A weekend away at Cinque Terre

The Intercultural Communication Course Blog (Prof. Christian Tarchi)

Hannah Guzzo (UConn), Michael Russell, Sarah Kaylor, and Emilia Tapsall (UVA)



Located two hours north of Florence by train is the rugged but beautiful area of Cinque Terre. The area is comprised of five towns, as the name suggests. You can access any of them by train, bus, or car, and four of the five towns by boat. Once in Cinque Terre, there is much to do, including cliff jumping, relaxing on the beach, trying local cuisine or enjoying the footpath connecting all five towns. Just be sure to keep an eye out for jellyfish if going in the water! An excellent way to experience breathtaking views, as well as get acquainted with all the towns is to take a short ferry ride throughout Cinque Terre.

If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the steep, terraced mountains to get from town to town. Trail 531 from Riomaggiore to Manarola is a challenging one-hour hike, but the views looking down onto the glistening Mediterranean and colorful town below is well worth the effort. Just be sure to bring water and wear comfortable athletic shoes! Once you’ve made your descent, cool off by cliff jumping off of one of the many cliffs jutting out over the water. Although the heights can be a bit frightening when you take a peek over the edge, trust the locals coaxing you on and take the leap. After you try it once, you’ll want to do it again and again.

Cinque Terre shared both similarities and differences from many U.S. coastal towns. The terrain in Cinque Terre is composed of unique terrain with mountains surrounding it. In most coastal U.S. cities, the terrain is not as hilly and often doesn’t require such a tumultuous walk to get to and from different beaches. In addition houses that surround the beach are often close together and aren’t as expansive as the houses that surround the coast in the United States. One big similarity that Cinque Terre shares with U.S coastal towns is its local cuisine. Almost all of the restaurants on the beach in both places serve seafood and other food that’s found directly off of the coast surrounding it.

Definitely a “can’t miss experience” while visiting Italy. Its beautiful long beaches, amazing shopping, and delicious variety of food (and drinks) makes it a spot that will surely make a lasting impression. From watching the local fisherman to daring cliff jumping, there is an activity for everyone.  For such an affordable holiday, there is so much to be gained from your visit. Whether you spend a few hours to a few days, you will love it!