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Vernazza: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

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Vernazza, in the province of La Spezia, is one of those picturesque villages that make up the Cinque Terre. It stands perched on the slopes of a rocky spur, and romantically faces the sea. Vernazza was declared in 1997 World Heritage Site by UNESCO, together with the other four places that make up the Cinque Terre territory: Monterosso al Mare, Corniglia, Manarola and Rio Maggiore, all well connected to each other and which can be visited in a very simple way within a week.

In Vernazza there is something to admire, from the natural harbor, to the colorful tower-houses, from the views visible along the vertical paths, to the village squares that the citizens call "u cantu de musse", that is the chat corner. Here's one driving on Vernazza: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening.



Index

  1. 10 things to see in Vernazza in a weekend
  2. What to see in Vernazza in one day: recommended itinerary
  3. Where to eat in Vernazza: the best restaurants
  4. What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Vernazza
  5. Plan your stay in Vernazza: info and useful tips
  6. User questions and comments

10 things to see in Vernazza in a weekend

1 - Church of Santa Margherita di Antiochia

The Vernazza church, built in 1318, stands on a rock overlooking the sea. It is impossible not to notice it even from a distance: it is 40 meters high and crowned by arches, ending with an ogival dome. The entrance is located laterally, making it special and unique. The structure stands out for its incredible simplicity and beauty, it is often chosen by citizens to celebrate weddings.

There is a legend around this church: in the past a wooden box was found along the coast of the town containing the bones of a finger of the hand of Santa Margherita. It was the people who decided to build a church in honor of the Saint where today the district called the islet stands. The relic disappeared due to a strong storm, but later reappeared in the same spot where it was first found. The people then decided to rebuild the church overlooking the sea where it is today.



  • Via GM Pensa, 5; from the station on foot in 5 min - Get directions
  • 10:30AM - 18:00PM
  • free

2 - Doria Castle

The Castello dei Doria di Vernazza stretches out over the sea and today looks like an imposing bastion from which a cylindrical tower rises, one of the few remaining original watchtowers that functioned as a protection of the city and its people during the reign of the Republic of Genoa.

Inside the Castle, today used as a museum and exhibition center, a bronze cannon was preserved bearing the inscription Comunitas Vernatiæ. This cannon was stolen by English soldiers, and today it is exhibited in the rooms of the British Museum in London. The Doria Castle gives a fantastic view from its panoramic terrace.

  • from the station on foot in 5 min - Get directions
  • 10:00AM - 19:00PM
  • € 1,50

3 - Sanctuary of Our Lady of Reggio

Located 2 km from the railway station, the Sanctuary stands where the first settlement of Vernazza was once built. It is part of the "sanctuaries of the Cinque Terre". Everyone knows this church for the painting of the Black Madonna with the Child Jesus, nicknamed as the African. The image of the Madonna was probably brought to Vernazza during the time of the Crusades, and the feast dedicated to her is celebrated on the first of August.

To reach the Sanctuary is necessary to walk a paved path, about 2 km long which starts from the railway station, and you arrive directly at the church square surrounded by centuries-old trees. Is considered one of the most beautiful vertical paths of the Cinque Terre, leads to discover beautiful views.



  • 2 km from the station, 1 h walk - Get directions
  • 9:00AM - 19:00PM
  • free

4 - The Vernazza - Monterosso path

For Vernazza passes the hiking trail that connects the Cinque Terre called the Blue Path. It starts from Riomaggiore and ends in Monterosso al Mare, there are also those who cross it all making it more than 5 hours of walking.

The route you can take here is the one that connects Vernazza with Monterosso. The path is marked with a white and red stripe, begins in the eastern part of the historic center of Monterosso, and after a short stretch of pedestrian street begins a long staircase between vineyards and olive groves, continues with a flat stretch in the middle of a luxuriant Mediterranean scrub. Needless to say, the beautiful views can be enjoyed while walking. It ends right at the small port of Vernazza.

La estimated difficulty is medium, so set out if you are sure and if you love hiking. The distance traveled is 3 and a half kilometers for more than an hour in duration.

