Vernazza’s harbour is the only natural port among the five villages of the Cinque Terre, which is to say that it is a “proper” harbour rather than simply a rocky inlet adopted for use by boats like those at Riomaggiore or Manarola. Centuries ago this, along with the vineyards above the village, would have been the focus for the local economy, with fishing one of the few possible sources of income. Today there are only a few fishing boats (although enough to ensure a plentiful supply for the local restaurants) but I read that Vernazzans are still more likely to own a boat than a car, and down here by the harbour that is easy to believe.
This is a cheerful, colourful scene. Approaching the harbour from the main street you emerge into a large square, the Piazza Marconi. This is the focus of much of the village’s activity, and is surrounded by tall buildings in a various shades (pink, terracotta, beige), many of which act as bars or restaurants. In one corner is an attractive church, perched right on the edge of the water. A stone jetty juts out into the water on the opposite side, a popular spot for sun worshippers. It’s quite possible to sit here for ages, simply admiring the view and watching all the activity. And if you have a gelato in your hand, so much the better!
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.
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.
If I had a smart tourist guide, who was leading our group, she would probably told us to bring bathing costumes with. It was almost the end of September but the day was perfect for a bathing, sunny and pretty hot around 28 C degrees. But it seems all tourist guides are clonned, in their minds summer season and bathings in Europe ending by the end of August.
Anyway, maybe I wouldn't take a bath even if July or August because I am used on different sort of bathing resorts in Croatia, which are more beautiful. The beach of Vernazza is pretty nice but small. Can imagine how it looks alike in the high season with the crowds.
The western side of Vernazza, which overlooking the sea, was built on a steep cruel and rugged roks that are falling into the sea. The gray coloured cliff on which was built Belforte Tower is a small wonder of nature, very interesting and very unusual. I gave it name petrified spaghetti because it was the first association which crossed my mind after seeing it. Looking really great.
Rocks that are exposed to the constant influence of the sea, waves and sun take on interesting shapes and colors. Natural processes can not stand still and act on the environment, changing form and content, and therefore no artist can not be compared with what nature creates itself.
Take a look at the part of pier construction with beautiful rocks and caves which could be seen around the harbor.
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 harbor is what makes Vernazza so unique amongst the 5 villages of Cinque Terre: Vernazza has a the only proper harbor, from which both fishing boats and tourist boats depart. You can even swim inside the harbor!
I love the town of Vernazza and think the one of the best photo ops are shot from the jetty... Its also a great place to sit down, relax and enjoy the views... Heck add a bottle of wine, cheese and foccassia it will be a memory of a lifetime. Great at sundown! Enjoy!
From here you can catch the ferry that runs between the five villages. The harbor offers wonderful views of the village and its also where all the action is. You will see fisherman unloading their small boats with the catch of the day that they will immediately sell and who knows you might even be eating those very fish for dinner!
As we arrived by ferry boat, the little harbor was where our Vernazza visit began, a colorful and lively place. Three of the views shown here are from the town piazza (covered in another tip), and one from the hillside walking trail above the village.
This is the only natural harbor in Cinque Terre, and in earlier days was the only place boats could onload the local wines.