Cinque Terre or Five Lands are a group of five villages along the coastline of Liguria. Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore comprise this picturesque area dotted with colorful houses and old churches amidst vineyards, olive groves and woods. Look for accommodation in the several inns and small hotels that dot the area.
Vernazza, a village with a natural port, is one of the most picturesque of the five Cinque Terre villages, located on the northwestern side of Italy. Vernazza has developed on a steep cliff; blanketed by olive groves and vineyards. The village is extremely tiny and hence is best explored on foot.
The charm of the village lies in its brightly painted buildings in varied hues lined on either side of the cobblestoned Main Street. This is where most of the shops, restaurants, cafes and even houses are clustered around. This street opens up to a harbor on one end and a railway station on the other. The village boasts of a small yet pretty beach where you will find tourists sunbathing and taking to the waters.
There is an old church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia in front of the harbor overlooking the sea. Built in 13th century and subsequently improvised and developed in the 17th century is a 'must visit' place at Vernazza. The church has a huge bell tower and impressive interiors.
Just above the harbor, there is Doria castle belonging to 15th century; built for defense purposes. This is a significant land mark of Vernazza and the castle top offers a magnificent view of the village and surrounding areas.
Travel in Vernazza
Hiking is a very popular activity at Vernazza, particularly the trail between Vernazza and Corniglia offers a picture perfect view of the whole village. Hiking is also one of the best ways to travel between the Cinque Terre villages. Cars are not allowed inside Vernazza. There is a small parking space allotted for cars few kilometers outside the village where one can leave the vehicle and stroll through the village. If hiking is not your choice, there are regular trains running between the villages and also from Genoa. One can also opt for a boat ride from one village to another to enjoy the wonderful sea view surrounding the village.
While at Vernazza, try the pasta or pizza which is served with a sumptuous spread of pesto sauce. Almost all the restaurants as well as small eateries on the main square and adjacent lanes serve mouth watering Italian dishes. This place is also famous for white wine, so combine it with pesto to make it more heavenly. You can choose the rare sciacchetrà, a white dessert wine