Sarah Lane plans your perfect day in Cinque Terre....
24 hours in Cinque Terre
Wake up to a view of vines, olives and lemon trees at Buranco estate in Monterosso, enjoy homemade pastries for breakfast and hit the trails early. The rugged coastal views (and the walking) on the two-hour trek to Vernazza can literally take your breath away. Travel to Vernazza to meet Bartolo Lercari and Lise Bertram at their cellar, Cheo (+39 333 9594759). There, try Perciò, a white with a big character thanks to the addition of native Piccabon (aka Pizzamosca) grapes to the more traditional Bosco and Vermentino varieties, and Cheo Rosso, a peppery red made with local Gamba Rossa grapes and oak-aged for a year.
A terrace overlooking the sea at the sturdy medieval lookout tower of Ristorante Belforte is the perfect place to relax and refuel. The menu here is mainly seafood.
With your camera at the ready, take the half-hour ferry ride past clifftop Corniglia and charming Manarola to Riomaggiore. Andrea Pecunia vinifies wines in terracotta at the tiny Terre Sospese cellar near Riomaggiore’s 14th-century church, and prefers the freedom of not keeping to DOC regulations. Try his decisive, structured rosé. Then head to Terra di Bargòn to see traditional pergola vineyards and taste Sciacchetrà paired perfectly with veined goat’s cheese.
Evening and overnight
The sunset over the sea from the idyllic location of A Pié de Mà back in Riomaggiore is unforgettable. Sommelier Yvonne Riccobaldi runs the wine bar; opt for one of her proposed tastings to sample more local wines with a cold platter or focaccia. From there it’s 10 minutes by train back to Monterosso and a limoncino on the veranda at Buranco among the aroma of lemon flowers.