Where To Stay in Cinque Terre, Italy in 2024 – The 8 Best Areas

Vanessa Elle
Last Updated: January 22nd, 2024

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More laid-back than the Amalfi Coast, the seaside villages of Cinque Terre appeal to those who seek hiking, ocean views, and the authentic Italian experience.

There are endless amazing places to stay in Cinque Terre, so let’s separate the overpriced from the hidden gems and uncover exactly what you should look for when booking accommodation and planning your itinerary.

Best Places To Stay in Cinque Terre

Just need to find accommodations in Cinque Terre fast? Here are our quick picks!

Now that we have your lodgings sorted, let’s take a closer look at the various neighborhoods and where to stay in Cinque Terre.

The 8 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Cinque Terre

1. Deiva Marina

Beautiful beaches featuring expansive seashores

Deiva-Marina

This meek commune on the east of Cinque Terre boasts beautiful beaches featuring expansive seashores that are almost always studded with umbrellas.

The village is divided into two; the old town which is distinguished by its narrow streets and pastoral architecture and the tourist section known as la Marina which features its lively beachfront and various shops and restaurants.

Much like the rest of the region, fishing is pretty popular, and to make the most of the clear waters boat cruises, fishing, and whale watching are favored activities.

Visitors also have the chance to explore the surrounding hills on hiking trails that guarantee scenic views.

Deiva Marina has sights that share its intriguing history, starting with the 16th-century Old Sight Towers formerly used to defend against pirate raids.

The Ruins of the Old Castle of De Passano were once home to the da Passano family who governed Bracco, Moneglia, and Vernazza until the 10th century.

Built in 1730, The Church of Santa Antonio Abate’s design was inspired by the Baroque era, which houses antiquated paintings.

Deiva Marina Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Shops and Restaurants

2. Levanto

A great starting point for a tour of Cinque Terre

Levanto

Levanto village features a windy seashore populated with shops and restaurants right by the waters. Artisanal boats decorate the shores with bright colors with the backdrop of pine forests, vineyards, and houses dating back to the medieval era.

There is always something happening in Levanto. Whether it be hosted walks through its valleys, festivals, or shopping, there is always something for visitors to participate in.

Food and wine trail walks through the valley are popular at the start of summer, and throughout summer, there are many open beach parties and carnivals.

Shops in Levanto are open from 9 am to 1 pm and reopen from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm. The markets sell a variety of goods, from fresh produce and fish to clothing and garden plants. Visitors can also enjoy all kinds of freshly made pasta and pesto, a regional specialty.

Levanto has many prehistoric churches and castles, many used today. Famous churches and chaplets include the Oratorio di San Giacomo, the Church of San Rocco, and the Santa Andrea Church.

Levanto Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Food and Wine

3. Porto Venere

A fishing commune dating back to the medieval era

Porto-Venere

South of Cinque Terre is Porto Venere, a fishing commune dating back to the medieval era. Its harbor is hemmed with brightly colored buildings that ascend with the hills. The narrow streets fringed with shops extend from the ancient gate to the castle to the top of the hills.

Lined along the narrow streets are small shops selling an assortment of things. One shop, in particular, sells freshly made basil pesto with fresh pasta such as ravioli.

Visitors can catch a ferry along the coast to absorb the wonder of the landscape and also have the chance to visit the neighboring islands of Palmaria, Tinetto, and Tino.

The hills of Porto Venere reach spectacular heights, which host picturesque monuments and enhance the visitors’ experience. Such is the case of the Church of San Pietro; built in 1277 according to the Genovese Gothic Style, the church sits on a jagged elevation looking onto the sea.

The Doria Castle, which features the ancient city gate, boasts its Genoan military architecture that has left impressions on visitors since 1161.

Lastly is Grotta di Byron, or Byron’s Cave, which was named after the poet Byron who famously swam through the gulf to meet his friends on the other side.

