From the “Castellana Hotel & Restaurant” you may enjoy a nice trip out of town to the Cinque Terre: in just 14 minutes by car you are at the Sarzana FS railway station where trains leave for the first of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore. From here you can visit all the other villages. The Cinque Terre are the hamlets of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. A Unesco Heritage Site and a Marine Protected Area since 1997, they are known all over the world thanks to the effective advertising by the American travel journal writer Rick Steves. The Cinque Terre are above all renowned for their wines, among which the prized "Sciacchetrà".
The first village you meet, coming from La Spezia, is Riomaggiore, home to the Cinque Terre National Park. I would recommend visiting the Church of “San Giovanni Battista”, with the triptych of the master “Benedetto Antelami” inside, and booking a guided tour of the Castle, located in the upper part of the hamlet, and one of the historic village itself. Manarola includes a small harbor, enclosed between two rocky spurs, and a beautiful panoramic terrace you arrive to through a lovely promenade starting from the Marina. The cemetery above the terrace, the Church of “San Lorenzo”, the beach beyond the mooring of the boats, the inland hamlets of “Groppo” and “Volastra” are definitely worth a visit. I also recommend booking a guided tour of the vineyards with tasting in the cellar.Corniglia is located on a high promontory above the sea: unlike the other villages of the 5 Terre, it still maintains its peasant traditions. You can reach its historic center through a long staircase or by shuttle buses that leave regularly from Corniglia FS train station. An ancient residence of the “Fieschi” family, Corniglia houses the Church of “San Pietro”, the square "Largo Taragio" with the Oratory of “Santa Caterina” and the Monument to the Fallen, and the beautiful Marina too. Finally, here you’ll enjoy fantastic sunsets, such as those from the viewpoint on the terrace of “Santa Maria” and from the Tower.
Vernazza enjoys a lovely natural harbor. It’s simply beautiful to walk the “blue path” leading to this village from Monterosso: upon your arrival, the view of Vernazza from above surprises you and bewitches you every time. Next to the Marina there is the beautiful Church of “Santa Maria d’Antiochia” with its small square overlooking the sea and its beach: on the opposite side stands the cylindrical Tower of the Doria Castle, which is now a museum. Below the Castle you will find the “Belforte” building, an imposing bastion built over the rocks.
The last of the “Cinque Terre”, Monterosso, offers wide sandy beaches and a promenade that joins the modern part of the “Fegina” area, with its Giant statue, to the ancient part coinciding with the historic center of the village. I advise you to walk along the path parallel to the tunnel so that you can reach “Torre Aurora” directly and from there go up to the “Convento dei Cappuccini” and its beautiful cemetery. In the "old" part of Monterosso, absolute musts are: the Church of “San Giovanni Battista”, the “Oratorio dei Bianchi”, the “Oratorio dei Neri” and the Church of “San Francesco”.
Finally, a beautiful way to visit the “5 Terre” is by boat: from “Molo Italia”, located along the “Passeggiata Morin” of La Spezia, ferries leave regularly to 5 Terre from April to October. As for the paths connecting the five villages, it’s advisable to request updated information on their usability at the info points of the Park Authority itself located at both the FS railway station of La Spezia and those of each village or directly at the FS railway stations’ ticket offices of the 5 Terre.