As the winter months wind down, the weather remains cold and wet in Cinque Terre throughout February. The five villages that make up this part of the Italian coast are pretty quiet this time of the year, with few tourists. Compared to January, the rainfall amounts fall slightly, down to 95 mm this month. That amount falls over seven days, so you still may get more dry days than wet ones during your stay.
Bring along the umbrella just in case of rain and be sure to pack a waterproof and warm pair of boots. The mountainous areas in between the villages are ideal for a hiking and biking no matter the time of the year but you'll want the appropriate warm clothing this month. The average daily temperature is 8°C (around 46°F) with the daytime highs getting up to 12°C (about 54°F).
Like the nearby town of Portofino, in Cinque Terre the lows dip down to 4°C (about 39°F) overnight and in the early morning hours. With temperatures not quite reaching freezing, snow is rare in this part of the Europe but frost is a possibility in the higher elevations. The days start getting longer with about five hours of sunshine each day. Plan your outdoor activities during the daytime hours and plan on relaxing with a glass of wine when the sun goes down. Swimming is still out this time of the year with the average sea temperature only hitting 13°C (about 55°F).
This area's temperatures stay consistent throughout the month, but it has seen extreme high and lows. In 1994, the record high hit a steamy 16°C (around 61°F), very warm for this time of the year. The low went down in 1991 to an unheard of -16°C (about 3°F), extra chilly for this part of western Europe.
Found right on the beach in Monterosso, Hotel La Spiaggia is the ideal home base for your vacation in Cinque Terre during February. The rooms have a variety of amenities including telephones, satellite television, and safes. Some of the rooms have balconies with sea views and others also come with air conditioning. In the mornings, enjoy a traditional Italian breakfast. For the other meals, the owner can recommend the best local restaurants.
In the heart of Monterosso, right on the beach, sits the Hotel Baia with amazing views of the sea. You'll be treated to a buffet breakfast in the hotel lounge, where the panoramic views continue. The hotel also has an outdoor terrace for drinks and a private beach with umbrellas and sun loungers to relax the day away. The rooms are simple and comfortable and some have balconies to enjoy the view.
You'll feel at home at the Hotel Villa Argentina in Riomaggiore. It's conveniently located just a 10-minute walk from the train station. Hotel amenities include laundry, room service, on-site bar, luggage storage, and a garden and terrace for hanging out. You'll also enjoy a buffet breakfast each morning. The rooms, which come in several different configurations, have private terraces and balconies that offer sweeping views.
Even though the name suggests otherwise, the Fast Bar is actually a great place to sit and enjoy a leisurely drink. It's one of the only sports bars in Monterosso, so stop in and catch the latest football, rugby, or cricket match. Along with cold beer and one of the best margaritas in Cinque Terre, you can also get bar grub like burgers, sandwiches with homemade focaccia bread, and bruschetta.
For some good food served fast, try Mamma Mia! in Riomaggiore. Here, you can get everything from fried calamari to good old fish and chips. Other popular choices include chicken nuggets, fried octopus, and fried anchovies, all served in paper cones to eat on the go. If fried food isn't your thing, you can also get pizza by the slice, hot dogs, and freshly-made focaccia bread.
To bond with other sports and beer fans, head to Bar O'Netto in Riomaggiore. The bar serves up inexpensive beer and snacks to quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger. While there, catch a rugby, football, or other game or just enjoy the music stations. Along with beer, the friendly bartenders can recommend wines and mix up specialty cocktails.
Found in the village of Vernazza, the Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church was built in 1318 right on a rock facing the sea. According to tradition, the church was built in that spot because the bones of St. Margaret were found on the beach right out front. Both the exterior and interior of the church have deteriorated, but it has not detracted from the beauty of the structure.
The Statue of St. Francis in Monterosso is a touching tribute to St. Francis. The bronze statute shows St. Francis petting his pet German shepherd, adding to the humanness of the monument. You'll have to climb up a lot of steps to reach the statue, but once you get to the top, the view alone is worth it. From the statue's spot, you get panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding mountains.
During February, when the weather isn't as nice, plan a visit to the Church of St. John the Baptist. It's located in the heart of Monterosso and was built around the 13th or 14th century. The church's architecture combines elements from both Gothic and Baroque periods. You can't miss the black and white-striped exterior made from local Italian marble. The intricate bell tower was originally built for defence during the medieval period and still stands today.