Last update: October, 2017.

  1. Best of Cinque Terre
  2. What to do and see
  3. The dream trip in 2 weeks

How to spend two weeks in Italy: Liguria and Tuscany

The wonderful attractions of the Cinque Terre and nearby cities are described in detail on this site: there are so many places to go and possible activities! Information is so plentiful that after visiting dozens of web sites, tourists are confused about where to go and what to see! Nor do they have a clear idea of where to stay, where to leave luggage, how to move between towns and villages. In other words, they have many questions. You can get an answer to your questions on our Facebook page.

We also advise you not to waste time researching information on the internet, but to read about the ideal itinerary in the Liguria region at “The dream trip in 2 weeks”. By following this itinerary you will visit the main places of interest and the most interesting and famous towns of the Italian Riviera di Ponente (the western Riviera), plus two more cities if you wish: Nice and Monaco.

The best time of year for this holiday

If you plan on taking a dip in the sea while in Liguria, the best time to go to the Cinque Terre is between mid-May to the end of September (you will find fewer tourists in June in the warm months). If the natural and architectural attractions are of most interest to you and a swim is not critical, then it’s better to go between March and the end of October.

Choosing the airport

People usually plan to arrive and depart from the same airport and if you are intending to visit Liguria the time and place of arrival will determine the order in which to visit the cities. For your convenience we have indicated the various starting points at the bottom of the page.

It is best to arrive in Milan, Genoa, Pisa or Florence. There are fast trains between Milan and Rome (a journey of less than 3 hours!), so even if you arrive at Rome airport it will not complicate things at all. You can search for all flights on this site.

Map for a dream vacation

The main airports to consider are marked on the map with an itinerary (circular + Nice and Monaco) and the various cities (railway stations are also marked). You can read about all the large and small places on our site: Genoa, Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo, Portofino, Portovenere, Pisa, Lucca, Florence, Parma, Milan and others.

Description of the itinerary

The starting city for the journey through this region depends on the airport of arrival. The starting point of the route for each one is indicated at the bottom of the page. All you have to do is follow it! We also indicate the number of nights we recommend you stay in each city (without taking into consideration a short beach vacation!). It’s better to move from one city to another in the morning, immediately after you check out of the hotel, as this will save you time. This way you don’t have to worry about where to leave your luggage during the day.

Let’s suppose that your plane lands in Milan. In this case you should leave immediately for Genoa.

1

Genoa

Piazza De Ferrari, Genoa, Italy

You will need two whole days here.
More information: What to see in Genoa.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: Meliá Genova.

2
3

Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo

View from the square of the Palace, Monaco

There are other places to visit. You can head to Nice from Genoa and stay there for 1-2 nights, then leave for Monaco and Monte Carlo by train the following day and visit them in 1 day. With a 3-hour train ride from Genoa and 35 euro you will be at your destination.
How many nights to stay: 1-2 (in Nice, because Monaco is very expensive).
More information: Nice, Monaco and Monte Carlo.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: Ibis Styles.

4
5

Sestri Levante and neighboring towns

View of Manarola from the seaside promenade, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola
View of Manarola from the seaside promenade
Bay of Silence, Sestri Levante, Italy
Sestri Levante
Bay of Silence

It takes about one hour to get to Sestri Levante from Genoa. It strategically located for visiting other interesting places in Liguria which can be reached by train in less than half an hour.
How many nights to stay: at least 3.
More information: you can visit Portofino and Camogli in one day. Dedicate 2-3 days to touring the Cinque Terre and Portovenere. You can also rest on a nice sandy beach at Sestri Levante. For many years Hans Christian Anderson stayed here. The local Baia delle Favole (Bay of Fables) was named in his honor for this reason. Unlike the small villages of the Cinque Terre, you will find a lot of tourists here, taking an evening stroll in the center of Sestri Levante.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: Villa Agnese.

6
7

Pisa and Lucca

Cathedral and Leaning Tower by night, Pisa, Italy

You can reach Pisa in a couple of hours, and it will cost about 12 euro. Or on a fast train it will take an hour and a half, at the same price if you book in advance.
How many nights to stay: 2.
More information: You can see Pisa in half a day on the day you arrive, but you will need one whole day to visit Lucca, so it is a good idea to stay another night in Pisa.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: B&B Live09.

8

Florence

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore seen from the Tower of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy

You can go to Florence from Pisa in a regional train which takes one hour (9 euro).
How many nights to stay: 1-2.
More information: Florence.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: Palazzo Tolomei.

9

Parma

Cathedral Square, Parma, Italy

This is an optional city in our list: you can make a stop-over here if you like, but to get to Parma you must take a regional train, because the high-speed trains Florence-Milan don’t stop here. Parma is a historic city with a large number of medieval castles. If you love ancient ruins, you can spend even a week here and not see everything!
How many nights to stay: 0-1.
More information: Parma.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: NH Parma.

10

Milan

Piazza Duomo from the roof of the cathedral, Milan, Italy

It’s best to go to Milan one day before your departure, arriving in the evening to be sure you don’t miss your flight.
How many nights to stay: 1.
More information: Milan.
Hotel: all the options, special offers, romantic options.
Best hotel in 2016: Excelsior Hotel Gallia.

How to reach the Riviera di Ponente from the airport

The airports of Genoa, Pisa and Florence: you are already on the right road; you only have to decide which direction to take.

The Milan airports: it’s best to go to Genoa by train. From Genoa you can get to France and then go south afterwards, as indicated on the map. You can leave the visit to Milan for the last day before your departure from Italy and spend the last night there.

Rome airport: with the high speed train you can reach Florence in just an hour and a half (it’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance), plus half an hour by bus from the airport. From Florence continue in a clockwise direction, and return to Rome with a high-speed train from Milan.

Bologna airport: you can take a regular (Regionale) train from Parma or a high-speed train from Florence.

Nice airport: you can use it only if you buy a one-way ticket, because it’s not very convenient to return from here. It would be ideal, for example, to land in Nice and return from Florence or Milan.

Tickets for high speed trains Milano - Bologna - Firenze - Rome must be booked online. There are two companies that operate on this line: TrenItalia and Italo. The other routes are covered by regular (Regionale) trains and tickets can be purchased even a couple minutes before departure; seat reservation is not required.

Romantic hotels

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Price starting at 39 €
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Budget hotels

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Apartments in Cinque Terre

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