Vernazza is the fourth village of the Cinque Terre. The main street, full of shops, is quite crowded. The natural harbor (2), including a small sandy beach, is protected by a dam. It is dominated by the Doria castle, lying at the top of a cliff.
If you walk into Vernazza coastal via the Sentiero Azzurro, you get some spectacular views, both coming from Monterosso and Corniglia. In the early 90s, these pictures were shown on one of the New York airports. This created a long influx of American tourists.
On October 25th 2011 Vernazza was struck by a huge flood, caused by heavy rainstorms in the area. The river that normally runs underground, had to find a way through the main street of Vernazza. The street and the neighboring houses were literally covered by a layer of mud, as high as two meters.
Besides a gigantic poster near the train station, showing the impact of this catastrophe, few signs actually remain.
Church with an octagonal tower in the town center, near the harbour, dating from the 14th century.
Castle on the rock next to the harbour, dating from the 11th century. In 2013, the site has been opened again for the public, at least partly because not everything has been restored so far. The main reason for a visit is the view. It is a 360° view on the coast of Cinque Terre, the town of Vernazza and an impressive valley behind Vernazza.
Church in the hills behind Vernazza (350 meter), dating from the 13th century. Take the Sentiero 508 to get there.
This sanctuary is part of the 'Cinque Terre Sanctuaries', together with the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero in Riomaggiore, the Santuario di Nostra Signora della Salute in Manarola, the Santuario di Nostra Signora delle Grazie in Corniglia and the Santuario della Madonna di Soviore in Monterosso.
The Sentiero Azzurro to Monterosso is one of the most famous trails. You need a Cinque Terre Card to access the trail, but don't worry you can buy it on the trail.
There's heavy traffic on the trail, so our advice is to do it early in the morning or late in the evening !
In our opinion, this section of the Sentiero Azzurro is the most beautiful, with magnificent views. You also need the Cinque Terre Card.
You can do it in hour, but take your time to enjoy it. You may only do this once in your life !
Same advice : do it very early or late.
The Sentiero 508 will take you up to a height of over 400 metres. You need a good condition to do this one, as you'll have to continue to the Soviore and then to Monterosso (or of course take the same trail back to Vernazza).
The Santuario di Reggio is rather deserted. No shops, no bars, no restaurants. Take water and food with you.
This bar is located on the Sentiero Azzurro, a few hundred metres (or stairs) from the center of Vernazza in the direction of Corniglia. Imagine having a snack, a meal or a glass of CInque Terre wine with one of the most beautiful views of Cinque Terre.
The bar is accessible, even when the Sentiero Azzurro is officially closed. Even if you do not intend to do the full walk to Corniglia, you should come to La Torre. The view is worth it.
Address : Località Preteccia, Vernazza
(Sentiero Azzurro, in the direction of Corniglia)
Reservations : 39 0187 821082