🙂 Let us know if you have any questions!

  39. Claire Reilly says:

    Hi – my husband & I would love to see Cinque Terre on the way from Rome to Venice. How many days minimum do you recommend to see the towns? We are travelling through in second week of January 2015. Also – do you have a recommendation on where to stay?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Claire, depends on how much you’d like to explore each town, but two days should be enough time during the off season. You may want to stay in Corniglia as it located directly in the middle of the 5 towns of Cinque Terre. Let us know if you have any questions!

  40. Ricky says:

    Hi I’m coming from 29th December until 1st of January and just wondering if shops will be open and if we will be able to take in the beauty of the villages? Otherwise we will stay in Florence.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Ricky, many of the stops will be open through New Year’s, but the town will be rather quiet as it is not a popular destination for the New Year. If you prefer something with more events and action, we’d suggest Florence. Let us know if you have any questions!

  41. Karl says:

    Hi there,

    I’m hoping to visit Cinque Terre in december right before Christmas on the 22nd.
    I can’t find any train from Florence to La Spezia at this point, will they release the schedule only on a later date? Or are there no trains during this period?


    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Karl, train schedules are usually released 3 months ahead of time, so we suggest having another look over the next few days. There will definitely be trains over that period from Florence to La Spezia. Let us know if you have any questions!

  42. Marta says:

    We’re going to Italy 31.10-02.11. We would like to visit Bergamo, Genua, Portofino and CT. Do you think that one day for Portofino and CT is enough (by train)? Or maybe you recommend lake Como more in this time of year? However, I must admit that I fell in love in this place (CT) and we do not plan hiking because the lack of time. But I’m open to any suggestions. Thank you in advance! 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Marta! We think Portofino and CT might be too much in one day – you may want to space it out if possible. We’d suggest one day in Genoa, one day in Portofino and two days in CT. Buon viaggio!

  43. Anna says:

    Hello, a friend and I are visiting florence the last week of november, we are flying into milan and wanted to spend two days in CT before we take the train to florence. Do you think it is worth it to do this in november, I know it could be rainy and some trails could be closed but what are your thoughts? thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Anna, the weather tends to vary in November, but it’s likely that you will have some nice weather to explore the towns. We suggest checking out the official Cinque Terre website (link here) for the current status of the trails. Let us know if you have any questions!

  44. Mindy says:


    We are planning our honeymoon trip to Italy during the 1st week of January 2015. Would it be advisable for us to make a stop at Cinque Terre? I understand that you’ve mentioned that restaurants and accommodations may be limited and trails may be subjected to weather conditions. Would love to know how it’s like in January to help us decide if it would be in our best interest to stop by CT or not (though I would very much love to!)

    Thank you!!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Mindy, the weather really can vary in January between a day of sunshine and torrential rains with flooding. If your travel plans are flexible, we’d suggest checking to weather forecast a few weeks before and then deciding from there. Let us know if you have any questions!

  45. Jasmine says:

    My fiancé and I will be stopping at Riomaggior from 22 to 25 in Feb 2015 for part of our honeymoon. Can I just check how is the general weather like in end Feb? And how about activities in riomaggiore in Feb? I was told by my friend who frequent cinque terre with his wife, and he mentioned that winter is still alright in cinque terre. However it seems like cinque terre is pretty quiet in winter months.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jasmine

      The weather towards the end of February should be quite mild but because you’re further north you’ll still want to bring a jacket. Your friend is right – a lot of the tourist activities in the area don’t start back until March or even April. The flip-side of that is that you’ll find Cinque Terre much more quiet and peaceful than it is in summer and much more local-focused. You can still walk the trails in February to enjoy the scenery (which is the real attraction). You can also get in touch with some boats in your village about taking you on a trip. Cinque Terre is best seen from the sea so we would highly recommend organising a boat trip during your stay.

      Enjoy your honeymoon!

  46. Michael says:


    I will be in Italy in December for the holidays and I’m planning to pass by CInque Terre for a day, understanding that this is not peak season and there may not be much to see and do during this time. Is my assumption accurate?

    Are there any hiking trails open in late December? Are the hotels/hostels and restaurants open as well? What would be the best town for this time of the season?

    Thanks for the help!!


    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Michael,

      December is a great time to travel in Italy. The hotel and restaurants will definitely be open and ready for customers. Unfortunately, many of the trails are currently closed or off-limits for repairs but if there is not a heavy snow, the open trails will remain open for December. Happy travels!

  47. Kristen says:

    Hi there. My daughter is staying in CT in January 2015. I have not prebooked train tickets to Florence. I know you can purchase train tickets at the station in Monterosso to Pisa. They are planning on looking around Pisa for a couple of hours and then catching a train to Florence.Can you please tell me if tickets can be purchased at Pisa station to Florence without prebooking and are there always seats available?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kristen,

      Tickets can be purchased at the Pisa station and while we can’t say always, there are many trains and many seats available so that your daughter won’t have to worry. 🙂

  48. Georgina says:


    Fantastic information!!!! My husband and i will be visiting CT 22 – 25th March 2015. We have booked accommodation in Monterosso for the 3 nights. We were thinking of catching a train to Riomaggiore and walking our way back to Monterosso stopping at villages on the way…but from what information i have been able to find…it sounds like only one path is open…can you please confirm what will be open at this time of year? Plus we want to go to Portofino one day, but looks like boats may not be operating…..can we get there by train/bus? Thanks again….so happy found you!

  49. Lisa G says:

    I am coming to Italy in May for 10 days. Can I see CT and Amalfi Coast in that time frame? If so what would be the fastest way of transportation and how long would it take? When in CT can you ketch the #2 trail in any of the villages or should we stay in a certain one?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa,

      If you only do those two coasts and not take day trips in other cities along the way, it is possible to see them both in 10 days. Trains coming into Cinque Terre usually stop at La Spezia, the main train station outside of CT, but you can simply plug in your starting destination with your final destination in to find out the exact price and time.

      Also, you can start the #2 either Monterosso, heading south, or Riomaggiore, heading north, but we suggest to start from Riomaggiore, where the paths are easier and paved, and work your way up to the more challenging trails. That way, you can stop at any time. This article on hiking in Cinque Terre has more information. Let us know if you have other questions!

  50. Kristen says:


    I would like any input you could give 🙂 my boyfriend and I are visiting cinque terre from march 7-9/10. We saw that there are some kayak rentals or possible boat rentals, not sure if they are all closed for the season. If you could suggest a village to stay in, we are driving from chamonix. Plan to park in levanto and either stay there the first night and hike as much of the trail that is open then stay in another village along the way. Any suggestions on which ones would be fun to stay in. I realize that some may be mainly shut down due to the off season? Any help would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Thanks, Kristen

  51. Mercy says:

    Hi we are thinking of travelling to Cinque Terre in the Winter this year. However we were just wondering if anything would be open and if it would be worth visiting?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Mercy,

      Italy is beautiful year round, as is Cinque Terre! While some of the trails might be closed (check here for updates closer to departure) we assure you that the towns will still be open for business as usual!

  52. Eryn I says:

    Hello, my husband and I are planning a visit to Portofino and CT Oct 4, 2015 week. Will anything be open? Is that a good time of year to come? We have a wedding in Florence so this was going to be our stop afterwards. Will you do private hiking tours? Thank you.