Corniglia is the central village and also the smallest of the Cinque Terre. It is unique compared to the other villages for its position, its history and its traditions.
The Village, in fact, was built on top of a rock 100 meters above the sea, which is why it is known as the “Balcony of the Cinque Terre”.
Precisely this difference in height defended the people of Corniglia from the attacks of the Saracen pirates and, for this reason, in the village you will find lower houses than in other places near the sea.
But even here you will be seduced by the pastel colors of the traditional Ligurian houses and by the labyrinth of alleys and alleys that hide wonderful views.
Here people grew up in the fields rather than in the waves of the sea: Corniglia is surrounded by the characteristic Ligurian terraces where olive trees and vines have been cultivated for centuries. Here the myth of local wine was born.
Corniglia, due to its perched position, is perhaps the least visited village among those of the Cinque Terre. But it is the village that offers the most spectacular panoramas and, strange to say, the one from which you will reach the best beaches of the Cinque Terre: in 10 minutes on foot you can reach the Guvano beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Liguria !
Where to sleep in Corniglia
Corniglia is the smallest village of the Cinque Terre and also the one with fewer solutions where to sleep. In fact, here there are no hotels: those who prefer this type of accommodation are better off looking in other locations.
To stay overnight in Corniglia you can choose between apartments for tourist use and B&B. The level of facilities is mid-level and the price is quite affordable as long as your trip is planned a little in advance: the best rooms sell out quickly!
Those looking for an economic solution can choose the hostel which is located not far from the center.
Unlike the other Cinque Terre villages, remember to check the location of your accommodation on the map, which could be in the village or in the beach area.
How to get to Corniglia
The most practical and fastest way to reach Corniglia is, without a doubt, the train. Corniglia station is on the Genoa-La Spezia line and trains run every 20 minutes, especially during the summer season, when the trains of the 5 Terre Express line also come into service.
From the station to the Village you can walk up the famous Lardarina Staircase. This steep uphill walk takes around 20 minutes.
Alternatively you can take the bus that goes up to the town from the station. This shuttle does not have precise timetables. It leaves every time the seats are filled and if you don’t find a seat you can just wait for the next ride.
Using the car to reach Corniglia is not complicated even if the village is served by a rather small car park of about 90 places. In the summer months it fills up quickly in the early hours of the day.
However, the road is simple: from the A12 motorway exit at Santo Stefano di Magra following the signs for La Spezia, then Cinque Terre, Portovenere and finally take the provincial road to Corniglia.
What to see in Corniglia
In Corniglia, it is not possible to write a long list of monuments and museums to visit, one must admire the charm of this village in its uniqueness.
The Borgo can be discovered along the main street, via Fieschi, which connects the viewpoint of Santa Maria to the Church of San Pietro. Every corner and every alley can offer unique views and panoramic points of the sea, the vineyards and the other villages.
Largo Taragio is the main square of Corniglia, where you can admire the Oratory of Santa Caterina, a very simple church that hides a beautiful terrace on the back from which to enjoy a beautiful view.
Behind the church there is a steep staircase that leads to the piazzetta del Fosso where the remains of a sixteenth-century tower are located and from which you can admire a wonderful view towards the east.
Church of San Pietro
The church of San Pietro was built between 1334 and 1351 and has a very sober sandstone facade with a beautiful rose window. In white Carrara marble, it has a very elaborate shape, with all different designs and, in the central hole, a deer symbol of the village. The cornice is “saw teeth”, with hanging arches, some of which are decorated with animal heads.
The Lardarina Staircase
La Lardarina is the staircase that connects the Borgo to the railway station and to the sea. it is 377 steps long and is divided into 33 flights.
It is certainly not an ideal itinerary for the lazy, at least uphill, but you cannot say that you have lived in Corniglia without having traveled it!
Viewpoint of the terrace of Santa Maria
From the Belvedere on the terrace of Santa Maria you can admire all the Cinque Terre and, on clear days, even the coasts of Corsica. Without a doubt this is the most spectacular panorama of Corniglia. Unmissable.
Corniglia is definitely not the ideal location in Liguria for those who want to organize a holiday dedicated to the sea and sunbathing. From this perched village, however, it is very easy to reach some of the best beaches of all the Cinque Terre.
The beaches that can be easily reached on foot are essentially three:
The Guvano beach is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Liguria which in fact in the seventies was very popular with nudists and hippies. The beach is a mixture of sand and white pebbles, the water is clear and clean and the microclimate it enjoys makes the surrounding vegetation green and luxuriant.
To reach it, you have to walk through an old railway tunnel that starts from the Lardarina Staircase.
The Corniglia beach, on the other hand, is close to the train station and is very easy to reach. In terms of charm it is not comparable to the Guvano beach, but it is perfect for a dip on hot summer days.
Finally, the Marina di Corniglia is a cliff at the bottom of a staircase that starts from the Borgo on the opposite side from the train station.
CORNIGLIA BEST ACCOMMODATIONS
Discover the best Hotels, B & Bs and Apartments in Liguria based on thousands of verified reviews.