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Last update: August, 2017.

  1. Best of Cinque Terre
  2. Villages and towns
  3. Vernazza

Vernazza

Vernazza is the second village of the Cinque Terre. It is easy to get there by train, boat or on foot (more information on the page “How to get around”).

It is the most beautiful village of the Gulf of Genoa, small, but at the same time very picturesque. Thanks to an ideal climate, plenty of sunshine and little wind there are many olive groves and vineyards. Although Vernazza may seem small, there will always be something to see; you will find monuments at every step, simply walking around the village or following the trails!

And what can tourists do in Vernazza if they’ve seen enough monuments? They can enjoy the Ligurian Sea, taste some Italian cooking in the cafes on the waterfront or get a takeaway pizza and sit on the rocks at the point and savor the atmosphere of Italy to the full.

View of the bay, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Places of interest in Vernazza

Open this page from your mobile phone and you can start the navigator for any point of interest or monument described here.

1
View of the bay, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

This is the liveliest area in the village, which also offers a view of the picturesque coastline. The greatest attraction for tourists is the jetty that extends into the sea not far from the shore, as if nature itself built a castle with a watchtower to search for enemies approaching from the sea. In the past the jetty acted as a lookout point, but today tourists take a siesta on the rocks that emerge from the water and on the wall, while admiring the view and tasting the local delicacies of nearby restaurants.

2
Tourists on Belforte Tower, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

These buildings are what remain of fortifications built in the XI century. In those times the castle and the tower, were constructed right on the Ligurian seafront to act as an observation point. These days tourists crowd the terrace of the Doria Castle (Castello dei Doria) in their dozens because from the upper part of the building you can enjoy the beautiful panorama along the coast and over the village itself, with its brightly colored houses. Adjacent to the castle is the Belforte tower, considered the symbol of Vernazza. It can be easily pinpointed on most photographs of the village. The Doria castle with the Belforte tower can be visited at a cost of 1.50 euro.

3
Church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia and the main square, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Right in the center of Vernazza, famous for its religious buildings, is the church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia. It was built in 1318 by the Magistri Antelami family and represents an example of the Ligurian Gothic style of architecture. The church has been remodeled several times and other buildings have been added. Halfway through the XVIII century the style was modified into the Baroque style and at the end of the XX century, after a total renovation of all parts of the church, it was returned to its original style and appearance with a nave of three bodies and an octagonal tower 40 meters high.

4

The monastery of the Minor Friars of the Franciscan Order

Another building of religious character is the monastery of the Minor Friars of the Franciscan Order. Catholic churches have been erected in honor of Saint Francis in many cities of the world across the centuries and Vernazza is no exception. Saint Francis of Assisi is much loved throughout Italy. He founded the monastic mendicant order which preached asceticism. This monastery was built in Vernazza in the XVII century, although the quadrangular tower and the supporting walls that form part of it were built hundreds of years before.

5

The beaches in Vernazza

A beach, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Since the beach in Vernazza occupies only a small piece of coast, you can safely say that in this village there are no real beaches. The beaches here are considered more a “refreshing point” where you can rest for a couple of hours and replenish your forces. A very tiny beach like this is located near the central square. Another, a little larger, is located on the other side of the Belforte tower. The beach can be reached through a passageway in the rock that departs from the main street of the village.

6

The Shrine of the Black Madonna (Santuario della Madonna Nera)

Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Just one look at the building will charm you. Archaeologists who have studied the Shrine of the Black Madonna believe that it was built in the XI century. But the crypt of the Sanctuary testifies that, before the Shrine, there was already another more ancient place of worship on this site. Inside is the painting of the Black Madonna. The Shrine was built on a hill and it’s about a 40 minute uphill walk to reach it; but the uniqueness of the sanctuary and the view that opens from the green clearing at the top is well worth it. You can also fill your bottles of drinking water here.

