Cinque Terra is an awesome location and one of my favourites in Italy. There is a train line that runs between the 5 towns along the coastline south of Milan.
Funnily enough I heard about Cinque Terra in 3 different ways before I got there and it never clicked that everyone was talking about the same place.
The first time I saw Cinque Terra was on a travel show on TV. The beautiful coastline and the sweet little towns looked like a fabulous place.
The second time I met a Spanish man in Ireland and he was very enthusiastically marking parts of Italy in my Lonely Planet with must see places. Cinque Terra, Five Lands was prominently marked on my Italian map. This was one of his favourites too.
The third time was when I was in Italy and travelling from the north to the south. I met some travellers going the opposite way and they were talking about this Cinque Terra place. I had some days to play with in my schedule, so I worked Cinque Terra into the plan. I was so glad that I did!
My only complaint was that I had already booked accommodation in Florence and could not stay any longer than the one day!
When I turned up, it was a glorious sunny day with blue skies just made for walking. I was greeted by a strange old lady who had a sign with rates for accommodation on it. The price was cheap and the location close by. I dumped my bag with some trepidation and then set out walking on a perfect day.
I walked all five towns and then made my way back to the first on the train. Cinque Terra should not be an add on to your holiday, it should be a focal point. Cinque Terra and Verona (home to Romeo and Juliet) were two of my favourites in Italy.