Cinque Terre – the most beautiful coastal villages of Italian Riviera

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During our final exams of mechanical engineering at McMaster University, Canada, we decided to go on a month long Eurotrip covering Switzerland, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands and Germany. I still remember planning the trip at 2 am while taking breaks from studying and searching for hostels and rental cars.

When I look back and think about how much fun we had in Europe, I am so glad I decided to go on that trip before starting the next chapter of my life. I urge all students to save some money during their college lives and explore the world. Travelling with a free state of mind during your student life can be a life changing experience. I don’t remember how many straight A’s I got in college, but I can never forget the crazy things we did in Europe.

After travelling through Spain, Italy was the second century on our list. We rented a car to check out the hidden treasures of Italian Riviera and to enjoy a scenic drive on narrow twisted roads along the cliff edges. Did you know that Cinque Terre is not a single village, city or state? A group of five beautiful coastal villages Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso dating back to early medieval period are collectively known as Cinque Terre.

The largest village of all, Riomaggiore, has colourful constructions coming down from the cliff to a tiny harbour. Monterosso is a stunning beach that artistically merges both an old town vibe and a modern city life. Although it is very easy to catch a train or a ferry to visit nearby villages, we decided to take a more adventurous route and hiked from one village to another.

If you are foodie, you can stop by small restaurants along the way and enjoy delicious local food while admiring the beautiful view of green mountains, blue ocean and clear sky. If you drive to Cinque Terre, keep in mind that vehicles are not permitted inside the villages so you will need to look for available parking spots nearby.

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