All Photos © Joakim Lloyd Raboff

Cinque Terre is by far my favorite coastal region in Italy. Walking between or viewing them onboard a local ferry service, the five villages of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso, are each uniquely spectacular. 

Cinque Terre is best visited during the off-season or, at least a few weeks before the tourist season begins. During my visit in early May, I stayed in Monterosso and either walked, took the train, or a boat between the other villages. I’m certainly not an engineer, but I can still appreciate the level of bold and clever solutions that allowed for such grandiose residences to be built up and down the region’s steep cliffs. I shouldn’t really compare the two, but from a visual perspective, Cinque Terre had considerably more to offer me than the Amalfi Coast did.