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15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Our full guide on the Common Mistakes To Avoid in Cinque Terre for your next visit to Italy.

Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Italian Riviera, is known for its stunning coastal views, charming villages, and vibrant culture.

However, there are common mistakes that travelers often make when visiting this picturesque destination. Here’s a guide to help you avoid these pitfalls and make the most of your trip to Cinque Terre.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre

1. Visiting Only One Village

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Staying in just one village and missing out on the unique charm of the other four.

Tip: Plan to visit all five villages (Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore). Each has its own distinct character and attractions.

2. Underestimating the Hiking Trails

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Not preparing adequately for the hiking trails, which can be challenging.

Tip: Wear sturdy hiking shoes, carry water, and be prepared for steep climbs and rugged terrain. The Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail) is the most popular, but there are also other less crowded trails worth exploring.

3. Not Booking Accommodations in Advance

Mistake: Assuming you can find accommodations upon arrival, especially during peak season.

Tip: Book your accommodations well in advance. Cinque Terre is a popular destination, and places fill up quickly, particularly in summer.


4. Ignoring Weather Condition

Mistake: Not checking the weather forecast and getting caught in unexpected conditions.
Tip: Check the weather forecast regularly, especially if you plan to hike. Trails can become slippery and dangerous in the rain.

5. Traveling by Car

Mistake: Trying to explore Cinque Terre by car, which is inconvenient and impractical.

Tip: Use the Cinque Terre Card for unlimited train travel between the villages. The villages are best explored on foot and by train.

6. Not Buying the Cinque Terre Card

Mistake: Missing out on the benefits of the Cinque Terre Card, such as unlimited train travel and access to hiking trails.

Tip: Purchase the Cinque Terre Card, which offers unlimited train rides between the villages, access to the hiking trails, and free Wi-Fi in the park.

7. Skipping Corniglia

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Overlooking Corniglia because it’s the only village not directly on the coast and requires a climb.

Tip: Visit Corniglia for its unique charm and quieter atmosphere. The climb up the Lardarina staircase (377 steps) is worth the effort.

8. Overpacking for Day Trips

Mistake: Carrying too much while exploring, which can be cumbersome on the trails and trains.

Tip: Pack light for day trips. Bring only essentials like water, a camera, sunscreen, and a light jacket.

9. Eating Only in Tourist Areas

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Mistake: Dining only at the most obvious tourist spots and missing out on local culinary gems.

Tip: Venture away from the main tourist areas to find authentic, local restaurants. Try regional specialties like pesto, focaccia, and fresh seafood.

10. Not Respecting Local Etiquette

Mistake: Ignoring local customs and etiquette, such as dress codes in churches or being loud in residential areas.

Tip: Respect local customs. Dress modestly when visiting churches and keep noise levels down, especially in the evening.

11. Overlooking the Beaches

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Not taking advantage of the beautiful beaches in Monterosso al Mare, the only village with extensive sandy beaches.

Tip: Spend some time relaxing on Monterosso’s beaches. They’re perfect for a refreshing swim and sunbathing.

12. Ignoring Trail Conditions and Closures

Mistake: Assuming all trails are open without checking for closures or conditions.

Tip: Check for trail conditions and closures at the visitor centers or online. Some trails may be closed for maintenance or due to weather conditions.

13. Traveling Only During Peak Season

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Visiting only during peak season (June to August), which can be crowded and expensive.

Tip: Consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) when the weather is still pleasant but the crowds are thinner.

14. Not Bringing Cash

Mistake: Assuming everywhere accepts credit cards and not carrying enough cash.

Tip: Bring sufficient cash as some small shops, cafes, and restaurants may only accept cash.

15. Overlooking the Sunset Views

15 Common Mistakes To Avoid In Cinque Terre Italy

Mistake: Not planning to watch the sunset, which offers stunning views in each village.

Tip: Take time to watch the sunset. Some of the best spots include the harbor in Vernazza and the promenade in Manarola.

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