Vernazza Cinque Terre – Attractions Vernazza
Cinque Terre Vernazza
Starting from the west Vernazza is the second village of the Cinque Terre, immediately after Monterosso al Mare. Its administrative area includes also the following village Corniglia.
Vernazza is one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Vernazza has a small natural harbor, which was used by the Republic of Genoa for a long period. Laterally from the center there is a small beach.
The village is thanks to the fascinating harbor, the colorful houses and characteristic castle towers one of the most beautiful sights of the Cinque Terre National Park.
At the beginning the population of Vernazza lived from olive and wine growing on the terraced hills, later they have started fishing.
In the past Vernazza was accessible only by the Cinque Terre hiking trail Monterosso Vernazza and Vernazza Corniglia or over the sea. Today there is a Vernazza train station "Stazione Vernazza" and a winding road connection.
During the Cinque Terre storm in October 2011 Vernazza was flooded (see "Vernazza alluvione") and restored in the following years.
Vernazza Italy: history
In 1254 Nicolò Fieschi tried to rebuild the feudal system in the lost areas of the Gulf of La Spezia and in the Val di Vara, but after a brief supremacy of the country in 1276 he has passed all rights to Genoa.
In the fight against Pisa the port of Vernazza was built for the deployment of the galleys, the only one in the Cinque Terre, thanks to the particular shape of the protected harbor.
To this day some military defense systems have remained which were built by the Genoese, traces of the town wall, a bulwark and the watchtowers overlooking the sea.
In the period of the pirates Vernazza was called "castrum", which means fortified place.
Above the village of Vernazza, at an altitude of 325 meters above sea level, you can find the sanctuary "Nostra Signora di Reggio".
In our opinion one of the most beautiful hotels in the Cinque Terre is the Porto Roca Monterosso which is located directly on the coast and offers a wonderful panoramic terrace overlooking the sea.
From the hotel you can reach Monterosso beach by a short walk.
In front of the Hotel Porto Roca Monterosso passes the blue hiking trail Monterosso Vernazza.
Thus, this hotel is the perfect starting point for a Cinque Terre hiking tour.
Moreover you can find here many other Cinque Terre Hotels selected by us, where the location, service and price will match:
We can recommend you a nice bed and breakfast in Liguria, located close to the Cinque Terre.
The special feature of the Cinque Terre Bed and Breakfast is that you can book an individually tailored Italian crash course:
Vernazza train station
The Vernazza train station "stazione Vernazza" is located above the village at the end of the pedestrian zone.
The train station of Vernazza does not have the typical blue nameplate like in the other stations, but you cannot miss it.
You can reach Vernazza by train from Genoa, Sestri Levante, Levanto and Pisa.
By train you can move quick and economically between the 5 villages of Cinque Terre.
Here you will find more information about the Cinque Terre train
The beach of Vernazza is not advisable for a holiday at the seaside. In the origin there was only a small beach in the harbor of Vernazza, right next to the landing stage of the boats.
During the Cinque Terre storm in October 2011 Vernazza was flooded and damaged. By mud and stones a new beach has been formed in the east of the center.
If you are looking for a beach in the Cinque Terre, then we can recommend Levanto or Monterosso al Mare.
In the category Liguria beaches you can find more insider tips to find the most beautiful beaches of Liguria.
Cinque Terre hiking: Monterosso to Vernazza, Vernazza to Corniglia
The famous blue trail "sentiero azzurro" connects the five villages of the Cinque Terre.
From Vernazza you can take the footpath along the coast to the neighboring village Corniglia (east of Vernazza) or to Monterosso al Mare (west of Vernazza).
Here you can find our recommendations and photos of the Cinque Terre hiking tours:
Vernazza attractions - things to do in Vernazza
What to do in Vernazza ? Here you can find the most popular attractions of Vernazza, which you should see during your visit:
Vernazza Cinque Terre: Church "Santa Margherita d'Antiochia"
The church of “Santa Margherita d'Antiochia” in Vernazza was constructed in 1318 in Ligurian gothic style on a pre-existing XI century building.
It was built on a rock in front of the sea, with an impressive 40 meters belfry adorned by a pointed shape dome.
According to the tradition, the church was built because a wooden box with the rest of a hand of Saint Margaret was found on the beach.
The inhabitants decided to build the church but a strong sea storm destroyed the building and the relic got lost. Time after, it appeared again in the original point and the population erected a new church there, where it stands now.
Vernazza Italy: Castle "Castello dei Doria"
Vernazza as natural harbour was for many years under the influence of the sea republic of Genoa.
Therefore we can still see the rest of the castle „Castello dei Doria“ directly on the seaside.
The Doria castle (we can still see the rest of the tower) was founded during the early middle age and the particular feature of the castle is that was built following the morphologic of the cliffs.
The castle was more than one time restored and what we see now is a mix of different repairs and adjustment.
Vernazza Attraction: Sanctuary of Reggio
The sanctuary of Vernazza “Santuario della Madonna di Reggio” is dedicated to the Lady of Reggio.
It was built in the XI century on a preexisting crypt. The first written mention dates back to 1248.
Only the facade remains of the original Romanesque complex.
The Madonna Nera with Child is the adored image, known as “the African” as well.
The most beautiful villages in Italy: Vernazza
Vernazza is together with Manarola, Noli, Final Borgo Varese Ligure and Campo Ligure part of the union “I Borghi più belli d'Italia” - the most beautiful villages in Italy.
There are accepted only villages with medieval fortifications which are interesting for tourists and it should be car-free area.
Cinque Terre attractions
Here you can find many other information about the Cinque Terre attractions: