Corniglia Travel Summary

Cinque Terre’s five villages date from the early medieval period.  Monterosso, the oldest, was founded in AD 643, when beleaguered hill dwellers moved down to the coast to escape invading barbarians.  Riomaggiore came next, purportedly established in the 8th century by Greek settlers fleeing persecution in Byzantium.  The others are Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola.

Much of what remains in the villages today including several castles and a quintet of illustrious parish churches, dates from the late High Middle Ages.

Vernazza Church 1

Buildings aside, Cinque Terre’s unique historical feature are the steeply terraced cliffs bisected by a complicated system of fields and gardens that have been hacked, chiselled, shaped and layered over the course of nearly two millennia.  So marked are these artificial contours that some scholars have compared the extensive stone walls to the Great Wall of China in their grandeur and scope.


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

Hope you enjoy it!  Carpe Diem!

1. An introduction and brief history to this wonderful village

The village of Corniglia differs significantly from the others of the Cinque Terre due to its elevated position with respect to the sea.  To reach it you have to go up the ‘Lardarina’, a long brick staircase consisting of 33 ramps for a total of 382 steps.  If you conquer the steep slope you will be awarded with magnificent panoramic views over the Cinque Terre, particularly towards Manarola.


Like the other Cinque Terre villages, Corniglia is characterised by burst of colour, with the characteristic tower-houses (Case-Torri) painted in bright shades of yellow, pink and peach. Corniglia sits on its rocky perch with fantastic views of the surrounding hills and the sea below.


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2. What to See:


Church of St. Peter:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Located in the main square of Corniglia, it is in a Baroque style, with some Gothic and Ligurian elements dating back to the 14th Century


Saint Mary’s Terrace:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • This panoramic point is reachable by foot following Via Fieschi
  • You can enjoy wonderful views of Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore


Oratorio dei Disciplinati di Santa Caterina:

AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • This Oratory graces the tiny piazzetta Largo Taragio.
  • It is an 18th century Oratory and the highlight of the interior is the ceiling above the altar which is painted to look like the sky



AllThingsTravel Top Pick:

  • Take a break whilst walking the 382 steps of the Lardarina on you’re way up to Corniglia – the panoramic views south of Corniglia towards Manarola are fantastic




3. Photo Gallery:

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