Cinque Terre – May 2017
Jon is finished his job and we have decided to stay in Cinque Terre for 2 nights to do some touring. We have been here before and loved it and it’s on the way to the airport so why not right?
After taking 2 trains to get here, we arrived at midday. Cinque Terre translates to 5 villages so literally there are 5 villages that you can get to by train or you can walk along the coast to each one. They are small, seaside villages they do not lack in beauty.
We stayed at a village called Manarola. We basically stayed where we could find affordable accomodation. Because the villages are so small, accomodation is limited and it’s quite expensive.
Manarola is on a hill, the beach is below and the colourful houses and tiny high street go up a hill. We spent our first afternoon here, seeing the stunning views of the ocean and town and just walking the little village as well as having the worst batch of fish and chips down by the sea for dinner. The children were desperate to swim but, when it wasn’t raining, the water was far too cold for them. They got to dip their toes in but that’s as far as it went. There were other people swimming but I wouldn’t say it’s a beach that’s made for swimming as it’s difficult to get in and out, especially for children anyways.
Our second day was spent in Montorosso. We started with a swim in the icy cold sea but perfectly clear blue water and then walked the streets and markets – didn’t swim and Jon went in knee deep with the children. I say swim but the children ended up running in and out as it was far too cold and it was stones so not pleasant on the feet either. We had a fantastic lunch at one of the restaurants and this was the one and only pasta I finally got to have in Italy. The children weren’t too impressed with it but that’s because they like plain pasta with no sauce. Lil’s isn’t a fan of the Italian pasta. I think it’s the texture of it as it’s different to what you buy in a box.
We caught the train to Vernassa, which is another quaint village. Again, with the seaside at the bottom and the colourful village going up the hill. Lil’s had fallen asleep by now in the Lenny Lamb and Caleb was pretty exhausted. We just went and sat down by the beach whilst Caleb had a little rest and Lil’s finished her nap. We of course, had to have an ice cream too whilst we chilled out.
The children then put their costumes on again and played in the water and in the sand. There was a dog there too that Caleb made friends with.
When we came to the villages about 6 years ago, they were quiet and untouched with a few shops. Now, they are a huge tourist destination. The tour groups come in train loads and just flood the streets and the amount of shops in the villages has tripled. It’s a little unpleasant as you can barely move when you get off the train, the stations have one exit and then you almost have to fight for a spot when you get on the train. The narrow streets are jammed with people constantly too. It’s definitely become a huge tourist hot spot which is a shame as it takes away from the beauty of it.
Cinque Terre is not a place I’d recommend with children. Partly because of the the amount of people there and secondly because there are steps and hills and you aren’t able to take a buggy with you. We took both slings although Caleb walked most of the day, it was great to be able to pop him in the sling when he had had enough. The beaches are beautiful but not child friendly at all. I guess in Montarossa you could get away with it and we did but it’s stones and rough seas with a steep drop off in the water.
We had a fantastic time even though we had the children with us so I’m not saying don’t take children it’s just not a very child friendly place and you’d be better off going somewhere else if you were thinking of a fun family holiday with children.