My wife and I just got back from a 2-week trip to Italy. We had planned on staying 2 nights in Vernazza, but encountered a disaster when we got there. Since there weren’t a whole lot of #’s to call for a room before we left, I tried the couple that were in the book (most w/o any answer). We decided to go anyway, based on the advice in the book to just check the restaurants down by the waterfront. Our first night there, I spent 2 hours checking every single establishment in the small town w/o any success. We were just about to leave town to make sure we had a place to stay when a fellow travel offered to share their room for the night. It was a huge relief, but we still had the problem of finding a place for the next night.
Early the next morning, we got up and started checking for rooms again. Since we had arrived during the afternoon the day before, I chalked that up as my fault for not getting to Vernazza in the morning (as the book suggests). I was sure we would find a room if we started looking at 9:00 AM. Well sure enough, I wasted another 2 hours asking all the same store and restaurant owners if anyone had a room. Many of them were very nice and even called a lot of other numbers for me. Still there was no luck. I even tried every # listed for the other CT towns. Eventually, in order to ensure a room, I had to make a reservation all the way back in Genova. As you can imagine, this limited the amount of time we were able to spend in CT. I’m very disappointed that there was no warning about this. I normally wouldn’t even consider going somewhere without a reservation in advance, but it sounded like the normal course of events.
Anyway, I have to admit that Vernazza and the rest of CT was amazing. We did 1 of the hikes, took the boat between a couple of the towns, and enjoyed our short time there. I would go back, but I would definitely be better prepared.
Editor’s Note: Since I stared this website in 1997, Cinque Terre has been Discovered. It is now a very popular destination, mainly for people from North America. New accommodation is being opened every year, but at the moment they cannot keep up with demand, especially from June through August.
Try to have reservation before you go during these months!