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The small seaside fishing village of Vernazza was originally settled in 1,000 A.D. The town features colorful houses perched on the side of steep cliffs as well as streets lined with elaborate doorways, open galleries, quaint cafes and restaurants. Olive groves on the surrounding hillside produce some of the best olive oil in the country.
Vernazza Weather: With average daily temperatures of 24 degrees C, or 75 degrees F, July and August are the hottest months. December and January are the coolest months with daily average temperatures of 8 degrees C, or 46 degrees F.
Local Cuisine of Vernazza: Potatoes, corn, artichokes, onions, chickpeas, olives, zucchini, pork, chestnuts, veal, fish, shellfish
Local Wine of Vernazza: Rossese di Dolceacqua DOC, Colline di Levanto DOC, Riviera Ligure di Ponente DOC, Ormeasco di Pornassio DOC
Things to do in Vernazza: Doria Castle, Piazza Marconi, Monterosso Trail, Santuario di Nostra Signora di Reggio, Chapel of Santa Marta, Vernazza Beach
Where is Vernazza? Vernazza is located in the province of La Spezia, which is in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. It is one of the five towns of the Cinque Terre located on the coast of the Ligurian Sea.
Vernazza is a quiet town with colorful houses atop the cliffs - I fell in love with it immediately.
I had always wanted to visit Cinque Terre and as I discovered, each village is unique in its own way. I didn’t want to hop from one village to the next, so I chose to “live” in Vernazza for a couple of days. As I stepped out of the train station I stumbled onto an enchanting street leading to Piazza Guglielmo Marconi. The cobbled street was filled with brightly colored buildings, small shops and cozy restaurants serving local food.
During my stay, I enjoyed exploring the Doria Castle, which overlooks the town from a hilltop, as well as the old Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia. No cars are allowed, so wandering around the lanes, especially the narrow "carruggi," is like walking around inside a labyrinth.
On the last day I walked along the sandy beach near Piazza Marconi and I ended it like a local - by eating ice cream and watching the sunset.
For vacationers who want to see the area of Cinque Terre, a tour is the best way to do it. When visitors join Cinque Terre Tours, they will find private excursions that can be designed to meet individual needs. The most well-known tours in this beach town are the shore excursions that stop in each town, but other trips are also available from this organization.Address: Via Visconti 9, 19018 Vernazza, La Spezia
There are a few options for traveling between the towns, including train, ferry and hiking. Vernazza is quite small and accessible from many locations only by foot.
Hiking the Monterosso Trail is one of the best ways to enjoy the fabulous views from atop of the jagged cliffs that tower above the sea. Proper footwear is highly recommended for walking along the dirt trail. The 90-minute hike through vineyards and orchards offers breathtaking scenery that will leave lasting memories. There is a train that delivers weary tourists back to Vernazza.
A train runs frequently between all five towns of the Cinque Terre. There is also a ferry boat that runs between the towns during most of the year, which affords stunning views of the steep cliffs and seaside villages.
Fun Fact: This is the only village in Cinque Terre with a natural harbor.
Local Dish: Focaccia is famous bread served hot from the oven, which is topped with herbs, olive oil, cheese or tomatoes.
Day Trip: Walk along the ancient Cinque Terre Trail to glimpse the many villages belonging to this UNESCO Site.
Hot Spot: Visit the tiny piazza located in front of the Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church; it’s decorated with rocks from the river.
A massage and beach vacation go hand in hand and in the Cinque Terre. Vernazza Massage and Reflexology offers a range of massage and spa options from Swedish and deep tissue massage to aromatherapy. Traveling can be quite stressful, and though the beach can be relaxing, adding a massage or other luxury treatment can be like the cherry on top of a perfect vacation in Vernazza.Address: No. 3, 19018 Vernazza, Italy
Palmaria is part of an archipelago of three islands, including Tino and Tinetto, off the coast of Portovenere, Italy. Palmaria is accessible by taking a train to La Spezia and then taking a ferry to the island.
A hike around Palmaria takes two hours and offers spectacular scenery. The side of the island that faces La Spezia has a lovely soft, sandy beach with shallow water. There is a restaurant within a short walk that serves fresh local specialties. The view of the Italian Riviera from the shore is wonderful!
The views from the other side of the island are of the sea and sky, and locals like to hang their hammocks in nearby pine trees.
Piazza Marconi is where the action happens in Vernazza. Here, vacationers will find numerous restaurants, shops, tourist attractions and a spectacular view of the harbor. There are several cafes with outdoor seating and bars where tourists can sip on local wine and try local food. Visitors will find this is a great place to meet and interact with locals to get information about the rest of the area.Address: Piazza Marconi, 19018 Vernazza
For nightlife in Vernazza, vacationers can grab a drink and listen to some music at Belforte. There are also great views of the water from this restaurant and bar. The pizza is amazing, and they have a nice selection of local and imported favorites when it comes to drinks. It's a relaxing place to end the day, and because it opens early, visitors can come back in the morning for a cup of coffee.Address: Via Guidoni 42, 19018 Vernazza
The harbor at Vernazza is the only one found in the five towns of the Cinque Terre, but it offers a number of activities to enjoy any time of year. For instance, vacationers can rent a boat from a number of private citizens and vendors to play out on the water. Anyone can watch fishermen come in with their catch. Some fishermen may even allow tourists on the boat with them to catch fish themselves.Address: Piazza Marconi, 19018 Vernazza
There's only a small, sandy area near the harbor that can be called a beach in Vernazza. There are no facilities here, but there is some sand where visitors can lay and soak up some rays. If tourists walk out onto the nearby pier, there is a deeper area where anyone can swim by jumping off the side. It will give visitors some relief from the heat.Address: Via Guidoni, 19018 Vernazza, Italy
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