7

San Bernardino and the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie (Sanctuary of Corniglia)

The sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie in San Bernardino, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

Not far from Vernazza is the small locality of San Bernardino. You can reach it by bus from Vernazza or on foot along one of the walking trails. Here we find the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie, built in the 1800s. This shrine forms part of Corniglia because, in the past, there was a direct path linking it to the village, but which no longer exists after it was lost in a landslide. The sanctuary is located on a hill, built on the site of a chapel dating back to 1470. On the altar of the shrine there is a painting of the Madonna with Jesus (1874). Tourists always linger on the square near the Shrine to admire the beautiful panoramic view of Corniglia and the beach of Guvano.

8

The Belforte restaurant

Restaurant Belforte by night, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

There is something for everyone at the restaurant Belforte where you can sample the local cuisine of Vernazza. This restaurant is widely known throughout the area of the Cinque Terre. It has been in operation for over 45 years and is renowned for the simple dishes they prepare, based on local products, and following traditional Ligurian recipes. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is consonant with the furnishings: with wood furniture and stone walls you will feel as if you’re in a cave, while from the veranda of the Belforte there is a romantic view of the sea, the coast and the center of Vernazza. Average prices: 35 - 60 euro per person. Closed on Tuesday.

9

The Bar - Restaurant “La Torre”

View of the village from the La Torre cafe, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

This is more economical than the Belforte restaurant. “La Torre” is the ideal place for an aperitif, sipping a cocktail or a glass of wine at the end of the day, as you take in the beautiful sunset and panoramas which Vernazza has to offer. The restaurant is open every day.

Map of the places to see and the walking trails of Vernazza

Pedestrian routes near Vernazza

The real tourism gems of this picturesque village on the rocks are the walking trails. Numerous routes depart from here. The most popular are listed below and further information can be found on the page “Trails and routes”.

Vernazza - Monterosso al Mare (short route)

Blue Trail from Monterosso to Vernazza, Trails, Cinque Terre, Italy
Blue Trail from Monterosso to Vernazza
1 h 20 min.
3.3 km (2.1 mi.)
180 m (591 ft)
175 m (575 ft)
480-540 kcal*
Easy*

The current condition of the route: Open. Opening date: March 04, 2017.

The shortest route leads to Monterosso al Mare, along the picturesque trail on the seafront. Quite close to Vernazza there are open spaces where tourists often stop to take pictures with the village in the background.

Vernazza - Monterosso al Mare (long route)

The long route from Monterosso to Vernazza, Trails, Cinque Terre, Italy
The long route from Monterosso to Vernazza
3 h 30 min.
7.3 km (4.5 mi.)
550 m (1805 ft)
532 m (1746 ft)
1100-1240 kcal*
Medium*

The current condition of the route: Open.

The longer route to Monterosso al Mare is the trail which crosses the top of the hills and passes by two churches, one of which is the oldest in Liguria. This trail is always open, unlike the short trail that can be closed in winter because of heavy rainfall.

Vernazza - Corniglia (short route)

Blue Trail from Vernazza to Corniglia, Trails, Cinque Terre, Italy
Blue Trail from Vernazza to Corniglia
1 h 30 min.
3.2 km (2 mi.)
220 m (722 ft)
220 m (722 ft)
500-550 kcal*
Easy*

The current condition of the route: Open.

The route passes through forest areas, offering occasional glimpses of the hamlet of San Bernardino, the village of Corniglia and the beach of Guvano.

Vernazza - Corniglia (long route)

The long route from Corniglia to Vernazza, Trails, Cinque Terre, Italy
The long route from Corniglia to Vernazza
3 h 30 min.
6.5 km (4 mi.)
710 m (2330 ft)
612 m (2008 ft)
1200-1350 kcal*
Medium High*

The current condition of the route: Open.

If the shorter route to reach Corniglia is closed you can use this trail to walk to the villages through the small hamlets, Monte Cigoletta and the top of the hills. Along the road you will also find the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora delle Grazie which is located in San Bernardino. The climb from Vernazza in San Bernardino is very steep, thus we recommend that you begin this trail from Corniglia.