Porto Venere Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Local Food and Shops

Suggested Reading: Pros And Cons Of Living In Italy

4. Riomaggiore

Home to the famous and much-traveled Via dell’amore (Lover’s Lane)

Riomaggiore

Sometime around the 8th century, the inhabitants of Vara Valley searched for a new place to grow their olive trees and grapevines that were safe from pirate raids.

They then moved closer to the coast and resided in what is presently known as Riomaggiore, the most southern village of Cinque Terre. The jagged hills of the village descend into the waters, and bright buildings stand on the edges of the ridges.

This quaint village is at the southernmost point of Cinque Terre and starts a famous walking path named Via dell’amore translated as ‘Lovers Lane’. This path is for all the romantics, a railed walk on the side of the hills with a full view of the ocean and waves as they crash against the rocks below.

Amazingly, it takes a twenty-minute stroll down Lover’s Lane to get to the next village, Manarola. This makes Cinque Terre so fascinating; visitors can use a series of paths and adore all five villages hassle-free!

Establishing Riomaggiore in the 8th century gave settlers time to construct monuments that have stood the test of time and are still in use. The Church of San Lorenzo was built in 1338 and is noted for its ornate rose window above its entrance door.

The Church of San Giovanni Battista was built in 1340 and modeled a Gothic design. The Castle of Riomaggiore was built in 1260 and stands backed by a guard of trees.

Lastly, the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero allows visitors a panoramic view of Cinque Terre’s coastline that is truly unforgettable.

Riomaggiore Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Ocean View

5. Monterosso al Mare

Largest village on  Cinque Terre with a welcoming community

Monterosso-Al-Mare

On to the largest village of Cinque Terre which has been noted as one of the most welcoming communes in Liguria. Monterosso al Mare, also called Monterosso, is located on hills populated with olive trees, grapevines, and lemons with crystalline waters and colorful reefs below.

The village consists of two parts separated by the medieval tower of Aurora. The first area is Monterosso’s old town, which is mostly scattered with medieval castle ruins and narrow streets with bright-colored terraced buildings.

The second area is Fegina, a new and vibrant part of Monterosso with quality shops and restaurants aplenty.

Summers in Monterosso are packed with events, most of them celebrating their produce with food-tasting gatherings.

In May, Sagra dei limoni (The Lemon Festival) is celebrated. The locals decorate the village with lemons and enjoy an assortment of lemon-flavored treats like limoncino, lemon marmalade, and a special torta al Limone.

June features Corpus Domini celebrations and Sagra dell’acciuga fritta, a chance to taste Monterosso’s famous anchovies.

In late September, bands from all over Italy perform in Monterosso’s Festival bandistico, and not long after that is Festa del Vino where visitors can have a taste of Cinque Terre’s wines; Sciacchetra and the eponymous DOC Cinque Terre.

Monterosso’s old and new parts have outstanding landmarks that mark the village’s history and point out how far it has come. In the older part of town stands The Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the 1200s.

The Gothic-Genovese design makes it stand out in the main square and encases a glorious fresco illustrating the baptism of Christ. Still, on the older part of town is the San Benedetto del Assisi statue petting a dog that faces the sea and rolling hills.

In newer Fegina is the statue of the Giant, II Gigante, which is a concrete figurine of Neptune the god of the sea that is placed on the terrace of a villa near the beach.

Monterosso al Mare Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Olive Trees and Grapevines

6. Corniglia

Remote area perfect for those wanting to immerse themselves in the culture of Cinque Terre

Corniglia-Cinque-Terre

Right in the center of Cinque Terre is Corniglia, it is the only village without access to the sea and is subsequently not as visited as its coastal neighbors due to its remote location. Elevated 100 meters above the sea, the small village is connected to the train station through a footpath of 377 stairs.

This footpath is one of many footpaths that keep Cinque Terre’s villages connected. Unlike the other villages established in the medieval period, Corniglia dates back to ancient Rome and its agricultural traditions bear all the influence with terraces and vineyards surrounding the village.

Corniglia has events such as The San Pietro and Paolo Feast in which a traditional cake or ‘Torta dei Fieschi’ is offered.

A must-see in the village is the Piazza Largo Tarago which has the Oratory of Santa Caterina, built in the 18th century.

Another landmark is the Parish of San Pietro, built in 1334, which adorns a gothic-Ligurian design. The parish is furnished with works from the 12th century and statues of bishops and altarpieces.

Corniglia Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Vineyards

7. Manarola

Distinguished by its terraced buildings that face the sea

Manarola

Manarola is 70 meters above sea level and is distinguished by its terraced buildings that face the sea. The harbor village has a boat ramp and a mini marketplace packed with seafood restaurants serving the freshest catches.

There isn’t a beach edging the village, but there are terrific water depths off the jagged hills for swimming. Manarola is popularly explored through strolls down its steep, narrow alleys leading to the sea.

At the village’s highest point is the church formerly used as a watchtower to spot pirates.

The previously mentioned Via Dellamore (Lover’s Lane) connects Manarola to Riomaggiore, so visitors can enjoy a picturesque trek across the carved path.

From the 8th of December to the end of January the hills are brightly lit with light emitted by 200 figurines and 12,000 lamps making the scene one of the biggest nativity scenes in the world.

The Church of San Lorenzo which overlooks the village onto the sea was built in 1338 and acted as a defense tower against pirate raids. The church models a Gothic Ligurian design and is still used for services and community gatherings, such as the San Lorenzo Feast held in August.

Manarola Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Seafood

8. Vernazza

The most beautiful village of Cinque Terre and one of the top villages in Italy

Vernazza

Vernazza has been deemed the most beautiful village of Cinque Terre and one of the top villages in Italy. The village was formally recognized in 1080 and acted as a maritime base for Italian nobility and was used as a point of departure by naval forces in defense of pirates.

By 1276, Vernazza was ruled by the Republic of Genoa after centuries of village locals providing a fleet, a port, and soldiers to Genova. In the 15th century, Vernazza was plagued with pirate raids and turned to heavier defense by building a wall.

After the attacks subsided the village focused on produce as the land had great agricultural potential that still flourishes. Even though the National Park of the Cinque Terre is a recent tourist hotspot, Vernazza retains equal relevance by sticking to its century-old traditions.

The extensive port that descends from the hills is an attraction that is a sight for sore eyes. This port is covered in terraced buildings that stand out for their elegant design; they once belonged to Vernazza’s ancient elites.

Entering the village from the port is a popular way of absorbing the architecture and pastel waters as they lap onto the village’s shoreline. Vernazza also features a local trail that connects the five villages which is useful for visitors.

The Church of Santa Margherita D’Antiochia is estimated to have been built in 1318 and pays homage to the village’s Patron saint. The church has an east-facing entry path, making it unique to the area. An octagonal bell tower rises from the church’s apse, which stands boldly in the village’s main piazza Marconi.

A steep walk above the village leads to the Sanctuary of Madonna di Reggio, a sanctum shaded by trees and accentuated by the Stations of the Cross. The Sanctuary also offers spectacular views of the hillside and coast.

Vernazza Mini Guide
Best Area to Stay for Sightseeing

FAQs About Where to Stay in Cinque Terre

What are the best places to stay in Cinque Terre for tourists?

Each of the five towns of Cinque Terre offers something slightly different, though they all make great places to stay. Along with Vernazza, the most bustling town is Riomaggiore, and this is particularly popular with a younger crowd. If you enjoy nightlife and are looking for budget accommodation options, Riomaggiore is a top choice.

Corniglia is also a wise choice if you’re looking for budget accommodation in a setting that feels quieter and less overrun with tourists. Manarola is similarly quiet, which makes it a good choice for those honeymooning in Cinque Terre.

