It’s summer in Italy, which means that any traveler planning on visiting this beautiful country should have their sunblock and water bottle ready, being prepared to battle ninety degree temperatures with high humidity. However, visitors to the Cinque Terre National Park have the advantage, since there are plenty of ways to cool down in these five beautiful Italian villages. If you’re planning on visiting Cinque Terre, here’s how you can escape the heat:
1. The Two G’s: Gelato and Granitas
As any visitor to Italy would tell you, eating gelato is an absolute must. Thankfully in Cinque Terre, there is literally a gelato establishment on every block, so visitors can eat their heart out while enjoying this cool treat. Personally, I recommend trying the Nutella gelato, after all Nutella started in Italy!
For those with less of sweet tooth, a granita is just as good (or in my opinion even better) than any scoop of gelato. This Italian treat is very similar to a slushee, except more tart since granitas have less sugar. I recommend trying the lemon granita at Alberto Gelateria in the hillside village of Corniglia, which is worth the hike! They use fresh lemons in their granitas, as opposed to syrup.
Signs like these can be found all across Cinque Terre
2. Dining But Not Dashing: Eating Indoors
Find any air-conditioned restaurant (or at least one with shade) and have a very long meal. Thankfully, having long meals in Italy is common, if not expected. The typical Italian meal is four courses, which means having two to three hours away from the hot sun. The Cinque Terre region is famous for their seafood, so make sure to try their yummy seafood pasta with a glass of white wine.
3. Take A Hike: Walk Along Cinque Terre’s Many Trails
Okay, this may sound crazy. The last thing anyone wants to do in ninety degree temperatures is hike up hills. However, many of the trails in the Cinque Terre are near the water, which makes for some beautiful views with an even better breeze. The trails are world-famous too, sometimes you can even spot a celebrity on them. When I was in Cinque Terre, Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical was spotted hiking along Cinque Terre’s green hills. She was breaking free from the heat. Sorry, could not resist the pun.
4. Shop But Not Drop: Buy Souvenirs from the Many, Many Tourist Shops.
There is no escaping it; Cinque Terre is definitely a tourist area. During the summer, the streets of Cinque Terre are packed with tourists from all over the world. However, one perk to Cinque Terre’s popularity is that the region has many tiny tourist shops. Need a special Cinque Terre shot glass? Buy it here and enjoy the shop’s air conditioning. For world travelers who want a more authentic souvenir, I suggest buying some street art or pottery from local vendors.
The streets of Cinque Terre are lined with tourist shops.
5. Summer Loving: Hit the Beach!
Last, but certainly not least, the best way to escape the heat in Cinque Terre is to go to the beach and take a dip in the warm Mediterranean Sea. Although there are tiny beaches scattered around Cinque Terre, most people go to the largest beach, which is located in the small seaside village of Monterosso Al Mare. However, make sure to be careful. The Mediterranean Sea has strong waves and the beach is somewhat rocky, so be prepared for a few scrapes! Tourists should also be careful of their belongings, since thieves like to steal belongings when their owners are out swimming.
The Cinque Terre is a delight to the senses, with its eye-catching cliffs, breathtaking hillside vineyards, colorful buildings, and delicious food. If you are headed to Italy, you must check out this beautiful region. Ciao!
About the author: Annika Larson is a self-declared nerd who loves to travel the world. She’s currently studying communications and marketing at the University of Washington. See more of her adventures on Instagram @nerdmeetsworld.