Spring has arrived on the calendar and the weather slowly catches up during March in Cinque. The average temperature has crept up to 11°C (about 52°F), warm enough for active outdoor activities like hiking. You'll have to dodge raindrops though, with 100 mm of rain falling on average during the month. The villages are still quiet this month, so if you're looking for a peaceful and relaxing holiday this is the time to go.
Lows drop down to a chilly 7°C (about 45°F), but typically those temperatures only occur in the evening and early morning hours. You'll want a coat or jacket to wear during the day and at night if you'll be out and about. You may also want warm gloves, a hat, and maybe even a scarf. Pack lots of layers like long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and trousers, so you can take off and put on clothing as the temperature changes throughout the day.
The highs can reach all the way up to 15°C (around 59°F), which feels pretty warm for this time of the year, especially when compared to the UK during March. Just like in the nearby village of La spezia, you'll have six hours of sunshine each day on average to get out and explore the area. With an average of seven days of rain, you'll want to have an umbrella on hand just in case, but more than likely you won't need it much during your stay.
It's still too cold for swimming and water sports at this time, with an average sea temperature of 13°C (around 55°F). In 1998, the high temperature reached a record of 20°C (about 69°F), very warm for this time of the year. The lows dropped down to -12°C (around 9°F), extra cold for this part of Italy and Europe.
Found in the village of Corniglia, the Basso Stefania Apartments are classically Italian with amazing hilltop views. The clean and comfortable apartments have kitchenettes, terraces, and space to spread out. The owner, Stefania, is extremely helpful and friendly, providing information on the area and what to see, where to eat, and what to do. The town of Corniglia is tiny and doesn't have many restaurants or bars, but you can find food in the other villages nearby.
The Hotel Monterosso Alto has many helpful amenities like on-site restaurant, snack bar, luggage storage, and safety deposit boxes. Families will appreciate the children's playground, free shuttle service, and souvenir gift shop. If you'll be heading out for some sightseeing, the hotel provides picnic lunches for your convenience. Other hotel amenities include special diet menus, room service, laundry, and free Wi-Fi.
Situated in the village of Riomaggiore, Due Gemelli has cozy rooms with amazing views of the sea from the private balconies. All of the rooms also come with satellite television, free Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms with showers. The beautiful setting puts you in a state of relaxation, so you can fully enjoy your holiday away in Cinque Terre in March. If you feel like staying in, have room service delivered and dine on your balcony.
If you blink, you might miss Osteria a Cantina de Mananan, a tiny restaurant tucked away in an alley in Corniglia. The menu offers Italian, Mediterranean, and seafood dishes, complemented by local wines and beers. Plan ahead and make reservations one or two days in advance, as the restaurant only has one seating time each evening and only eight tables.
Ristorante Belvedere sits right on the shoreline in Monterosso, so it's a great place to stop in after a day on the beach. Both the indoor and outdoor dining areas allow for views of the water. The chefs use local produce, seafood, and meats in all the dishes and the wine list includes numerous national vintages. The house Cinque Terre variety is the perfect complement to the seafood dishes.
Bar Centrale sits in Riomaggiore and serves some of the best gelato in the area. You have to try the chocolate cinnamon variety! It's a great place for a simple meal or if you're tired of seafood and pasta. The menu has burgers, sandwiches, and pizzas for a change of pace and a change of taste. The bar serves up yummy drinks like mojitos and margaritas, and you can also still get wine.
Sanctuary Soviore, translated into English as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Soviore, is located in Monterosso. It was built in 643 and some of those older parts of the building are still standing. Highlights include the spiralled bell tower with double lancet windows and the sanctuary with a wooden statue of Piet. It's quite the climb to reach the sanctuary, nearly a 50-minute hike, but well worth the trip.
Unfortunately, the weather and Allied bombs during World War II have taken a toll on Il Gigante, a statue in Monterosso. At nearly 14 meters tall, the statue depicts Neptune, the god of sea, and was originally built in 1910. The statue's arms are gone, but you can still make out the body and face of Neptune. Even in disrepair, it still makes for an amazing backdrop for photos in the March sunshine.
Sitting on a rocky part of the shore off the hill of San Cristoforo, the Aurora Tower was built to defend the village against barbarian attacks. Today, it's a private home so you can't tour the inside, but it still should be on your list of things to see in Monterosso. The contrast of the old stone structure against the deep blues of the sea behind it make for beautiful photographs.