My friend and I stayed at a modern Airbnb apartment near the train station in La Spezia, one of the main towns in Liguria. I highly recommend staying there because it is much cheaper than staying in Cinque Terre, and it only takes 5-10 mins to get to Riomaggiore. The first thing we did at La Spezia’s train station was to buy a Cinque Terre card, which included unlimited train rides, bus transfer, wifi connection, and access to trekking paths. It cost around 13 euros, and it was worth it. If you plan ahead, it is possible to visit all five villages without being rushed. I'd recommend taking a day trip from La Spezia rather than from Florence.
All of the five towns are worth visiting. My personal favorites are Manarola, Corniglia, and Vernazza. Manarola offers one of the most breathtaking views. When the weather is warm, it is ideal to dine outside at Nessun Dorma and enjoy the gorgeous view. Corniglia was the cutest town of them all, as it is full of winding streets and adorable handcraft stores. It also has a very good gelateria which is Alberto Gelateria. The quiet port in Vernazza makes the town looks dreamy and tranquil. Some may argue that Vernazza is the most beautiful town in Cinque Terre.
Once in Cinque Terre, you should do at least one walking trail to absorb the breathtaking beauty of the region. Double check the opening of each path before going because sometimes when the weather is bad, some of the trails are closed for safety. The most popular attraction here is the picturesque walking path from Riomaggiore to Manarola. The path has a poetic name: Via dell’Amore (the Way of Love). Unfortunately, the path is closed until 2018. The path from Corniglia to Vernazza is the easiest trekking path, and it takes about 90 minutes. However, it took us almost 2 hours because we had many breaks to take pictures. It is not an easy walk so you will need comfortable shoes and plenty of water. Another option is to take a boat trip during the summer months. It would be a unique chance to admire Cinque Terre from the sea.
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