The last month of the year in Cinque Terre means cold temperatures and steady rainfall. December has an average daily temperature of 9°C (around 48°F), still warmer than many parts of the UK during this time of the year. Tourists are scarce, so that means if you do visit, you'll have a peaceful and quiet holiday. Many of the hotels and restaurants are closed this time of the year, but some do stay open for the few visitors that come for the holiday season.
Compared to November, the lows drop almost four degrees, down to 5°C (about 41°F). While cold, it's not so chilly that you can't enjoy some time outside, especially if the sun is shining. Bring along a heavier coat and jacket and you'll be just fine spending time in the outdoors. You'll also want long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and trousers to layer underneath your coat.
During the day, the highs get up to 12°C (around 54°F), similar to the nearby town of Portofino. You only have an average of four hours of daylight each day to enjoy the outdoors. When the sun does go down, curl up with a good book at a local café or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the area's best restaurants. You can expect around 80 mm of rain this month, falling over eight days. It's a good idea to bring along an umbrella or poncho to stay warm and dry during your holiday. The sea temperature is down to 14°C (around 57°F), so swimming is out of the picture.
Though rare, the resort area has seen some extreme high and low temperatures. In 1985, the highest recorded temperature occurred, hitting 14°C (about 57°F). It got exceptionally cold in 1996, when thermometer read a frigid -13°C (around 9°F), extremely cold for this part of the world.
Housed in a completely restored 16th century home, Il Giardino Incantato Bed and Breakfast is a quiet and private retreat for your stay in Cinque Terre in December. The four double rooms have private bathrooms, satellite television, air conditioning, and hairdryers. When you stay here, you'll be close to the main street of Monterosso and only minutes from the beach.
La Casa di Andrea combines the convenience of being near all Monterosso has to offer with the privacy and quiet of the surrounding hills. All five rooms open up to the beautiful green garden and include a complimentary breakfast each morning, made from produce right from the garden. The rooms also have private bathrooms with large showers, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi.
The CasaLorenza bed and breakfast has three roomswo guest rooms and one apartment. With a grassy outdoor terrace, the apartment has amazing views of the sea, as well as separate bedroom and living room areas, kitchenette, and private bathrooms. The two rooms open up to the private garden and come with private bathrooms, air conditioning, satellite television, and refrigerators.
At Il Porticciolo in Manarola, you'll be treated to high-end flavours and a seasonal menu of seafood and pasta dishes. The chefs use local ingredients whenever possible, meaning you'll get amazing fresh dishes. If you're looking for a more casual and laid-back atmosphere, Il Porticciolo also has a wine bar right across the street for before and after-dinner drinks and small plates.
Bar Lo Spuntino in Monterosso sits right on the beach and the main promenade of the town. You can sit outside on the patio terrace and sip on local wines, cold beer, and other drinks as you watch all the other tourists and locals go about their business. If you're hungry, the restaurant serves appetizers and tapas like bruschetta, as well as wood-fired pizzas.
At Bar Caffe Mexico, you sit on a deck right above the beach, enjoying stunning views of the water in Monterosso. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so you can stop by before, during, or after spending time on the beach, soaking up the sun. The menu consists of Mexican and international dishes, giving you a change of pace from pasta and seafood.
Home of the Capuchin Friars Monastery, the Church of San Francesco in Monterosso is a popular spot to see when visiting Cinque Terre. The church sits high above the hill, overlooking the Monterosso Bay, providing panoramic views of the sea and the cliffs. Thanks to the beautiful black and white striped exterior, the church can be seen from several other points around Cinque Terre.
More than a shrine than a church, the Oratorio della Confraternita dei Neri Mortis et Orationis commemorates the dead. The building has been handed down throughout the years through a fraternity of sorts that buries the dead who have no one elseidows, shipwreck victims, orphans, etc. It's decorated with skulls, skeletons, and other vestiges of death, but still retains beauty and splendour.
Get a little Christmas shopping done early in December and head over to MG Cinque Terre, a cute little souvenir shop in Corniglia. The shop sells custom-made silk-screened t-shirts, as well as handmade pottery. You can also find unique gifts and souvenirs to take home to your family and friends. The shop owner is friendly and can help you find what you're looking for and provide information on sightseeing in the area.