INSTAGRAMMABLE CINQUE TERRE

My Instagrammable travel series is where I dive straight to the point and list out the most photogenic & memorable spots in each city I visit.

CINQUE TERRE

Enchanting, magical, the ultimate photogenic Italian dream. I don’t know about you, but I have been dreaming to see these picturesque villages all my life! These colorful coastal backdrops are all over social media, but did you know they’re actually located in different towns? 

Cinque Terre consists of 5 coastal villages: Corniglia, Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, & Vernazza. All 5 villages are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and there is a train that runs from La Spezia that can drop you off in each town or if you like a challenge, you can spend the day hiking the trail that connects you to all 5 of them. Although each town has similarities, they have personalities of its own that make them stand out. I’ve listed them from the southernmost town to the northernmost town.

RIOMAGGIORE

Riomaggiore has a cascade of multi colored houses right on the mediteranean sea. We chose to stay in this town because of an INSANE airbnb location we discovered. Book this AIRBNB NOW. There’s no other place to stay- nothing beats it and the pictures don’t do it justice!! The airbnb is a 5 minute walk from the train station, located smack-dab on the port, yet with just enough privacy away from the crowds.

Another location to shoot is down by the rock waves. You can also capture an epic view from the fisherman’s port by walking along some rocks located at the bottom. Rocks do get slippery and waves can get intense so please go with caution. 

MANAROLA

Come to this town just so you can dine at Nessun Dorma. Sip on some yummy Aperol Spritz with a view of the picturesque cliffside homes. Make a reservation ahead of time and request for a spot with a view. Another photo spot here is down by the stone pier. Cross the ropes and wander onto the rocks. Please be careful if the tides are high!

Nessun Dorma Address: Localita Punta Bonfiglio, 19017, 19017 Manarola SP, Italy

CORNIGLIA

One of the more quiet villages. The only town that cannot be accessed from the sea because it’s elevated. From the train station, you will have to take 377 steps up a steep stairway just to get to the center of the town… To be completely honest, this town does not really stand out compared to the rest because it’s one of the oldest and there’s not much development… If you’re short on time, I’d suggest skipping this town.

VERNAZZA

This town is known to be the most photographed village out of all of them. This is the spot where you see the classic #postcardgoals backdrop all over IG. If you are stopping by for a quick day trip to Cinque Terre and have to choose, I would say to choose this instagrammable spot over all the other ones! Take the hike from Vernazza to Monterosso, follow the signs, and within 5-10 minutes into the hike, you’ll see a wired fence to your left with this epic view. Please be safe and do not get too close to the edge.

Follow the blue dots! This is the path we took from the train station to the entrance of the hike! That sharp right off the main road is when you want to start timing the hike to get to the specific spot.

MONTEROSSO

It is the largest town out of the 5 and the only one with a sandy beach where you can lounge. When you’re here, make sure to visit the 14th century Church of San Giovanni Battista. The black and white striped church contrast is stunning and the gothic architecture makes it look like an ancient chic Sephora.

Church of San Giovanni Battista Address: Via Roma, 12, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy

I hope this Cinque Terre guide will help shorten your planning process and that you’re able to find these instagrammable spots the next time you visit. If you have any ideas for future blog posts, please leave a comment down below!

Xoxo,

Soph

Instagrammable Rome

Welcome to my first travel series, where I will dive straight to the point and list out all of my top instagrammable spots in each city I visit. I know, I know, it sounds so cliche/vain and I’m well aware that traveling is NOT not about getting the most perfect shots or creating a false illusion on social media, but I truly enjoy the process and experience of capturing these shots. It’s my passion and the photos are not just for the world to see, but for my memories and keepsake. If you enjoy capturing some killer angles and views, keep on reading!

Disclaimer: Please be respectful. Be polite. Be educated. Be safe. Act with manners. Every city is special, ancient, historical, etc. So please do NOT climb on a monument, dress appropriately, don’t hog a spot if you see a bunch of people waiting to have a turn, don’t ride an elephant (harms the animal/not an industry you should support), trespass into private property, etc. You get the point…?

Ok.. The first city I will tackle is Rome. There’s really no place like Rome… So much historical architecture confined in a small space. Everything within Rome is walking distance, so you’re able to access all these places by foot so I suggest wearing comfy walking shoes and change when you get there.

Below are the spots I visited, in the exact order I did it! Feel free to change/switch up the order depending on how you like to spend your vacation. You can complete all of these places in one morning or split it up between 2 days so you’re not feeling rushed. Because we woke up early and arrived here around 5:30/6am, we were able to capture these shots without anyone in the background during the popular summer season. I suggest spending the early morning capturing the beauty of these places then head back to your hotel/airbnb to rest after lunch to recharge/nap, then head back out late afternoon/night without all the camera equipment.

Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Metro: Spagna (Line A Orange) stop takes you directly here: 3-5 min walking distance from metro to the bottom of the steps
  • No longer allowed to sit/ eat here. The new law states those who don’t follow the rules will be fined 250 Euros/ $280 so be careful! This rule is to preserve the UNESCO heritage site.
  • Scam Alert: You will see people handing out red roses. The moment you take it is when they start asking for money. So don’t reach for the rose. Also, they will shmooze/ smooth talk you and next thing you know they are wrapping a bracelet around your wrist demanding money for it.
  • Tip: Just assertively walk away from the men that approach/follow you with props to avoid these situations
  • Fun Fact: Top of the Spanish Steps is Trinita Dei Monti church (where Lizzie McGuire filmed a scene with Paolo)
  • Surrounded by luxury stores (LV, Gucci, etc) if you like to shop! 

From here, walk to the Trevi (10-15 min walk)

Trevi Fountain (Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Metro: Barberini (Line A Orange)- Fontana di Trevi stop is 5 minutes from this station
  • Take a photo from 3 different angles- right, center, left. The Trevi Fountain looks unbelievable from every angle
  • Be mindful, this is probably the first location that gets crowded!
  • Toss a coin to make a wish! Every night, the coins are collected (around 3000 Euros) and donated to a charity called Caritas- this charity funds food to feed the homeless 
  • Free entry (literally in the middle of an intersection)
  • Fun Fact: Legend says that if you throw one coin, it ensures a return trip to the Eternal City; two coins are for those seeking love; and three coins symbolize wedding bells 

From here, walk to Pantheon (15-20 min)

Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Original Pantheon was built in 27BC, unfortunately burned down and was rebuilt twice after that. The present Pantheon was built in 119A.D
  • By 7am, they start setting up newspaper stands and cafes start bringing out outdoor seating, which could interfere with the photo
  • Free entry: opens at 8:30AM-7:15pm, Sunday 9AM-5:45pm
  • Fun Fact: Queen Margherita is buried in the tomb inside the Pantheon. Her name was the inspiration behind the classic margherita pizza. The royal couple visited Naples in 1889 and a local pizzeria made her a pizza with tomato, mozzarella and basil to symbolize the Italian flag.

From here, walk to Piazza Navona (5 min)

As you walk from Pantheon to Piazza Navona, stop by this corner- you won’t regret it. It was also featured in Lizzie McGuire!
Hidden Gem Address: 61 Piazza dei Caprettari

Piazza Navona (Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Open meeting square/plaza with 3 lavish fountain sculptors 
  • Originally built as a stadium for chariot races 
  • Personally, this plaza did not stand out to me. It was a nice and quiet place to sit down and take a break from all the walking

From here, walk to Ponte Sant’ Angelo (10 min)

Ponte Sant’ Angelo (Ponte Sant’Angelo, 00186 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Arc bridge with a view of the castle
  • Take a photo right in the middle of the bridge as if you’re walking towards the castle
  • Throughout the bridge, there are 10 different angel sculptures displayed 
  • Castel Sant’ Angelo has a distinct look to it. Better view from the bridge

From here, head to Vatican City to spend the rest of your day there or loop back to Colosseum/ Roman Forum

Colosseum/ Roman Forum (Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy)

  • Metro: Colosseo Stop (Line B Blue) 
  • The best spot to take a picture of the colosseum is at Via Nicola Salvi- right above the metro station. When you exit the metro station, make a left and you will see steps going up. Follow that path up to the top where you’ll find the perch!
  • Sunset photos here are gorgeous (it makes the colosseum glow)
  • Entrance: If you want to go inside, be mindful you have to make a reservation slot time months in advance. I personally think seeing it from the outside is good enough. Honestly the interior is not as photogenic as the exterior.
  • Roman Forum is located a block away from here. Definitely go check out the views in there! After you enter, head towards the colosseum, all the way past Temple of Venus and Roma. Then you will reach a picture perfect viewpoint of the Colosseum 
  • Roman Forum: Terrace on Palatine Hill overlooks the whole forum

Saint Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City)

Image result for saint peters basilica exterior
  • Metro: Ottaviano- San Pietro (Line A Orange)- few minutes walk to the Basilica/Square
  • No tripods allowed
  • Shoulders and knees MUST be covered to enter. They were pretty strict even in the summer time (90+Fahrenheit/ 100% humidity) I wore a haltered maxi dress from the LC Lauren Conrad collection and they still made me cover my shoulders with a scarf. Bring your own scarf/wrap- they do not provide any to rent

** 1-6: You can complete it all in one morning before people start waking up and starting their day. From here, you can either continue your route towards Vatican city and spend the rest of your day in that area such as the Vatican Museum, etc (which I DO NOT recommend) or you can take the subway/uber/hop on hop off bus back to your hotel/airbnb to relax.

Please leave a comment below and tell me which is your favorite instagrammable spot in Rome or if there’s any hidden gems that I missed!

With Love,

Sophie