We are staying in the Cinque Terre for 3 nights in May, and have narrowed it down to Vernazza or Monterosso. It seems there are advantages to each! Any opinions/experiences? I searched some of the posts on here but just wondering about any more recent experiences. Thanks everyone!
My husband and I were in Vernazza two years ago. I have been reading some of the blogs here and found a hotel in Monterosso that if I ever get back to the CT would probably look into staying. It is right on the boardwalk in Monterosso. Beautiful views from the hotel. It is the yellow hotel if you Google Monterosso. I'll see if I can find the name of it. It just sounded nice and the location is great.
Vernazza was a nice place. We stayed at Room Martina on the plaza, it got rather noisy at night because of the bar across from the hotel. Both are convenient for covering the other towns by hiking, train or boat.
I would vote Vernazza although a quiet section of town (not a room near the main town square unless you like to stay up late at night). We rented a gorgeous apartment on the main square last year and really had a great time, but we go to bed relatively early and Vernazza rocks until past midnight on weekends. This time, we are going in September but getting a room a little higher up and away from the square. From my visits to Monterosso last year, it is very beautiful but slightly busier and more touristy/resort-like. The advantages to Monterosso might be more restaurants and nightlife than Vernazza as well as more beaches to visit, but Vernazza is a charmer. If you do go to Monterosso, the restaurant Miky is impressive.
Hi Addie. I had the same issue/question. I'm going to the CT in September and I was originally going to stay in Vernazza because of Rick Steve's recommendation but then I selected Monterosso because it seems less "hilly" & at night after hiking and walking all day I didn't want to have to climb a steep hill to get to my hotel (due to some health issues). Also, Monterosso seems to have more amenities and restaurants. I think it's a toss up though; like you said both places have advantages. Happy travels.
We started a three week trip to Italy in the Cinque Terre in Monterosso. We stayed in the Hotel Villa Steno, which was a little way up the hill from the main part of the old town. We loved it. (It's only a five minute ride, but we were exhausted so we took a taxi and got a kick out of Danny who can navigate the serpentine driveway backwards). The rooms are simple and about medium sized, but they have a beautiful view from the individual balconies and from the balcony off the dining room. They are incredibly clean, which I loved. Every hotel that had been recommended by Rick Steves had very friendly, helpful and accommodating staff. This was wonderful because it was clear in some places in Italy that Americans were not favored guests. One of my favorite memories of our trip is sitting on the breakfast balcony at the Villa Steno, drinking Cappucino, reading the International Herald Tribune, looking at the Ligurian Sea, and eating their absolutely fabulous homemade, organic lemon marmalade made from the lemons from the lemon trees in the garden below our rooms. We found Monterosso a little busier than the other four towns, but it was still pretty quiet and very fun. We had just flown in from the US and were tired, having been traveling for 36 hours. It was lovely and non-demanding to be able to enjoy all the Cinque Terre has to offer plus the nice beaches, the little shopping area, and the restaurants. Monterosso has more tourists than the other cities, but Vernazza was busy, too. If you don't mind, or even enjoy the happy feeling of being around others who are also having a good time (but not a big party atmosphere - though there was a little dance below the castle), and you enjoy having a few little shops to look in, and if you would like to spend a little time swimming in the ocean, you might prefer Monterosso. Our little family loved Monterosso and every single one of us wants to go back to the Cinque Terre.
My fiance and I were just there in September 2008 and we stayed in Vernazza. It was our second time to the Cinque Terre; we stayed in Riomaggiore the first time.
Both Vernazza and Monterosso are beautiful towns! they are both very busy, they both have great shopping and restaurants. There is a street market in Monterosso near the beach which is cool.
The big difference is that Monterosso has that "beach resort" feeling to it, while Vernazza is pure romance!
Our preference is Vernazza.
We stayed in Monterosso and were glad we did. We saw each of the 5 towns while hiking and Monterosso had the largest selection of restaurants & shops. If you stay in "new" part of Monterosso it will be very quiet. Unless you are staying at the end of May I doubt the water will be warm enough to enjoy the beach. I highly recommend A Ca du Gigante Hotel, http://www.rentcasperia.com/casperia.html