One of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre, Vernazza oozes Italian seaside charm with its cobbled streets, Genoa-style laneways and pedestrianised streets. One of the few remaining true fishing villages, Vernazza is blessed with centuries-old architecture, two alluring beaches and family-run seafood restaurants.
Things to do in Vernazza
You can spend days simply wandering the streets within Vernazza, where cobbled lanes weave between the pastel-coloured buildings. Stroll to the Castello Doria, a prominent clifftop castle with panoramic Ligurian Sea vistas and 15th-century architecture. Don’t miss the nearby Santa Margherita di Antiochia Church, which dates back to the 14th century and has an octagonal bell tower.
Near the church you’ll find a range of dining options, including the BURGUS Bar Wine Bar, which serves delicious Italian wine and beer. Duck next door to Taverna del Capitano, a popular restaurant for fresh seafood. Wine connoisseurs need only venture a little further for wine tastings at the Cantina Cheo winery.
Active travellers can venture slightly out of town to Sentiero Monterosso, a scenic hiking trail that connects the Cinque Terre towns and revealing panoramic coastal vistas. Alternatively, you can head to Italy’s first national park, Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, to see badgers, foxes, wild boar and moles.
If you need a break from sightseeing, head inland to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Reggio, a peaceful hillside sanctuary with picnic spots and countryside vistas. You can also visit the beaches near town, such as Guvano Beach, which has a rocky shoreline and calm water.
Getting around Vernazza
Vernazza is best reached by driving about 120 kilometres from Pisa International Airport or catching a combination of trains and buses. You can use local milk trains to get around the Cinque Terre area, while Vernazza is easily explored on foot.