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Things to do along trail

Seattle, Washington
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74 posts
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Things to do along trail

Hello all,

I'm planning on doing the Cinque Terre hike in March with my wife. I'm wondering if there are any "can't miss" activities along the way? We both enjoy wine, cheese (food in general :)), and history. I'm particularly curious about wine tastings.

We went wine tasting in France and it was way different than our American wine tasting experiences (no real formal setup, kind of quiet/awkward). Not sure if Italian tastings are more similar to American wine tastings - would love to hear if someone has experience in both countries.

At any rate, we'd love to hear if you have any suggestions of things I'm not even thinking about too!

Thanks,

Drew

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3 replies to this topic
Cinque Terre, Italy
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for Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare, Italian Riviera
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1. Re: Things to do along trail

Keep in mind a few things -

In March, the weather is frequently rainy. If there is bad weather, the trail will be closed and you will not be able to hike. If it's been rainy in the previous days, the trail may be open but just be ready, as they are dirt and stone trails, they will be muddy and very slippery.

Our trails are mountain trails that connect one village to the other, so technically along the actual trail, there isn't anything, just undeveloped mountain and coast. But, each section of the trail runs through one village or another as you make your way through the national park, so you can stop on your way in each of the villages. Wine, we have plenty, cheese - we don't make cheese in the Cinque Terre, but you can certainly find cheese plates at most bars or restaurants.

Wine tasting is a little tricky here just because of the logistics - our vineyards are located on these terraced hills, and are oftentimes a near vertical hike up, which means that most cantinas do not actually offer on site tastings. Coupled by the fact that our local producers are quite small production, they do not have the space, resources or even time to operate a "tasting room" or guided tasting like you might be used to in the US. "quiet and awkward" like you experienced in France might also be due to a language barrier (I'm assuming you do not speak Italian).

Having said that, there are some cantinas that do provide tastings or a small (short) tour with advance notice, and some local bars you could certainly stop in on your hike or in the days you are here that have a large selection of local wines by the glass - just note, our trails here can be challenging and rugged. There are steep, vertical drops with no guardrails in some spots, uneven ascents and descents, and thousands upon thousands of stone or mud "steps", so please do not think that you can drink a bunch of wine then go on to hike the next portion..

Buranco here in Monterosso is perhaps the only Cinque Terre cantina you can walk in to a tasting situation you might find in the US, it's easy to walk to from the old town. You should contact them in advance in the off season (March is offseason).

Cheo (Vernazza), Terre Sospese (Riomaggiore) and Luciano Capellini (Volastra, above Manarola) also can do them, but contact them in advance.

Bars, you can try Pie Du Ma and La conchiglia in Riomaggiore, Nessun Dorma in Manarola (you can also ask them about their pesto making class), Cinque Terre wine experience in Vernazza, and Enoteca Internazionale, Bar Gio and La Cantina di miky in Monterosso - all of these bars/restaurants have extensive local wine by the glass lists.

Also remember that depending on when you are coming in March, they might still be closed for the winter...easter is quite early this year, and if the weather is poor, some places might even only be open on weekends until mid april...

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Things to do along trail

A way to get some idea of what to expect if the trails are open and you can hike is to look at a few youtube videos (there are loads of them) and you can get a good sense of what they are like -

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Things to do along trail

Thanks to you both! It looks like the Cinque Terre Wine Experience is closed until April, but I'll look into the others. Thanks again!

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