Corniglia Things to Do

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Best Rated Things to Do in Corniglia

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    The Cinque Terre trails

    by sue_stone Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The highlight of a trip to the Cinque Terre is a hike between the 5 villages. The distance from Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare is 12kms, and a lot of the trail is steep and rocky.

    The walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola is the easiest. It is paved all the way, and the hardest part is probably the flight of stairs from the station at Riomaggiore up to the start of the path. Other than that the path is fairly flat and suitable for prams and high heels. This section of the trail is called the Lovers Lane. The walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola is 1km long and takes about 15-20 minutes, depending on how long you stop to gaze at the view!

    The next section of the walk is from Manarola to Corniglia. This section is 3km long and takes about 1 hour. Parts of this trail are again pretty easy, but it is steeper and at times the ground is uneven under foot. The most exhausting part of this section is at the end, once you arrive at Corniglia train station. The station is located at the bottom of the hill, by the ocean, but the town of Corniglia is located on top of the hill....and there are approx 365 stairs to climb up to get up to the village!!

    My favourite part of the hike is the section between Corniglia and Vernazza. This is the most scenic part, through varied landscapes - you walk through olive groves and forest, and then along the cliff edge, with spectacular views coming into Vernazza. This section is 4km long and takes about 1.5 hours to complete, though we found ourselves stopping quite a bit to admire the views - not because we were tired or anything ; )

    The section between Vernazza and Monterosso is the most difficult. It is 4kms long and has lots of ups and downs and steep stairs. It is little less scenic than the others, but you do get a good view of some of the local vineyards. The beauty of Monterosso makes up for it all, plus the availability of a gelato or refreshing vino bianco at one of the many bars helps to ease those weary legs!!

    walking into Corniglia walking into Corniglia Part of Corniglia walking into Corniglia Corniglia
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    Vernazza to Corniglia Hike

    by lamentforicarus Written Oct 2, 2004

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    The Italian Riviera provides exceptional hikes with stunning sea views. If your time is limited in the Cinque Terre, at least take the 1 1/2 hour walk from Vernazza to Corniglia. The trail begins with a steep climb up carved rock stairs, ending with a sweeping view of the Ligurian Sea and a picture-perfect glimpse of Vernazza. The trail winds through the terraced hills, passing through quiet olive groves. Notice the nets spread on the ground to catch the olives. Along the path, stop to absorb brilliant views of the Italian coast and search for grapes and basil growing nearby. The final stretch of trail to Corniglia snakes up and down over small bridges and along small vineyards before ending in a parking lot at the top of town.

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    Local Life

    by lamentforicarus Updated Oct 5, 2004

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    Because Corniglia has no direct connection to the sea, it is far less visited than its sister villages. This means less tourists, and a better chance to observe local Italians going about their daily routine. Women watch activity in the square below from their bright green windows, old men catch up on current events and local new on a shady bench, and men greet store owners in passing. The presence of so many locals and so few tourists made Corniglia feel like to most authentic community of the Cinque Terre villages. Observing life here was a truly memorable experience.

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    Corniglia to Manarola Hike

    by lamentforicarus Updated Oct 4, 2004

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    From the parking lot at the top of the village, take the long and winding road indicating the direction of Manarola. The paved road passed small vineyards and crumbling dwellings before giving way to a dirt path at the bottom of the hill. The path provides stunning sea view below and a peak at the village of Volastra, located in the hills high above. Those who do not wish to test their endurance will find this path to be less rugged and exhausting than those connecting Corniglia to Vernazza and Vernazza to Monterosso. Allow approximately 45 minutes to one hour to complete the hike, which terminates at Punta Bonfiglio, a picture-perfect point across the harbor from Manarola.

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    Largo Taragio

    by toonsarah Written Aug 12, 2009

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    The heart of Corniglia is its main square, the Largo Taragio. Here a number of cafés have set tables under the trees and compete for customers among the many visitors. We had a delicious spumente limone at one of them – so refreshing after that hot climb. In the centre of the square is an old well, once the main source of water for the town, pumped from natural springs. There is also a war memorial and this more modern statue, which I really liked.

    Statue in the Largo Taragio Largo Taragio, Corniglia

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    Oratorio di Santa Caterina

    by toonsarah Written Aug 12, 2009

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    The eighteenth century Oratorio di Santa Caterina looks down on the Largo Taragio from a raised area to one side of the square. It looks like a church, and indeed we took it to be one, but is actually as the name suggests an oratory – the distinction apparently being that it serves as a spiritual meeting place for the various local groups affiliated with the Catholic Church but is not an actual place of worship. I really liked the ceiling above the altar painted just like the sky (photo 2), as well as this eye-catching painting beneath the central dome.

    Oratorio di Santa Caterina, Corniglia Oratorio di Santa Caterina, Corniglia

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Santa Maria Belvedere

    by toonsarah Updated Aug 12, 2009

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    At the end of town, i.e. the end of Via Fieschi, you will come to the Santa Maria Belvedere, which takes its name from a church that once stood on this spot. From here there are sweeping views of the coast. It is possible to see all of the other four Cinque Terre villages from here – Vernazza and Monterosso to the north, as in my photo, and Manarola and Riomaggiore to the south. Looking inland, to the west, you can see the village of San Bernadino high on a ridge, surrounded by the characteristic Cinque Terre vineyards.

    For more good views of these vineyards take the small road signposted from Via Fieschi to the marina. You’ll come to a viewpoint over a narrow inlet with the marina itself almost directly below you and steep terraced hills opposite. Photo 2 was taken here.

