We have a big honeymoon planned for 2020 (keep your eyes peeled for updates), but since one of my life goals is going to Italy at least once a year for the rest of my life, and we just got married, we decided to combine these two things for a little minimoon. Since we did the Amalfi Coast last year, there was only one obvious choice: Cinque Terre. We wanted sea, sun and good wine, and Cinque Terre checked off all three.
Cinque Terre is a string of five towns- Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore- along the northwest coast of Italty, near-ish to Pisa (about a 50 minute train ride from the airport depending on which town you stay in). We stayed in Manarola because, after extensive research, we learned it was the prettiest and least touristy, and it had sea access. We went to all the towns, so I can say I am happy with the choice we made, particularly because of our view!
We spent a large amount of time being active- it is soooo mountainous, so even if you get trains between the towns (they’re fairly frequent) you’ll be doing some climbing to see all the little bits of each village.
We also took a hike from Monterosso to Vernazza- I was almost turned away because I was wearing sandals, so remember to wear appropriate footwear. It isn’t super difficult hiking but it was about an hour and a half at a decent pace, often uphill, and there were a few times where I did wish I had sneakers.
The sea itself was nowhere near as nice as Amalfi- the beaches were rockier, and the sea quite choppy (that was just our luck, I think it’s usually pretty calm). At least that made for exciting pictures even if it meant we weren’t swimming too often. It was cheaper to rent a beach bed for two, though, than in Greece or Amalfi Coast, so that was good. I did get a little scared near the waves though…
When we weren’t hiking and exploring, we were eating. Our favourite restaurants were Trattoria dal Billy (a MUST, I event ate the fish there!), Dau Cila and Il Pirata (great for a big lunch and limoncello to cap it all off).
Since our flight was early, we stayed one night in Pisa. There’s not much there except for the Tower, which was cool to see but we didn’t need more than an afternooon there.
I always say comparison is the root of all evil, but I will say IF I had to choose between Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast, I would choose Amalfi. It’s prettier, the beaches better and the towns a bit more personable. That being said, I loved our time in Cinque Terre, and it ticked all the boxes of what we were looking for in a honeymoon.