Are you coming to Cinque Terre in winter, but you are doubtful about what you could do? Let me give you some advices on the best activities to enjoy the visit at your best.
The 5 Villages
If you are in doubt on what you could find, I just have to be honest: most of restaurants and pubs will be closed, as well as touristic attractions. But don’t let that stop you: nature and colors of winter time are worth it.
You can stroll around the villages to enjoy their colorful structure and winter atmosphere peacefully, since there will be just a few persons. My advice is to take something to eat with you if you are going in the evening. Maybe you can pit stop for lunch in one of the open restaurants if you want to enjoy our seafood.
If you want to hike, you can check what trails are open in the days of your visit. The territory is susceptible to frequent landslides due to its structure and heavy rains in winter.
Which Village of Cinque Terre is Better in Winter
If you do not have the time to visit all the villages, think about the season you are in. In winter, I suggest you Riomaggiore, Vernazza and Manarola, because are the most typical. Riomaggiore is also one of the most populated in winter. In fact, unlike the other villages, it also includes elementary and middle schools. So you won’t have problems to also find some bars and restaurants surely open. Manarola and Vernazza will probably be more empty, but are beautiful enough to just be captured by their stunning views. As regards Corniglia and Monterosso, if you don’t have enough time I suggest you to decide to visit it or not after you saw the first three I mentioned.
The reasons are multiples: Corniglia is the smallest one and it does not have direct access to the sea. On the other hand, Monterosso is always charming, but one of its characteristics are the beaches. In winter it may offer you a great swell to see, but you have to be lucky enough to find the perfect day.
The best way to recover from the windy weather, is then enjoy a hot chocolate in La Spezia city center. From the station, you can visit al the historical part of the city just following the main road: Via del Prione.
What Could You Do on a Rainy Day?
Cinque Terre are always charming, but with rain and wind you may be interested in some indoor activities.
Well, there are some cultural spots in town that may be interesting for you.
• The Italian Navy Museum – Since 1923, we host the greatest navy museum of Italy. In which you can find the history of the Italian navy, the evolution of ships and vessels over time, a great collection of figureheads (from XV to XVII century) and more. If you are curious about Italian maritime traditions, I suggest you to go and look around.
• San Giorgio Castle – If you are in La Spezia and you want to explore it a little more. You can visit the historical military fortress “Castello San Giorgio”, located just above the city center. It was built in the 13th century and nowadays it hosts one of the archeological collections in town.
Tips by a Local:
• I suggest you visit the villages during the morning or at sunset time. Here you can find my tips and tricks to enjoy sunset hour in the best way possible.
• You can also have a walk at Porto Mirabello, the newest part of La Spezia harbour