Cinque Terre is a stretch of five towns across the enchanting Italian riviera. I fell in love with this place far before I ever visited it. Perhaps you have too. The photos of pastel colored buildings, perched precariously on the cliffside and gazing out onto the sea are enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat.
Last week I made my way here by way of boat on a day trip. This is the most scenographic way to go, and provided me with a unique viewpoint of the landscape. The ferry from La Spezia will take about an hour, and once you are in the villages, you can easily spend the day village hopping (except for Corniglia). You should also take the opportunity to visit the village of Portovenere, which isn’t one of the 5 villages but certainly is a worthwhile stop.
So, what are the differences between the villages? Here is a quick rundown on each of their unique characteristics, as well as photos from my vantage point of approaching the villages by boat. My suggestion would be to visit them all, and choose to spend a few nights in the one that best suits your tastes.