The ring of Vernazza (L’anello di Vernazza)

Descent from San Bernardino to Vernazza, Trails, Cinque Terre, Italy
Descent from San Bernardino to Vernazza
3 h.
6.8 km (4.2 mi.)
515 m (1690 ft)
410 m (1346 ft)
1100-1220 kcal*
Medium*

The current condition of the route: Open.

This is a long route which will allow you to enjoy the surroundings of Vernazza: the path climb to Monte Cigoletta, then you can look around San Bernardino and the shrine of Corniglia. It is a popular outing with those tourists who love walking and have more than three days to spend in the Cinque Terre. It is preferable to walk this trail in a clockwise direction.

To walk the short trails connecting all five villages of the Cinque Terre you will need to purchase the “Cinque Terre Card. It is also a good idea to check the conditions of the trails in advance, as some of them could be closed due to the weather conditions and other reasons (more information on the page “Conditions of trails and map”).

* Kcal - more information on the consumption of calories and the complexity of the various trails can be found in the section “Walking trails”.

Recommended hotels in Vernazza

Vernazza is the pearl of the Cinque Terre, so finding accommodation is not easy, especially in peak tourist season. To search for a hotel use this tool and book in advance. Keeping in mind the comments and current discounts, we recommend these three hotels:

Agriturismo Costa di Campo, Italy
Top 5
Romantic

Agriturismo Costa di Campo

Price: high.
More information

La Perla delle 5 Terre, Italy
Top 5

La Perla delle 5 Terre

Price: medium.
More information

Lisetta Rooms, Italy
Top 5
Discount!

Lisetta Rooms

Price: affordable.
More information

On this page you can read visitor comments on all the hotels and compare them. In addition, you should consult:
Low-cost hotels in Vernazza.
Romantic hotels in Vernazza.
Luxury hotels in Vernazza.
Use a filter to search for a hotel in Vernazza.

Parking in Vernazza

Paid parking (marked on the map, 2 euro per hour) can accommodate up to 80 cars and is located 1 km from the entrance to the village (at the intersection between the SP51 and SP61). From this point on, access is permitted just for residents. You will find parking only during winter and it is very inconvenient to reach the village from there. For this reason we advise you not to go by car to Vernazza.

More photos of Vernazza

View of the bay from the Blue Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of the bay from the Blue Trail
View of the bay from the Blue Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of the bay from the Blue Trail
Vernazza by night, Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza by night
View of the bay by night, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of the bay by night
Panoramic view of the village from the Blue Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Panoramic view of the village from the Blue Trail
Panoramic view of the village from the Blue Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Panoramic view of the village from the Blue Trail
View of the village from the Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of the village from the Shrine of Our Lady of Reggio
The main street, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
The main street
Aerial view of the village, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Aerial view of the village
Aerial view of the village, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Aerial view of the village
Aerial view of the village, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Aerial view of the village
Roofs of houses, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Roofs of houses
Aerial view of San Bernardino, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Aerial view of San Bernardino
The tourist office at the train station, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
The tourist office at the train station
Passageway in the rock to a small beach, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Passageway in the rock to a small beach
Bay of the village during winter, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Bay of the village during winter
Beautiful little streets, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Beautiful little streets
Cafe La Torre, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Cafe La Torre
Waves breaking on the jetty, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Waves breaking on the jetty
View of San Bernardino from the Blue Trail, Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
View of San Bernardino from the Blue Trail

Romantic hotels

Bestseller

Rated 5 stars out of 5

7458 Reviews

Price starting at 39 €
Details

Budget hotels

Likely to sell out

Rated 5 stars out of 5

11745 Reviews

Price starting at 110 €
Details

Apartments in Cinque Terre

Likely to sell out

Rated 5 stars out of 5

10547 Reviews

Price starting at 179 €
Details

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