In this post I will go over the most common mistakes to avoid in Cinque Terre, so that these small mishaps don’t ruin your summer in Europe.
Hi girls, how are you today?
When traveling, it is normal commit a certain rookie mistake or two, every now and then (some might argue it is even a crucial part of traveling: to make
Even though that might be true, it doesn’t hurt to be well-informed before you travel about some basic things that could make a big difference to your trip.
Cinque Terre is a popular Europe summer destination, and if you’ve ever been there before, you will most probably understand why. Here you will find my biggest tips to enjoy Cinque Terre to the fullest, after being there twice.
RELATED: A Complete Cinque Terre Travel Guide
Table of Contents
8 SUPER COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID IN CINQUE TERRE, ITALY
Cinque Terre Mistake # 1) EATING SPAGHETTI RAGÙ (A.K.A. meatballs)
Of course food would have to be the first item on the list of common mistakes to avoid in Cinque Terre.
People tend to think of Italian food like lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, and while both of these items are delicious, you likely won’t find them on menus in Cinque Terre. But don’t worry, the region is famous for pesto (thanks to fragrant basil grown in nearby Genova).
You’ll also find fresh seafood everywhere, due to the seaside location. Deep-fried seafood cones are a real treat, with made-to-order breaded octopus, calamari, and prawns. And be prepared to experiment with excellent locally made wines that are rarely exported out of Italy.
Cinque Terre Mistake #2) FORGETTING A PORTABLE CHARGER
You’ll be amazed how quickly your camera and phone battery will run out when you are in such a picturesque part of Italy. I myself faced many
Considering that you spend your entire day outside, from the moment you wake up to the moment the sun goes down (on summer that means after 21:30), chances are your phone battery will need a power-up.
Either bring with you a charger and hope a nice waiter will let you recharge your batteries, or simply buy a portable charger before going.
Trust me! You’ll want to avoid this rookie mistake. Smart travelers always have a portable mobile charger.
Cinque Terre Mistake #3) HOPING TO SPEND THE DAY LAYING ON THE SAND
Enjoy spending your holidays laying on white sandy beaches?
Then don’t go to Cinque Terre.
Another on of the biggest mistakes to Avoid in Cinque Terre is expecting to lay on comfy sandy beaches all day long. Quite the contrary to that belief, most of the times you will go for a swim there, you will have to go through rocks (sometimes cliffs) and if you don’t like the extra effort, you will not enjoy Cinque Terre.
Don’t get me wrong, they are not hard to walk (keep in mind I went this year with my mother and she had no problems), but it is always best to keep this piece of information in mind in case you just plan on doing absolutely nothing during your holidays.
PS – An exception to this is Monterosso al Mare, where you find thousands of sunbeds and sun umbrellas just waiting to be rented. You can also stay for free at the public beach sand area. Also, a good alternative to keep in mind.
Cinque Terre Mistake #4) NOT GOING FOR A HIKE
Even if you don’t consider yourself a sporty person, you must take at least a small hike in Cinque Terre. The network of footpaths that crisscrosses the region was painstakingly made by locals before the trains and highway were constructed. Today, it has been developed into the area’s main attraction, so don’t make the mistake of missing one of the best views of Cinque Terre from the hiking paths.
The coastal path links all five villages (
Sections of this quick hike tunnel under overhanging rocks and jut out to the breathtaking Ligurian Sea. A moderate option is hiking from Monterosso al Mare to Vernazza. This two-hour hike starts with a steep set of stairs, then evens out over streams and past wineries, until the decline into the stunning village of Vernazza.
Cinque Terre Mistake #5) FORGETTING TO VALIDATE THE TRAIN TICKET
The fine can be around 50 euro per person. After validating, the ticket is valid for 75 minutes
Cinque Terre Mistake #6) FORGETTING ABOUT MAKING DINNER RESERVATIONS
It goes without saying that any popular vacation destination will have busy restaurants and if you don’t plan right, you might miss out on some of the best places to eat. And that is one big rookie mistake!
Depending on the place you want to go, and how popular it is with tourists, you might need to plan a couple of days ahead of the desired date you wish to dine.
The same day that I arrived I tried making reservations at the Trattoria dal Billie (probably Manarola-s most famous restaurant) and was informed that they were booked for the next two days. Luckily, I had more than enough time to spare while I was there and booked it for a different date.
However a lot of people come to Cinque Terre for a weekend, or even a day-trip and these people would miss trying a delicious ‘spaghetti alle vongole’ (AKA pasta with clams).
Do your research and book your favorites in advance.
I’ve written a completely separate post here about my top restaurant picks in Cinque Terre (and most of them are not exactly touristic clichés).
Cinque Terre Mistake #7) SKIPPING DESSERT
I have two words for you to keep in mind: Gelato and Tiramisù!
Gelato is churned slower than ice cream, which provides a denser frozen treat. It’s also served slightly warmer, so the texture is silkier, and a lower percentage of milk fat allows the primary ingredients to shine.
Gelato stands are ubiquitous throughout the five villages, and flavors range from standard, like dark chocolate, to the unexpected, like raspberry. It’s also pretty affordable, with a single scoop starting around two euros.
Don’t make the mistake of only sticking to the same flavor. Try out as many different flavors as you can (mango, vanilla, pistachio, rasberry.. The sky is the limit when trying Italian gelato).
Cris, my Italian boyfriend, introduced me to Tiramisù a while ago and I am completely addicted to this Italian pastry. It is a coffee-flavored typical Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa.
Best thing is: It actually doesn’t feel heavy at all (there is always space for some Tiramisù in my belly).
When I was in Cinque Terre I was eating tiramisù for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Don’t believe me? See below some of the pictures of my Tiramisù adventures while I was in Cinque Terre:
Cinque Terre Mistake #8) BRINGING HEELS OF ANY KIND
Guilty here. I brought those stylish beach heels because I like dressing up, at least for dinners (yes, I am posh even at beach destinations).
Even though they are easy to wear and quite comfortable, my legs by the end of the day were already exhausted by all the hikes and hills of Cinque Terre.
Add to that the fact that our hotel was located at the top of Manarola’s main street, it was unnecessary suffering for my poor little calves. Don’t make the same rookie mistake I did (I took not one, but two high heels. YIKES).
Furthermore, no one actually dresses up in Cinque Terre and people couldn’t care less if I was wearing heels.
I still looked good (hehe), but next time I visit, I will leave the heels out. They just took up unnecessary space inside my carry-on (massive rookie mistake, as I always need the extra space for all the clothes I insist on buying).
ALTERNATIVE: Replace your heels with cute flats. They will look just as nice, and you will feel more at ease (just please don’t go for dinner using Havaianas).
Find some Summer Outfit Inspirations here (‘How to Look Chic for Summer’)
Have you been to Cinque Terre? What are some mistakes to avoid in Cinque Terre that I left out? Leave me a comment on the section below.
Did you like this Cinque Terre post? Find more posts from the Cinque Terre and Italy Series:
- Where to Eat in Cinque Terre (recommended by a local)
- 11 Things to do in Cinque Terre
- Summer Outfit Inspiration – Look Chic This Summer
- Ponza Island – Italy’s Hidden Gem (popular post)
- Italy Survival Guide – The Do’s and Dont’s of Italy Travel