The Amazing Views of Cinque Terre

The steep, rugged coastline of Cinque Terre is definitely a sight to behold!  Who could resist the magnificent views of the terraced patios and colorful homes cascading down the hillside to the sea!

Cinque Terre, Italy

Located in the northwestern corner of Italy on the Ligurian Sea, Cinque Terre consists of five seaside villages, all with amazing views of the Mediterranean Sea.  The centuries old villages are connected by a series of hiking trails, as cars cannot reach these quaint towns lined along the rugged coast.  The villages are also connected by rail, and each village hosts a train station.  You may purchase tickets online for the Cinque Terre Express to save time and waiting in long lines.  

Cinque Terre, Italy

To experience the fabulous views of the rugged coastline by sea, there are private boats available for excursions, or public ferry boats run from La Spezia to Levanto from after Easter to November 1st each year.  

Portovenere, Italy and the Bay of Poets

Our day began in the charming fisherman’s village of Porto Venere which you can read more about here.  After wandering the historical town and enjoying the views of the marina, we boarded the ferry for our journey to Portofino.  Whether you choose a private tour or decide on the public ferry, the magnificent views of the amazing coastline will not disappoint! 

Cinque Terre, Italy

The public ferry stops at four of the five villages and people will depart and board at each stop.  Corniglea, the smallest of the five villages, is high on a cliff with no beach or marina, but is accessible by train.  Time did not allow us to visit each village.  However, we truly enjoyed getting out on the water and taking in those fabulous views!

Portofino, Italy

Our trip ended at the charming village of Portofino.  Here we enjoyed wandering the village with the many shops and delighted in a fabulous meal at Ristorante Moren.  I can honestly say I enjoyed the best ravioli I ever tasted!  Sadly, I can’t tell you the name of the dish.  It was recommended by the waitress as I had no idea what to order.  It was a seafood ravioli with a touch of lemon and I while I’m normally not a huge foodie, I would return to Portofino just to experience that dish again!

Portovenere, Italy

One day on the Italian Riviera is definitely not enough! This is a spot that I could return to again and again.  Highlights were views of the incredible steep and rugged coastline and experiencing this charming and easygoing Italian lifestyle.  Not to mention that delicious ravioli!

However, as it goes with cruising a day was all we had. Next stop….. Rome!

Until next time – Gerri

Why We Skipped Florence for Portovenere!

Along the rugged coastline of the Italian Riviera are five very quaint and picturesque villages dating back to Medieval times.  The colorful homes cling to steep terraces and the harbors are filled with fishing boats.  This charming area with it’s jagged and steep coastline is known as Cinque Terre.  

Originally, when we were planning our Royal Caribbean Cruise to the Mediterranean Coast, the plan was to visit Florence while our ship ported in Livorno.  However, as I was exploring the area of northern Italy before our arrival, I knew that my heart was calling me to Cinque Terre and once again, it was the right call.  I am all about the quaint and charming and those steep, rugged  views, so Cinque Terre was definitely the place for me!

To begin our excursion to Cinque Terre, we took a bus from our ship, Vision of the Seas, to the charming Porto Venere, an old fisherman’s village on the Bay of Poets.  The colorful homes that face the shoreline along the marina offer the quaintness and charm that I find captivating.  Right by the marina, there is a delightful spot to have a cappuccino and enjoy the views across the Bay of Poets.


From the marina, stroll back a bit from the harbor and you will discover the old town of Porto Venere.  Wander through the old city gate, Porto del Borgo, dating back to the 12th century.  Once inside follow the steep, narrow streets full of flower and fruit markets and enjoy the many artisan shops along the way.


After a steep climb up the narrow streets built centuries ago,  you come upon a beautiful view of the Bay of Poets.  The Bay of Poets was a favorite spot of the English poet Lord Byron, where despite of his club foot, he participated in many water escapades.  

On the rocky point overlooking the Bay of Poets, stands the Church of St. Peter,  also known as the Church of San Pietro.  Built in 1198 in Gothic style architecture over a preexisting 5th century pagan temple,  the Church of St. Peter stands out prominently boasting it’s distinguished black and white bands for all to see.  Over the years, fires and ransacking caused damage to the structure and it was beautifully restored in the early 1930’s.  The interior is magnificent and definitely worth the steep climb for a peak inside!

Porto Venere is not actually included in the five villages that create what is known as Cinque Terre.  However, it is where our excusion began and it is definitely worth a visit.  There is no train service to Porto Venere, however, it can easily be reached by car, bus or ferry boat from La Spezia.  

With it’s astounding blend of nature and architecture, as well as it’s mix of history and resort area, Porto Venere is included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and definitely a place to add to your bucket list of places to see!

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, 


There is rapture on the lonely shore, 


There is society, where none intrudes,


By deep sea, and music is it’s roar.”  –  Lord Byron


Next post will include our boat trip along Cinque Terre to Portofino.  – Arrivederci for now!