The Harbor, Vernazza
Vernazza's small harbor is where most of the action is. Visit the small shops selling mother of pearl jewelry and colorful scarves. Look around for a quiet spot to eat gelato and people watch. Sunbathers flock here to find the perfect sunning rock, children scamper with soccer balls, and swimmers dive into the warm blue sea. This is the perfect place to find your own piece of "la dolce vita," with a slice of pizza or a bottle of wine, watch the fishermens' boats bob in the calm waters, watching the sun set over the hills.
Vernazza's harbour is small and beautiful.
Early in the morning it is quiet, with just a few fishing boats. Then as the day progresses things start to get a little busier.
There is some boat hire possible and the ferry service stops by every hour or so in the warmer months.
It is a fabulous place to do some people watching and soak up the sun along the harbour wall.
Directions: From the train station, follow the street down hill - you can't miss it!
Vernazza has a picturesque natural harbour with a semi-circular pier.
On hot summer days the pier is packed with tourists relaxing from their exhausting hikes through the Cinque Terre or just enyoing the Italian sun.
It is a gorgeous place for people watching.
Local fishermen dock their colourful boats here and hang their nets out to dry.
The small harbour is situated just in front of the Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia and the busy main square.
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!
Directions: From the station head downhill along the main street – about five minutes’ walk (more if you linger) will bring you to the harbour.
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.
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!
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.