Vernazza Travel Summary

Vernazza: A picture-postcard perfect village on the wonderful Cinque Terre.

The Vernazza Travel Summary is segmented into 2 key travel themes to immerse you into everything Vernazza:

  1. An introduction to this wonderful village;
  2. What to See

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!


Beautiful pastel coloured buildings line the charming piazza leading you down to a perfectly formed natural harbour.  Vernazza is particularly beautiful as the sun starts to set and the pastel coloured houses glow like a rainbow.  There is no better way to finish off your day from exploring the charming Cinque Terre than watching the sun set on the harbour with a glass of prosecco in hand.

Vernazza Beach

Vernazza is listed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and was founded about 1000 A.D. and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa starting in 1276. The medieval castle, Belforte, was built in the mid-1500’s, primarily to protect the village from pirates.  An ideal way to arrive to this breathtaking village is by sea. The tiny port is surrounded by subtle colourful pastels and the charming piazza is lined with good restaurants and bars.  The village is surrounded by very steeply-terraced olive groves which are said to produce among the finest olive oil in the country.


Vernazza manages to retain its rustic fishing village charm whilst weaving an air of sophistication through the excellent restaurants and boutiques that line the narrow thoroughfares that lead down to the harbour.   Having visited the Cinque Terre a number of times, the best time to visit Vernazza is towards the end of the day when the tourists start to thin out.  Towards sunset you will start to see the locals come out and enjoy the sunset over the harbour.

Enjoy the view from the Doria Castle, built in the Middle Ages to protect the village from pirates. Another important historical structure in Vernazza is the beautiful Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia, erected in 1318 over a pre-existing building. Lined with cosy cafes, craft shops and wine bars, Vernazza’s main street Via Roma links the seaside Piazza Marconi with the railway station and hides a little jewel of a chapel: the Chapel of Santa Marta. Side streets lead to a maze of narrow and steep alleyways, where amazing sea views pop at every turn.

Vernazza Beach

About an hour’s steep uphill walk from the railway station is the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Reggio, built in the Romanesque period and surrounded by centuries-old trees. The path that leads up to this sanctuary is punctuated with the Stations of the Cross and offers breathtaking views over the bay and the green terraced hills. Vernazza’s tiny city beach is off Piazza Marconi and gets very crowded with families and children during the Summertime; a new pebble beach, created by the flood of 2011 and ideal for those who prefer a more secluded location, can be reached by walking through a rock hewn passage. You can pick Vernazza of course to hike the trail that is part of the Cinque Terre National Park and connects all five villages; from the small harbour, you can also take boat trips along the coast and visit one of the other five villages Riomaggiore, Manarola, Monterosso al Mare.  You can also go further afield via a boat trip up to Portofino and Portovenere.




What to See:

Church of St. Margaret of Antioch

Vernazza Church 1


AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • The bell tower and tiled dome of the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia are part of what makes Vernazza’s harbour so picturesque
  • No one knows when the original church on this site was built, but it could be as old as the 11th century
  • Major architectural changes were made in the 17th and 18th centuries, with more restoration work in the 20th century


Doria Castle Tower

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • One of the features that makes Vernazza so picturesque from the trails on either side of it is the Doria Castle Tower that sits on the promontory overlooking the harbour
  • Built in the 11th century to help protect Vernazza from pirates, it now serves as a beautiful lookout point


The Harbour:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Cinque Terre’s only natural harbour has breathtaking views out over the water
  • Here you can bask on a tiny beach, head off on a boat trip, or just linger over the day’s fresh catch and a glass of Italian’s finest at one of the al fresco restaurants facing the water’s edge

Vernazza Harbour

The Beach:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Vernazza’s tiny city beach is off Piazza Marconi and gets very crowded with families and children during the summertime
  • A new pebble beach, created by the flood of 2011 and ideal for those who prefer a more secluded location, can be reached by walking through a rock hewn passage

Vernazza Beach



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