Cinque Terre,  Local Guides

Vernazza: A Complete Guide by a Local

A complete local guide about Vernazza must-see, secret spots, and hints to discover the village in all its corners.

Vernazza is the fourth village coming from La Spezia and it’s considered one of the most beautiful of the Riviera. Here you go with my local guide about what you have to see!

History

The origins of Vernazza date back to 1080 as a fortified town. It has been under the control of Genoa over the next two centuries and it was a vital center useful for the town’s expansion in the region. The famous Doria Castle was probably built around the 13th century to fortify the town against pirate attacks.

Vernazza Complete Guide: Main things to see

The Church of Santa Margherita

The first document about the Church of Santa Margherita goes back to 1318. It has been renovated over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries. It presents roman interns renewed in Baroque style.

Even if this church is really little, it is very charming also thanks to its location in Vernazza’s harbor.

The Doria Castle

Today this fortress constitutes a historic site and from its terrace, under the famous watchtower, you can admire a stunning view of the village and the sea. There are signs on how to get to the tower from the main road of Vernazza. Right under the entrance, there is a restaurant, which constitutes an amazing location for a romantic lunch.

The entrance costs 1.50 euros and you will have to climb around 140 narrow steps to get there, but it’s really charming and one of the best scenic spots around!

A Guide to Vernazza’s Beach

This beach is definitely one of the best on the entire coast and also my favorite. Walking down the main road of Vernazza, you will find the entrance on your left. It is constituted by a tunnel which I think it’s very characteristic: you get into this dark tunnel but at the end, you will see a magic bright place.

Do not expect the classic sand beach, here in Liguria are very rare, but thanks to the rocks our water is often crystalline. Unfortunately, due to sea erosion, this beach just keeps getting smaller every year, but it never loses its charm.

The Harbor

The most picturesque spot of the entire village is definitively its harbor. From the main pier, you can admire the sea, the church, and the houses capturing the essence of Vernazza.

The perfect spot

Wondering of what am I talking about?

Let’s talk about the spot everybody wants to reach: the one from which people take the perfect picture. To get there from the station you will have to turn right and proceed up the hill (in total will be around 15 minutes of steep steps and an easy trail😉). You will notice some stairs on your right with directions for Corniglia: follow them until you get to see this view:

It is considered the perfect spot because you can undoubtedly admire the most gorgeous sunsets!

Vernazza Complete Guide: Tips by a Local                                                                                    

Gelateria Vernazza is definitely the place to find the greatest icecream in Cinque Terre. There are shops also in La Spezia City Center

– I personally love the two trails linked to Vernazza: the one from Monterosso and the one from Corniglia. They offer a great view of the sea while walking even if the duration of both of them is more than 1.5 hours. Remember that in winter most of the trails are closed until April.

– Another cool spot to take some pics is following the road behind the Church of Santa Margherita. It is the same that takes to the hiking trail for Monterosso.

Curious about the other villages? Don’t stop explore!

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