  • the path connects the port of Vernazza with the historic center of Monterosso - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • the price varies according to the sections of the Sentiero Azzurro, from € 3,00 to € 7,00. With the purchase of the Cinque Terre Card you can access at an advantageous price for various attractions of the entire National Park

5 - The Vernazza - Corniglia path

It is another stretch of the Blue Trail than in this case connects Vernazza with Corniglia. Through the narrow streets of the village you reach the beginning of the route and in a few minutes you arrive at the upper tower of the fortifications.

The climb continues quite steeply up to Punta Palma viewpoint (208 meters above sea level), from here begins a series of difficult high and low gradients. Continuing to walk along the path, on a fairly easy slope, you reach the village of Corniglia, the smallest of the Cinque Terre. Also on this occasion the estimated difficulty is medium. The distance traveled is already longer, by 4 kilometers.



  • the path connects the village of Vernazza with that of Corniglia - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • the price varies according to the sections of the Sentiero Azzurro, from € 3,00 to € 7,00. With the purchase of the Cinque Terre Card you can access at an advantageous price for various attractions of the entire National Park

6 - The beaches

In Vernazza there are two beaches, a smaller one located near the bay and the pier, and a slightly larger one on the other side, which can be reached by crossing a cave located not far from the main street of the town.

The smallest is sandy with rocks near the Church of Santa Margherita, it is free and accessible directly to the small port. The other beach is instead wider, pebbly and with rocks. It can be reached by taking the main street of the town from the railway station, and turning halfway to the left passing a cave carved into the rock.

  • both from the station on foot in 5 min - Get directions / Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

7 - Monterosso beach

During your stay in Vernazza you can visit the beach of the nearby town of Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the Cinque Terre.

Its large sandy beach is perfect for all those who love comfort, the ideal is to spend a whole day there. It has a long promenade with shops and kiosks. It is located a few meters from the Monterosso train station, which you can reach by regional train towards Levanto (€ 4,00 each way). If you continue the whole walk and use the tunnel to reach the old part of the town, you will come to another, smaller beach. Near this beach there is also the docking area for boats.

  • by train from Vernazza (€ 4,00, 5 min), from the station you will arrive at the beach on foot in 2 min - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

8 - Corniglia beach

The municipality of Corniglia is connected to Vernazza through a 4 km section of the Blue Trail. It is difficult to reach by car as it stands on the top of a promontory about 90 meters high surrounded by vineyards, so we advise you to use the train (€ 4,00 each way) and then go down to the beach on foot.

The Corniglia beach is characterized by stones and pebbles, also on the seabed, and towards the final part, on the border with Manarola, naturism is practiced.

  • by train from Vernazza (€ 4,00, 5 min), from the station you will reach the beach on foot in less than 2 min - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

9 - Manarola

Dedicate a stop on your weekend in Liguria to visit Manarola. IS' another of the Cinque Terre villages very suggestive, with the typical colored houses with the roof terrace. Seen from the beach then they seem to become one with the rocky spur overlooking the sea. Absolutely to see are Via Antonio Discovolo and Via Belvedere, you can enjoy a breathtaking view.

The city of Manarola is also famous for the production of wine called Sciacchetrà, one of the finest in Liguria. What we also recommend is to try theunique experience of preparing pesto alla genovese together with a local chef. Here you can do it at the restaurant a piè de campu. If you want to relax instead, spend some time in the beautiful beach characterized by small natural pools, ropes that facilitate the ascent, and cemented that allow you to stretch out to tan.

  • by train from Vernazza (10 min, € 4,00) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

10 - Riomaggiore

How not to see Riomaggiore? And the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre, characterized by the typical stepped structure, with colored houses leaning against each other and overlooking the marina.

Here you can take an active holiday in the sense that it is possible practice from trekking to walking or mountain biking, and you can also go diving. In addition, the Via dell'Amore, the easiest and shortest stretch of the Blue Trail, starts right from Riomaggiore. It connects the town to Manarola in just over a kilometer.

  • by train from Vernazza (10 min, € 4,00) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

What to see in Vernazza in one day: recommended itinerary

Start the day with breakfast at the Blue Marlin Bar, and then go down along Via Roma and visit the Church dedicated to Santa Margherita and Doria Castle, from its panoramic terrace you will admire an incomparable view.

