Vernazza Travel Guide

Photo of Vernazza

Vernazza Overview

Vernazza deserves to be portrayed on one of those dishtowels that reads: Good food, Good Wine, Good Life. The village of approximately 600 hosts the only natural harbor in the string of five Italian villages known as the Cinque Terre. Before the days of Rick Steves – a Washington-grown Euro aficionado, whose love for the Cinque Terre has put it on the map – and Enlightenment, for that matter, the town’s beach and square were non-existent. Instead, Vernazzans pulled their boats right up to their homes and shops, mimicking the canals of Venice.

 
Though the production of wine isn’t what it used to be in Vernazza, terraced vineyards continue to line the overlooking hillside. It’s said that this walled rockwork of an astounding 3,000 miles is comparable to that of the Great Wall of China.

Things to do in Vernazza

Getting Around Vernazza

You can drive a car to Vernazza, but you’ll have to park it outside the village gates. Instead, boats are the mode of choice for locals and many times tourists alike. If you’re just here to eat and lounge, no problem, but if you’re looking for a stretch of the legs, take the hike between towns. All five villages on the 5-Terre are connected by trails, which can be closed during rainy periods. Head northwest to Monterosso or southeast to Corniglia. If there’s a drizzle, rely on the ferry or train system, though the ferry is cheaper and makes for a pleasant arrival into the vibrant coastlines.
 
Historical Sites in Vernazza
Have a look around town, making sure to note these three historical points: the Church of Santa Margherita d’Antiochia, Doria Castle and the Shrine of Santuario di Nostra Signora di Reggio. Plan to hit the shrine at the beginning or end of your expedition, as the steep walk will leave you breathless. On foot, it doesn’t take long to navigate this two block-long village. Visit the little shops in between, which are full of handicrafts and Italian delicatessens.
 
Food in Vernazza
Like anywhere in Italy, a popular past time in Vernazza is eating. Sicilian-born brothers Luca and Mossimo entice hungry travelers – who are literally at the end of the road – into Il Pirate with their charm and gnocchi. The only thing better than the gnocchi is the gelato. Make gelato your main course and follow it up with a slice of pizza smothered in pesto. That will complete your Cinque Terre experience as well as add a cherry on your now-complete life. Insert deep breath of satisfaction here.

Hotels in Vernazza

Budget Hotels in Vernazza

Albergo Barbara – simple stonewall rooms with enchanting view of piazza and Mediterranean Sea. (39) 0187 81 23 98. Piazza Marconi 30, Vernazza 19018.
 
Rosson Teresa B&B – location gives easy access to ferry system but also first stop for dozens of other tourists piling on and off boats. (39) 0187 81 23 83. Piazza Guglielmo Marconi 15, Vernazza 19018 .
 
Mid-Range Hotels in Vernazza
Trattoria Gianni Franzi Piazza – rooms are as colorful and unique as the village below. (39) 0187 821003. Marconi 5, Vernazza 19018 .
 
Camere Nicolina – a humble Italian home located within the Ristorante Vulnetia. (39) 0187 82 11 93. Piazza Marconi 29, Vernazza 19018.
 
Luxury Hotels in Vernazza
In an effort to maintain the quaint feeling, and because of the Cinque Terre’s status as a national park, there are no luxury hotels within the villages. Luxury hotels may be found in the nearby towns of La Spezia or Levanto.
 
Park Hotel Argento – located 4.6 miles from Vernazza in the hub town to the Cinque Terre. Localita Sant Anna Levanto, SP 19015.
 
Stella Maris – romantically decorated to woo the everyday tourist and create the sense of amore Italy is known for. (39) 0187 80 82 58. Via Marconi 4 Levanto, SP 19015

Vernazza Weather

Vernazza Travel Resources

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This page was last modified on 30 Sep 2011 by Matt