If you’re going to Cinque Terre for a beach vacation, Monterosso al Mare is probably the best place to base yourself. It has a selection of great beaches to choose from and is also the best place to stay for people who don’t want to navigate the rocky and steep terrain of the nearby villages, as it’s comparatively flat.

What hotels in Cinque Terre are best for families?

The towns of Cinque Terre tend to have more apartments than hotels, somewhat owing to the local culture and old-style buildings. But the good news is apartments are ideal for families traveling with three or more people because they tend to offer more space than an average hotel room, particularly by European standards.

Some of the best apartments to stay in when you’re in Cinque Terre include:

Where are the best beaches in Cinque Terre?

Nestled on the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is one of the best beach destinations in Europe, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a sandy spot to spend the day.

One of the best (and most famous) beaches in the area is Bagno Fegina, or Fegina Beach. Located in Monterosso al Mare, it offers idyllic swimming waters and an expansive stretch of sand, along with beach bars and facilities available for rent.

For something much less popular, head to the hidden gem that is Canneto Beach, a secret spot to the south of Riomaggiore. You’ll need to hire a boat to reach this local favorite, but you’re unlikely to run into many tourists there.

If you’re traveling with kids, the small beach in the harbor of Vernazza should definitely be on your Cinque Terre bucket list. The harbor protects the water from the elements, so it’s ideal for gentle swimming.

So, Where Should You Stay in Cinque Terre?

  • Deiva Marina — With its endless shores and pristine beaches, it is ideal for scenic views and days spent by the ocean.
  • Levanto — An ideal location for first-time visitors, Levanto boasts food, accommodations, and a lively atmosphere for travelers to immerse themselves in.
  • Porto Venere — Dating back to medieval times, Porto Venere is one of the best areas for history buffs to stay in.
  • Riomaggiore — Home to Via dell’amore, Riomaggorie is ideal for couples traveling with romance in mind–who would not be swept off their feet being proposed to on lovers lane overlooking the ocean?
  • Monterosso al Mare — As the largest village in Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare is a great home base for those wanting an abundance of choice of cultural events, dining, and activities.
  • Corniglia —While Corniglia is one of the few locations without access to the coast, it proves to make up for it in the charm of traveling in less explored areas of Cinque Terre.
  • Manarola — With breathtaking views overlooking the sea, Manarola is a wonderful area for those who want to take in the sights with a glass of wine.
  • Vernazza — Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Vernazza is a must-visit area if not the place you should make your home base.

Cinque Terre is a natural beauty that thrives by remaining true to itself. Overflowing with culture, hospitality, and fascinating aspects. Regardless of where you stay in Cinque Terre, you will have an unforgettable experience.

About The Author

Vanessa Elle

Vanessa is an Australian-based freelance writer and editor with a BA in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about creating travel content that inspires her readers to take a leap of faith and power through their bucket lists. When she’s not writing (with her border collie asleep at her feet), she’s devouring books, exploring the world, or planning her next trip.

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1 thought on “Where To Stay in Cinque Terre, Italy in 2024 – The 8 Best Areas”

  1. Hello, Vanessa Elle

    Deiva Marina sounds like a charming spot on the eastern side of Cinque Terre! With its beautiful beaches adorned with umbrellas, quaint old town streets, and lively beachfront, it offers a blend of relaxation and activity. Fishing, boat cruises, and hiking in the surrounding hills provide plenty to do, while its intriguing history adds an extra layer of interest, especially with those 16th-century Old Sight Towers once used to fend off pirates. Sounds like a delightful place to explore!

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Vanessa Elle

Vanessa Elle

Vanessa is an Australian-based freelance writer and editor with a BA in Creative Writing. She’s passionate about creating travel content that inspires her readers to take a leap of faith and power through their bucket lists.

When she’s not writing (with her border collie asleep at her feet), she’s devouring books, exploring the world, or planning her next trip.

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