Winter starts knocking on the door and the tourists have pretty much all headed home come November in Cinque Terre. In this part of western Europe, the temperatures continue to drop and days get shorter and shorter as the year winds down. This month has an average of five hours of sunshine each day, so you'll have to plan ahead to get all your outdoor activities in during the daylight hours.
The average daily temperature is 12°C (around 54°F), similar to the nearby town of La Spezia. During the day, you'll want long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and depending on how cold you normally get, you might also want a coat or jacket. You probably won't need winter gear yet, as the high still gets up to 15°C (about 59°F). At night, you can expect lows to go down to 9°C (around 48°F), definitely cold enough for a coat or jacket. Be sure to pack a pair of warm and sturdy boots if you plan on doing any hiking in the mountainous regions around the villages.
While this month doesn't see as much rain as October, it does have an average 110 mm of rainfall. The rain falls over an average of eight days in the month, so bring along the umbrella or poncho to stay warm and dry. The sea temperature continues to drop, so swimming and water sports are out, unless you're feeling extra brave and have the proper wet or dry suit. The average water temperature this time of this year is 16°C (about 61°F).
In 1984, this part of Italy saw its record high temperature, which hit a very warm 21°C (around 70°F). A few years later, the area recorded its lowest temperature. That year, the lows dropped down to a frigid -10°C (around 13°F), nearly unheard in this part of the world.
A former private home in Monterosso, Manuel's Guest House bed and breakfast welcomes you with open arms to enjoy a holiday away in Cinque Terre. Set high above a hill in the town, you'll get amazing views from the hotel's terrace. You'll also get spectacular views from each of the room's balconies. The hotel is set apart to give you privacy and peace and quiet, but is still only a few minutes' walk to the beach.
For a more intimate and personalised experience, try the Camere Giuliano in Vernazza. The bed and breakfast has a convenient location near the train station, beach, and town centre with restaurants and stores. The rooms have large balconies with chairs and sun loungers to sit and relax as you soak in the sun and enjoy the panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding mountains.
For your November stay, the Il Timone Camere is made up of two separate properties, Il Timone Loreto and Il Timone Lerta. Both have three rooms with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and comfortable and tasteful décor. Il Timone Loreto sits on the main street in Monterosso, close to all the action. Il Timone Lerta has a quieter location in the old town portion of the village.
Family-run and conveniently located in Monterosso, L'Osteria has a large menu of Mediterranean favourites. The pasta is all homemade and paired with delicious sauces like pesto and marinara. Be sure to leave room for dessert too, as all the sweet treats are made in-house and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Because of the popularity of the restaurant, make reservations before you dine to be sure to get a table.
With a laid-back vibe and delicious food, La Cantina Di Miky is the perfect choice for lunch or dinner in Monterosso. It sits right on the beach and has a huge outdoor deck with tables and umbrellas to enjoy the pleasant weather. It's the perfect spot for a leisurely snack in between sightseeing with numerous tapas and small plates. For the vegan crowd, La Cantina Di Miky has several options.
Start your morning with a cup of Italian coffee and amazing sea views at Bar La Plancia in Manarola. The restaurant has espressos, coffees, cappuccinos, and other hot drinks to get your day going. If you're hungry, try the homemade croissants or check out the other breakfast items on the menu. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner too, offering light dishes and small plates like bruschetta, focaccia, and anchovies.
On the shoreline of the village of Vernazza sits Castello Doria, built around 1000AD. Most of the castle is now in ruins, except for the circular tower in the centre of the courtyard. Climb up the steep and narrow spiral staircase in the centre of the tower and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the village and the bay. To reach the castle and its tower, you have to climb a steep staircase from the beach.
If shopping is your sport of choice, you have to check out Art in Banchi, a specialty shop selling handmade products from Italian artists. It's located on the upper main street in Riomaggiore and sells everything from leather handbags to handmade pottery pieces. You'll also find gorgeous jewellery, unique items for your home, and souvenirs to remind you of your trip to Cinque Terre.
When you're in Riomaggiore, get out of the November cold and stop by Terra di Bargon to take part in wine tasting in the cantina. You'll get to taste sciacchetrà, the specialty wine of Cinque Terre, while you learn about the production process from grape to bottle. If you want to extend your experience, you can make the trek up the hill to the Terra di Bargon vineyards, situated on the terraced hills above the village.