Small port of Vernazza closes powerful rock making a natural shelter against strong winds coming from the the open sea. There at the top of the rock, where probably used to be a natural habitat and nests of gulls, man has usurped the place and made the restaurant & bar with views which must enchants every visitor. Beautiful place indeed.
The restaurant and bar is situated in Belforte tower, a 16th century defending construction which offers incredible views of the area.
The Small Back Streets of Vernazza are lovely and photogenic. There are excellent vistas to be had from many points in town.
Try to get off the harbor and see the rest of town in order to have a fuller experience here.
The Train between the small towns in the Cinqua Tere is a hoot. It cuts in and out of the rock. It provides excellent vistas of the Ligurain Sea.
It is inexpensive and easy. It provides a great return for you if you should hike to a town away from where you are staying.
The Via Roma is Vernazza's principle street - its main drag and the link between the train station and the harbor piazza. This is where you will find the town's main shops, ristorantes, cafés, gelaterias, etc. It's also where you will find the locals taking a stroll, watching and being watched by the numerous visitors. It is a colorful melange of activity.
This is one of those places I could spend a day without moving. As Italian piazzas go, it is pretty small, but thanks to the presence of colorful boats and buildings, few are more picturesque. And - this piazza seems to be the hub of all activities in town, making for some great people watching. The village church also fronts on the piazza.
What can I say?
Well, we were in Cinque Terre for the very first time and had 3 whole days to spend! Since we did not want to frantically do the Cinque Terre, but rather enjoy ourselves and relax, we really took it easy:
On the first day we did what my husband called a "Vernazza day" - and boy, that sure was quite demanding (but that is what the following tips will all be about)!
The second day was my husband's birthday, so we started the day with a lovely breakfast on our terrazza, then took the train to Monterosso and went on a boat tour to Riomaggiore - fantastic!!! In Riomaggiore I had booked a table at a restaurant (thanks, Sue!!!) and had treated Heinz to his birthday dinner - a great day!
Our third day was split between action and relaxing: in the morning we took the train to Riomaggiore again and walked along the Via Dell'Amore to Manarola. We explored this lovely village and later returned to Vernazza (via Levanto, but that was not our style...). Heinz went swimming in Vernazza, I did a little bit of sketching and together we watched the sunset and had some delicious pizza and Cinque Terre wine!
This was a great way to spend these days in Vernazza and I am quite convinced that we might even return one day - I have the best of memories!
The beach at Vernazza is pretty small.....but at least it has sand!!
When the sun comes out, I have seen the beach filled with sun bathers and children competing for the limited space.
Later in the day there is often an impromptu game of football/soccer.
It is also home to numerous fishing boats, complete with sunbaking cats!!
It is located about a half hour's steep walk above Vernazza. The wide path that leads up to the shrine is punctuated with the Stations of the Cross. Around the shrine is a large shady open area, expansive views of the water below, as well as the hillside vineyards and various harbor on the northwestern side.
The Torre Aurora (Dawn Tower) used to be a part of a medieval fortification system.
Nowadays it is a main landmark of Monterrosso and divides the old part from the new part of the town.
The Torre Aurora is situated on a small headland, just between the old and new part of Monterosso.
Take the evening and really enjoy a sunset here. The town has gone to a lot of time and expense to build a really nice seawall. Find a cozy spot and park. See the sunset all the way through some times the very end is the best. It is very nice to see the lights of Monte Rosa wink on.
Take a sweater or jacket as the evening can get cool.
While in Vernazza my best friend went to have her hair cut. There is a little salon just up from the harbor. She just was a walk in. She had fun and got a great style. It was her favorite souviner.
The church Santa Maria di Antiochia catches your attention as soon as you arrive in Piazza Marconi as it is straight on the sea.
Actually the basis of the church were really built on the sea at the beginning.Legend says that in the past people found in the place where now there is the church a small wooden box containing a finger of Saint Maria di Antiochia.So they decided to build a church near the port, but years later the finger of the saint desappeared untill they found it again in the same place where it was found the first time.So people understood that it was the exact place where the church had to be built.
This is probably one of the most elegant and pretty ports of all Italy.
The oloured small boats of local fishermen welcome you on the square just in front of the port where you can walk around the harbour and stop chatting with locals or simply admire the square and the curch that really seem to be built on the sea.
Like the other villages, walking the streets of Vernazza is a adventure in itself, with its winding corridors that go up down and all around! Vernazza is built into the crevice of the mountain and as you walk the streets you will see the village rising above you on both sides. The best part of walking the streets of Vernazza is that they will lead you to a portion of the village built on the outcropping of rock which will reward you with a unobstructed view of the ocean.
Vernazza is the most visually stunning of the five villages, the best views of the village are from the trails. The trail towards Corniglia offers the best views of Vernazza and the portion of the village that is built on the outcropping of rock. The trail towards Montresso offers the best overall panoramic view of Vernazza including a better view of the entire village and the harbor. If your visiting Cinque Terre these are the views you don't want to miss!
Piazza Marconi 26, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Couples
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Business
As with most accommodation in Vernazza, La Mala is accessed by many steep steps. Be rest assured...more