For lunch, stop at Il Gambero Rosso Vernazza, and take the opportunity to eat some excellent ones Ligurian dishes with pesto and fish.
In the afternoon reach the porticciolo beach, near the Church, to relax, and then leave for Riomaggiore, the easternmost village of the Cinque Terre (10 min by train, € 4,00 each way). From the Riomaggiore railway station the Love way, the easiest stretch to do of the famous Blue Trail, follow it to the village of Manarola (30 min on foot).

The village of Manarola is one of the most suggestive in all of Liguria, here we suggest you try a unique experience, that of prepare pesto alla genovese with an experienced chef. Book the lesson at the restaurant a piè de campu. At the end you can sit back and taste the fruits of your labor, and even take away the recipe to surprise your friends.

One day itinerary at a glance

  1. Breakfast at Blue Marlin Bar (Get directions)
  2. Church of San Margherita di Antiochia - opening hours: 10: 30-18: 00 - ticket price: free
  3. Castello dei Doria - opening hours: 10: 00-19: 00 - ticket price: € 1,50
  4. Lunch at Il Gambero Rosso Vernazza (Get directions)
  5. Vernazza beach - opening hours: always accessible - ticket price: free
  6. Riomaggiore - timetables: always accessible - ticket price: free / train € 4,00
  7. Manarola - timetables: always accessible - ticket price: free / train € 4,00
  8. Dinner at a restaurant in piè de campu (Get directions)

Where to eat in Vernazza: the best restaurants

  1. Antica Osteria Il Baretto: homemade pasta and pesto, Ligurian fish-based specialties in an informal restaurant
    Average price per person: € 40,00
    Address and contacts: Via Roma, 31 (Get directions) / tel: 0187 812381
  2. Vulnetia restaurant: pizza, pasta with pesto and fish dishes served in a room between wood and stone with tables in the square
    Average price per person: € 40,00
    Address and contacts: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 29 (Get directions) / tel: 0187 821193
  3. The Gambero Rosso Vernazza: trofie with pesto and fish dishes in a well-kept restaurant and terrace overlooking the marina
    Average price per person: € 40,00
    Address and contacts: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 7 (Get directions) / tel: 0187 812265

What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Vernazza

The Cinque Terre area is not exactly famous for its nightlife here in the evening you prefer to relax taking a walk between the silence and the scent of the sea. If you want suitable places to go wild to the rhythm of music, you will necessarily have to move in the city of La Spezia, there you will find clubs and discos.
If you intend to spend the evening in Vernazza, then we recommend some bar open late where you can spend time with friends and have a drink, even excellent local wines.

The best pubs, clubs and discos

  • Vernazza Winexperience: located in a panoramic position with a terrace carved into the rock, it offers a selection of local wines, suitable for a relaxed aperitif / Address: Via San Giovanni Battista, 37 / A - Get directions
  • Ananasso Bar: on the main square, overlooking the sea, perfect for aperitifs and quick snacks of focaccia and bruschetta, outdoor tables during the summer / Address: Piazza Guglielmo Marconi, 30 - Get directions
  • Papilio Club: discotheque in La Spezia also open for dinner, followed by DJ-sets with house, reggaeton and latin music / Address: Via del Canaletto, 136 - Get directions

Plan your stay in Vernazza: info and useful tips

  • it is served by a railway station on the Genoa-Pisa line. Alternatively, if you are traveling by car, you can reach it from La Spezia along the SP370 and then the SP51
  • Getting around: on foot, the town is a pedestrian area and the streets are too narrow to be able to move by public transport. To reach the other villages use the regional trains of Trenitalia, which also offers the Cinque Terre Express (daily € 16,00)
  • Where to park: in the Cinque Terre area parking is limited, there are few places and the road leading to it is winding. In Vernazza there is a car park located 1 km before entering the town (€ 2,00 / h - Get directions)
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 70,00 per room -
  • What to see in the surroundings: Monterosso al Mare (4 km), Corniglia (3,5 km), Riomaggiore (12 km), Manarola (12 km)
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