Vernazza, Province of La Spezia, Liguria
One of the five picturesque towns known together as the Cinque Terre, Vernazza is the fourth heading north, a true "fishing village" on the Italian Riviera. The only way to reach the town is by train or hiking. The cobbled stone streets and alleys are lined with colorful buildings that house small shops, cafes, B&B's. From Vernazza, there are walking itineraries to the other four towns in the Cinque Terre (the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
- Population: about 1000 inhabitants
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Vernazza was founded about 1000 AD and was ruled by the Republic of Genoa from 1276. Vernazza's medieval castle, Belforte, was built in the mid-1500's, to protect the village from pirates.
What to see
- Train itinerary from Vernazza to Monterosso (also a hiking path), among amazing cliffs and landscapes of astounding beauty
- Hiking itinerary southeast from Vernazza to Corniglia, through olive groves, about 90 minutes.