    View from Santa Maria Belvedere, Corniglia Vineyards near Corniglia

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Chiesa di San Pietro

    by toonsarah Updated Aug 12, 2009

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    The Parish Church of San Pietro stands above the main part of the village; appearing to look down on the scene below. It is considered quite unusual for the region in terms of its architectural style, which is a mixture of Gothic and Baroque. Apparently the local nobility, the Fieschi family, who commissioned the building of the church in the mid 14th century, stipulated that it be in the Gothic style, but somehow it turned out to be closer to Baroque. The exterior, with its rose window in white marble (dating back to 1351) is reminiscent of the churches we saw elsewhere such as Riomaggiore and Monterosso, but the interior is lighter and more airy than other of the Cinque Terre churches we visited. It has the three-nave Basilica plan so popular in Italy, covered by a barrel vault, and a 12th century baptismal font.

    Back outside look up above the main door to see this carving of Saint Peter with two kneeling figures. It clearly is Saint Peter – after all, the church is dedicated to him, and he holds the keys to the kingdom. Yet as far as I can make out the only name in the inscription is that of “Leonardi”. I found myself wondering who this Leonardi was and why his name should be here, but I haven’t so far been able to find an answer to that question.

    San Pietro himself Church of San Pietro, Corniglia

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    the reward for so much climbing!

    by MATIM Written Sep 18, 2004

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    Corniglia is considered the most characteristic village of the Cinque Terre as it is the only one far away from the sea and there for also from the tourists influence.
    It is worth having a walk in the middle of the narrow side streets which will lead you to a small square high above the sea from where you can admire the whole coast.

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    In the distance

    by goodfish Updated Feb 5, 2013

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    Here and there are several great spots for training a lens at the towering cliffs, tiered vineyards and other little villages that dot the Ligurian coastline, and you don’t need a map or directions ‘cause it’s pretty much impossible to miss ‘em in a town this size. Santa Maria Belvedere at the far end of Via Fieschi; the terrace behind St. Caterina; top of the Lardarina stairway; points on the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail) that heads off to Vernazza… you’ll want a lot of room on your memory card. But as difficult as it is to tear your eyes away from those candy-colored houses and deep turquoise sea, don’t forget to turn around for a glimpse of San Bernardino floating high on the hilltop.

    Grey skies and haze were a complication when we were there: cross your fingers for a sunny day!

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  • lamentforicarus's Profile Photo

    Corniglia's Vineyards

    by lamentforicarus Updated Oct 4, 2004

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    Coming Soon

    If walking to Corniglia on the trail from Vernazza, look for the terraced vineyards along the hillsides. It is from these vineyards that the famous Vino delle Cinque Terre is made. In the summer season, grapes can be seen growing along the path. Stop to watch locals test them for flavor and before placing them in a bucket destined for the winery.

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    La passeggiata 'round about

    by goodfish Written Feb 4, 2013

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    In italy, la passeggiata - the little walk - is a languid stroll customarily taken in the early evening. Corniglia is so small that if you don’t slow your steps you’ll have covered her end-to-end in minutes so it's a good place to practice your promenade, regardless of the hour!

    Even if you didn’t get here by one of the hiking trails, the only way to explore the village is on foot. Other than the road that rises from the trail station far below, what they call a street here is no more than a very narrow corridor where even a Vespa couldn’t go - or not without running down some hapless tourists, anyway. Winding our way through the few shadowy, stone-walled passageways one morning, a handful of tiny trattorias, shops and stuccoed guesthouses along the way, was one of the more enchanting moments of our several days in the CT.

    I might suggest doing this one early or late in the day during high season: Via Fieschi (the only main street) would be an uncomfortable squeeze if overrun with day-trippers.

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  • MATIM's Profile Photo

    center of Corniglia

    by MATIM Written Sep 18, 2004

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    The railway station of Corniglia lies at the foot of the hill where Corniglia is build on.
    .
    After you climb about 300 stairs you reach the nice little streets of Corniglia.

    Corniglia is the only village of the Cinque Terre that doesn't has a ferry boat connection

    narrow street at Corniglia
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    Chiesa di S. Pietro

    by goodfish Written Feb 4, 2013

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    St. Pete’s is the other of the village’s two chapels and another bright, airy beauty. This 14th-century (1334) church rests on the foundations of a 1000 year-old chapel - traces of which can clearly be seen along the exterior north side. A stroll all the way around the outside reveals some earlier alterations made to the current structure as well.

    The lacy, marble rose window above the entrance was carved by the same Matteo and Pietro da Campigna who most likely created the equally dainty window of Monterosso’s Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. The interior is a gentle confection of pastel frescos and delicate white detailing arching over the apse and side aisles: beautiful! Rounding out the more interesting bits are a scattering of 16th/17th century artworks and a 900 year-old baptismal font.

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    Corniglia to Vernazza Path

    by wilocrek Written Mar 21, 2008

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    This is one of the most difficult paths of the four trails. Its a hour and a half hike over rocky, winding paths that take you up into the mountain. The ascensions are steep and unforgiving, so be sure to have the proper footwear if your planning to do this trail. The first major ascension is about ten minutes into the hike and then the second major one is about 30 minutes after that. However it is well worth the effort, you will be rewarded with pleasure of seeing Cinque Terre in its natural state. You will walk through groves of trees with glimpses of the ocean between the branches, you will experience more privacy along this trail then you do with the trails between Riomaggiore to Maranola, and then Maranola to Corniglia. Be sure to bring plenty of water and fruit with you on this hike.

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