Cinque Terre Lovers Walk [Via dell’Amore] Open: A Guide to the Famous Trail

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Via dell’Amore
From our last trip to the Cinque Terre in October. It was actually somewhat chilly but the thousands of steps along the hiking paths warmed us right up.

If you’re looking for a romantic walk in Italy, look no further than the Via dell’Amore, also known as the ‘Path of Love’.

It’s a popular and flat part of the Sentiero Azzurro (blue trail) that connects the lovely seaside villages of Cinque Terre.

Located between Riomaggiore and Manarola, the Via dell’Amore is considered the most romantic walk in the world. Local authorities are keen to encourage responsible tourism on the route that winds between the Cinque Terre.

The first section of the hiking route is already welcoming tourists for a summer preview until 30 September. If you want to walk a bit further through the Cinque Terre, there are other options available as well.

Planning your trip?

Key Takeaways Cinque Terre Lovers Walk [Via dell’Amore]

  • The Via dell’Amore, also known as the ‘Path of Love’, is set to reopen in July 2024 after being closed for over a decade.
  • This is a short 1 km section of the Sentiero Azzurro and is mostly flat and paved. A stroll vs a hike.
  • The local authorities are keen to encourage responsible tourism on the route that winds between the Cinque Terre.
  • The first section of the hiking route is already welcoming tourists for a summer preview until 30 September.
  • Perfect place to visit with a trip paired with the Leaning tower of Pisa.

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What is the Via dell’Amore or Cinque Terre Lovers Walk (in English)?

The Via dell’Amore, also known as the Path of Love, is a 1km long paved pathway that winds around a string of five villages that make up the Cinque Terre UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The footpath hugs the coast, offering stunning views of the landscape and sea. It was built during the modernization of the railway line between Genoa and La Spezia in the early 20th century to provide a way for railroad workers to travel between Riomaggiore and Manarola while a tunnel was being constructed.

Legend has it that the footpath became a meeting place for lovers from the two towns. The restoration project has contained the rocks above and below the pathway with steel mesh and planted 8,800 plants to reinforce the landscape.

A monitoring system has also been installed to provide advance warnings about potential landslides.

The Via dell’Amore is a popular destination for tourists and hikers who come to enjoy the stunning views and romantic atmosphere.

No more overtourism on the Via dell’Amore

Via dell’Amore cinque terre lovers walk

Liguria’s Cinque Terre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises five villages, known for their colorful buildings perched on cliffs above the sea.

The area is surrounded by a national park and attracts approximately 2.4 million visitors each year who come to enjoy the stunning scenery by walking, boating, or cycling.

One of the most famous stretches of the Cinque Terre coastline is the Via dell’Amore, which is extremely popular with visitors.

However, the area has been struggling with overtourism, and this year, fines of up to €275 have been introduced for visitors who block traffic or pedestrians while taking selfies.

To address the problem of overtourism, Liguria has introduced a booking system for those who wish to walk the Via dell’Amore.

Currently, visitors must book a 30-minute group tour online for €5. There are around 20 group tours a day between 9 am and 7 pm, each taking 30 people along the route. The ticket also includes entrance to the Castle of Riomaggiore.

Do not forget to utilize the amazing train system between the Cinque Terre villages. However, validate your train ticket! I got a huge fine for not doing this and it’s the same across Italy and one of the most common mistakes for travelers in Italy.

Via dell’Amore cinque terre lovers walk

Giovanni Toti, president of the Liguria Region, has stated that the Via dell’Amore is a “jewel for our region, not just for those who visit.”

The hope is that by introducing a booking system, the area can curb overtourism and preserve the natural beauty of the region.

The booking system is currently being trialed, and if successful, it may be extended once the full Via dell’Amore is fully reopened next year.

The restoration of the trail has been ongoing for over a decade, and it was only recently reopened with new rules in place to ensure more responsible tourism. The new rules limit the number of people who can walk the trail daily and require reservations.

Want to Walk a Bit Further Through the Cinque Terre?

Via dell’Amore cinque terre lovers walk

If you’re up for a longer hike, you can continue on the Sentiero Azzurro after the Via dell’Amore. The Blue Trail continues for around 12 kilometers, connecting the five coastal villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mare.

The trail can be completed in about five hours, with a maximum altitude of roughly 200 meters in Vernazza.

To access the Sentiero Azzurro, you will need to pay a fee to the Cinque Terre National Park. You can purchase the Cinque Terre Trekking Card at checkpoints along the trail, including the Via dell’Amore, which allows you to use facilities within the park.

If you plan to explore the hiking trails and the coastal villages by train, you can also purchase the Cinque Terre Card Train, which includes access to the hiking trails and unlimited train travel on the Cinque Terre Express trains between Levanto, Cinque Terre, and La Spezia.

The card costs €18.20 for one day, €33 for two days, and €47 for three days. Discounts are available for children, seniors, and families.

While the Via dell’Amore is an easy and romantic walk, it’s important to keep safety in mind when hiking in the Cinque Terre.

The trail is equipped with rockfall barriers, railings, and an artificial tunnel to ensure hikers’ safety. However, it’s still important to wear appropriate footwear and to stay on the designated trail.

If you’re looking for a more guided experience, you can also join a hiking tour or visit the museum in Manarola to learn more about the history and culture of the area’s vineyards and coastal villages.

FAQ: Cinque Terre Lovers Walk

What is the current status of Via dell’Amore in Cinque Terre?

As of the current date, Via dell’Amore is open and ready for visitors to explore. However, it is important to note that the trail was closed due to a landslide in the past, and may close again in the future if there are any safety concerns. It is best to check the status of the trail before planning a trip to Cinque Terre.

Are there any alternative walking trails in Cinque Terre?

Yes, there are several other walking trails in Cinque Terre that offer stunning views and unique experiences. Some of the most popular trails include the Sentiero Azzurro, which connects all five villages of Cinque Terre, and the Riomaggiore to Portovenere trail, which offers breathtaking views of the sea.

What are the best times of year to visit Cinque Terre?

The best times to visit Cinque Terre are during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. Summer can be very crowded and hot, while winter can be rainy and some of the trails may be closed due to safety concerns.

What is the Cinque Terre Card and how can I get one?

The Cinque Terre Card is a pass that allows visitors to access the hiking trails, public transportation, and other attractions in Cinque Terre. It is available in different versions depending on the length of your stay and the activities you plan to do. You can purchase the card at various locations throughout the villages, including train stations and tourist offices.

What are the must-see towns in Cinque Terre?

All five villages of Cinque Terre offer unique charms and attractions, but some of the must-see towns include Vernazza, which is known for its colorful buildings and picturesque harbor, and Manarola, which offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding hills.

What are some tips for hiking the trails in Cinque Terre?

Some tips for hiking the trails in Cinque Terre include wearing comfortable shoes, bringing plenty of water and snacks, and checking the weather and trail conditions before setting out. It is also important to be respectful of the environment and other hikers, and to follow any rules or regulations that are in place to protect the trails.

We hope this guide filled with interesting information about the hiking in Cinque Terre has given you the proper information to plan your visit to this not-so-hidden gem in Italy!

Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and passionate hiker who believes in exploring the world on foot with good food. Follow her journey as she shares science-based hiking tips and advocates for sustainable tourism.