Many people come to Cinque Terre to hike on its trails. What they are missing is the real reason to come here. The trails and the villages are great, but there is a lot more. I am passed every day by people walking up and down the trails and they all seem to miss the real show. What are you looking at and what is all around me? To run up the side of he hill and say what a view and then head back down is not the reason to come here. Getting the understanding of what you are seeing and spending the time to lean about the culture. It is not found in your guide books, they make up most of the stuff. Most even tell you to trek in the wrong direction. I don’t think the American author has ever trekked a day in his life.
To be honest you must come and spend a few days in Cinque Terre. Find yourself a local guide who lives in the one of the villages. They can really inform you on the lifestyle, culture, history and its past. Not some tour group that takes 40 people and runs you around to done in their time frame. Someone who goes at your pace, explains and answers your question. That you can feel the passion of where he or she lives. I always try to make the people feel as though they live here as well.
Many people also miss the best sights because of running to get the trek done so they can say they did it. A great guide will also know where the best photos are as well. I see people with big cameras around there necks and pass by some of the best photo shots. You should come here to relax and enjoy this wonderful place, take in its beauty.
How things have changed over the years. If you were to come here 10 or 15 years ago, people would say “I am leaving tomorrow” and the next day they were still here. Then 2 days later you would see them again with the same story, “I am leaving tomorrow.” Today they say they are leaving after a couple of days and they are gone. Maybe most people have this on their bucket list, but it is really not. Cinque Terre can be very rewarding if you take your time. There are other place you can visit while you are staying in Cinque Terre.
I wish you all would come and spend the time to get to know Cinque Terre and discover what it holds for you. You don’t have to be a big trekker to get to know the area. All you really need is the time and the right person to show you.