Among the 5 villages of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is the most characteristic, best known and most visited of all. There is no real ranking and each village is a story in itself. But Vernazza is undoubtedly a place to visit at least once in a lifetime.
Among the countries of the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is the only one to be considered among the “most beautiful villages in Italy” along with many other wonderful places in Liguria. In the same way, when it comes to Italy in the world, Vernazza is often mentioned among the wonders not to be missed during a trip to the country.
The life of this sea resort is harvested around the elegant square near the marina and Via Roma, the only true main street that connects the train station. All around an intricate series of vicoletti typical of the villages of Liguria hide details to photograph as well as a charm and a millenary history.
At the famous marina of Vernazza, the church and the castle fortified, the unmistakable houses-towers from the pastel colors of this part of Liguria.
Where sleeping in Vernazza
Vernazza is probably the most popular destination in the Cinque Terre and, like the other villages, it is very small. Over the years, the variety of solutions for staying in this magnificent Borgo has expanded. However, there is no comparison with the large tourist resorts of the rest of Liguria.
Therefore it is best to plan your stay in Vernazza a little in advance by booking as soon as possible. In this way it will be possible to choose the ideal solution for your trip, be it a hotel, an apartment or a B&B.
The village offers a couple of mid-level hotels and many small guest houses, apartments and B&Bs scattered throughout the historic center near the marina.
Checking the map and the location of your accommodation is not necessary: all accommodation is very close to each other. The quality / price ratio of the structures in Vernazza is quite good even if it cannot be said that it is low-cost.
How to get to Vernazza
Vernazza is easily accessible and the train is undoubtedly the most comfortable, fastest and cheapest way. Vernazza station is on the Genoa-La Spezia line and trains run practically every 20 minutes, especially during the summer season.
From the station, go all the way down via Roma to reach the lower part of the village, the port area.
Using the car to reach Vernazza could be a bit more complicated than in the other places in the Cinque Terre, both due to a limited number of parking lots located about 1km from the center, and due to traffic, which could be intense during the summer.
Said that, the road is still 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 Vernazza.
Vernazza, like the other villages of the Cinque Terre except for Corniglia , can be reached by boat. A fun and suggestive option to admire the coast and the country with a breathtaking viewpoint. It is certainly the slowest and most expensive way to get there but the journey, on a calm day, is definitely worth the cost of the ticket.
The boats that connect Vernazza and the Cinque Terre, active from 1 April to 1 November, depart from La Spezia, Portovenere, Manarola, Levanto and Portofino .
What to see in Vernazza
In Vernazza, more than a list of monuments and museums to visit, you have to enjoy the charm of this village from the first minute. The following is a list of ideas to make a complete visit while discovering the most characteristic views, details and everything that makes Vernazza a small jewel on the Mediterranean.
Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia
The church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia is one of the buildings that stand out over the famous square and the marina and is undoubtedly one of the symbols of the Borgo. This church, built between the 12th and 13th centuries, was built in honor of the town’s patron saint.
Legend has it that the inhabitants of Vernazza found a chest on the beach with the bones of the hand of the Saint inside. Suddenly the bones disappeared to reappear.
The inhabitants of Vernazza interpreted this episode as a premonition and decided to build the church in the exact place where it was found.
The beauty of this church is the simplicity of its clear facade that contrasts with the bright colors of the houses in the village and the green hills that surround it. The tower, visible from every corner of the village, formerly had defensive functions.
Opposite to the Church of Santa Maria d’Antochia in the panorama of Vernazza there is the Doria Castle which interrupts the succession of pastel colored houses of the Borgo.
The Doria Castle was built in 1080 on the top of the promontory to guard the town and a large portion of the Ligurian Sea. It has an irregular shape and gives the impression that it is the natural continuation of the rock on which it is set.
Without any doubt the Castle and the tower are worth a visit, both for their historical value and for the magnificent panorama that can be enjoyed once at the top.
Santuario Nostra Signora di Reggio
The Sanctuary dedicated to Nostra Signora di Reggio, also known as the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna by the locals, stands 315 meters above sea level above Vernazza.
To get to the Sanctuary it is necessary to walk an ancient uphill road for a couple of kilometers. Once you get to the top you can enjoy a beautiful view from the other of Vernazza and the Ligurian Sea and you can rest in the cool under the centuries-old trees that surround it.
Convento dei Padri Riformati di San Francesco
The Convento dei Padri Riformati di San Francesco dates back to the seventeenth century and today is the seat of the municipality of Vernazza. It is composed of a deconsecrated church, a tower, walls and a beautiful cloister.
Piazzetta del porto
The famous Vernazza square that is immortalized in many photos and overlooking the port is Piazza Marconi.
This is the nerve center of the life of the Borgo where the inhabitants and tourists gather for a coffee, an aperitif or to talk about this and that.
Here are some places around Vernazza that could make your stay a truly complete visit.
The territory of the municipality of Vernazza also includes another of the very popular Cinque Terre: Corniglia, the only one that does not have a landing on the sea.
To reach Corniglia from Vernazza you have to make just one stop by train and the duration of the “journey” is just three minutes.More information about Corniglia
Other little villages
In the surroundings of Vernazza there are other small hamlets reachable on foot through the paths: Drignana, Muro, Prevo, San Bernardino
Although Vernazza is a town overlooking the sea, the offer of beaches where you can spend a day sunbathing is not very wide.
Vernazza’s beaches are essentially a couple: the small beach next to the port, and the beach near the main square.
The first is rather small, without services and during the summer it is always quite crowded.
The second is slightly larger.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN VERNAZZA
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