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boat tour in cinque terre
Boat tour in Cinque Terre | cinque terre travel blog

While hiking may not be everyone’s idea of a ‘laid-back and peaceful’ cup of tea, you don’t actually have to hike the entirety of the Cinque Terre to experience its jaw-dropping good looks. In fact, you often can’t hike the entirety of the Cinque Terre due to path closures. Don’t worry, there’s a solution – both for path closures, and those who didn’t pack appropriate hiking footwear. The Cinque Terre ‘One Day Multi-Service Card’ – €12 for a one-day adult pass, and available from the information centres at any of the five villages – will allow you to walk or train between any of the towns in the Cinque Terre. Try to visit all five of the villages that make up the Cinque Terre if you can… You don’t want to go home and say you only did the Quatro Terre.

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Beach of Vernazza from above | cinque terre travel blog

hiking the trail betwen Vernazza and Corniglia on the cinque terre

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Hiking trail between Vernazza and Corniglia | cinque terre travel guide

Nessun Dorma | cinque terre travel blog

vineyards manarola
Wine grape vineyards in Manarola | cinque terre travel blog
Manarola ,cinque terre blog,cinque terre travel blog,cinque terre visitor guide,cinque terre travel guide,cinque terre guide
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Tunnel connecting Manarola station and village center
Tunnel connecting Manarola station and village center | cinque terre guide

Hotel Margherita cinque terre (1)

getting cinque terre by boat
Boat services to getting around Cinque Terre.

In summer, it’s also possible to take a dip in the sparkling blue ocean waters after a hard day’s hiking and/or train riding.

Cinque Terre Card
Cinque Terre Card
cinque terre trekking card
Cinque Terre trekking card for EUR75/day.
Manarola at night
Manarola at night | cinque terre visitor guide
Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy
A cozy alley of Corniglia.
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Monterosso al Mae beach

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Cinque Terre Trail Map
Cinque Terre Hiking Map
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Vernazza seen from above.
Trip to Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy
A corner street of Corniglia
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Cinque Terre beach
food-riomaggiore Cinque Terre travel guide One day in Cinque Terre
Friggitoria, a street food in Cinque Terre filled with calamari, fries and a slice of fresh lemon

Read more: Cinque Terre travel blog — The fullest Cinque Terre travel guide for a great trip on a budget for the first-timers.

Days 5 and 6: Florence

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Joe DeSousa, Flickr

I don’t want to have my passport confiscated when I next try to visit Paris, London or Berlin… but it’s my firm belief that Florence has the best architecture in all of Europe. Sorry, other European cities. The moment when you turn a corner and enter the main square – the Piazza del Dumono, and see the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistry and Giotto’s Campanile for the first time – you will find yourself agreeing with me and thinking ‘What’s the big deal about Paris anyway?’. Sacrilege I know.

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Cathedral of Florence. A comprehensive look at the the Catherdral and the surroundings
Cathedral of Florence, Italy-22
Incredible ceiling works of art

If you think the outside of the buildings are impressive – detailed, geometric patterns of forest-green, rose-gold and cream marble that create a visual extravaganza – then just wait until you see inside. You can purchase a combined ticket – called the OPA pass – to the Baptistery, Giotto’s Campanile, the Cathedral Museum, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and the underground archaeological site of Santa Reparata for €15, which is valid for 24-hours from the first use. Plenty of time to see them all.

Florence
Florence
Baloncici / Shutterstock

If you’re not museum and art-galleried out after that, on your second day in Florence you should visit the Galleria Academia and the Uffuzi Gallery – but you’ll have to make sure you book well in advance. Booking tickets online costs €16.50 each. This might seem like neurotic pre-planning, but the artworks in both the Galleria Academia (Michelangelo’s David) and the Uffuzi (works from Botticelli and da Vinci) make it worthwhile. You can stroll pas the queues of desperate ticket-seekers with your pre-paid pass in your pocket and smirk quietly to yourself if you like. I know I did.

Days 7 and 8: Rome

8a-day itinerary for visiting Italy rome and venice
Image c/o Moyan Brenn, Flickr

It’s already the last two days of your tour (where did that go?) At this point, you might feel like crying. But persevere, because there’s so much more to see – and so much more gelato to eat.

Rome Gelato
Rome Gelato
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Gelato, must eat in Rome

First up, make your way to the Colosseum. There’s likely to be Julius Caeser monologue-long lines, so to save time head to the Palatine Hill entrance at the Roman Forum. Here you can purchase a combined ticket for the Roman Forum and the Colosseum for €12.00 – which is valid for two days. I would recommend an audio guide for the Roman Forum – which costs around €6.00 – to help give you some context for all those bits of crumbling rock.

Palatine Hill
Palatine Hill
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Ancient Rome
Roman Forum
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Outside Colosseum
| italy itinerary 8 days
| italy itinerary 8 days

The Colosseum-italy6

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| italy itinerary 8 days

The Colosseum-italy5

The Colosseum-italy3
Magical at night

The Colosseum-italy2

The Colosseum-italy

| italy itinerary 8 days
| italy itinerary 8 days
sunset at colosseum
Sunset at Colosseum
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Outside Colosseum at dusk

Next, catch the subway to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Rome’s metro system is incredibly easy to navigate as there’s only two lines! Apparently, any time they tried digging to expand upon their public transport system, they uncovered more ancient ruins. Champagne problems, right?

Saint Peter's Square
Saint Peter’s Square
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Visitor lined up at St Peter’s Square, Vatican City
St. Peter, Vatican City, Italy Church
A solemnly site for praying
St. Peter, Vatican City, Italy Church
The fantastic inside

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The Vatican Museum-rome-italy2
| 8 days in italy

St Peter’s Basilica vatican most beautiful palces of worship around the world

The Vatican Museum-rome-italy

vatican night

vatican museum
frescos | 8 days in italy
Vatican Museums Hall of Busts
Vatican Museums Hall of Busts
Vatican Museums
| rome itinerary 3 days
Magical Vatican at night

Book online for the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, and you’ll be able to skip most of the queues to make your way inside. I went with the option of pre-booking an audio guide with my ticket, which cost €27 including the booking fee. There’s not a lot of information about the artworks on the set path in the museum, so a tour or audio guide is worth it. If you’ve got some time left in Rome, hit up Saint Peter’s Basilica. Entry into Saint Peter’s Basilica itself is free, and climbing the cupola – the dome – costs €7.00 if you take the lift. Trust me, take the lift. This will take you right up to get a view on the dome inside the Basilica. You then climb a few extra steps (okay, a couple hundred steps) and then you will be rewarded with a fantastic panorama of Rome and Saint Peter’s Square from outside.

The artwork of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
The art works of Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel

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Interior of Sistine Chapel

Your time in Rome is probably almost up (unless you’ve booked a few extra days to explore, you clever thing) so there’s only thing left to do on your final night: ingest as much pizza and gelato as you humanly can. Good luck.

what to do in rome in 3 days
Spanish Steps | 8 days in italy

Are you looking for more Rome travel guide and top things to do in Rome: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Rome travel blog — The fullest Rome travel guide blog & suggested Rome 3 day itinerary on a budget.

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