The elevated location, if compared to the other towns of the Cinque Terre, makes Corniglia less frequented, but the effort to venture into its steep alleys is rewarded with a series of wonders. Not at all it is called “the balcony of the Cinque Terre”, among which occupies a central position, between Manarola and Vernazza.
The little Cornelia
The Corniglia name comes from Gens Cornelia, a Roman family of wine producers who owned these lands. Even today the vineyards draw the landscape with the typical terraces behind the sea. The village owes its peculiarity to not having a seaport in the centre of the town, which the other four of the Cinque Terre own; a difference confirmed by the urban layout with low houses, typical of the countryside. It rises on a promontory about hundred meters high overlooking the sea, offering visitors an amazing panorama.
Getting to Corniglia
Visitors arriving at Corniglia by train will face the famous Lardarina, a long climb with about four hundred steps. But do not be afraid: a shuttle service on the road leads the less courageous or those who have difficulty walking to the town center. By car you arrive from La Spezia, about 25 km away, or from Manarola, and park just outside the village.
What to see
The Church of St. Peter, dating from 1330, is worth a visit for the finely chiselled white marble rosette. From the old town, going in the direction of the sea, you come across the Oratory of the Discipline of St. Catherine and the statue in memory of the war victims. Just a few steps away, and here is the Belvedere of Santa Maria, a scenic spot of breathtaking beauty from which to take pictures. But it will also be fun to just wander around the streets of the old town, between a ceramic shop and a winery, and indulge in the sins of Ligurian cuisine.
On the beach in Corniglia
Between Corniglia and Vernazza, along the Sentiero Azzurro or from the tunnel of the former Genoa-La Spezia railway, you go down to Guvano Beach, with a hippie past. Easier to reach, the Corniglia beach, near the train station, and the Corniglia Marina, accessible by a stairway from the center of the village. Diving enthusiasts will not be able to withstand the charm of the clear waters, reaching a depth of twenty meters and hosting murines, lobsters, sponges and clumps.
Paths with sight
From Corniglia passes the Sentiero Azzurro, to go to visit the nearby Manarola or the small village of San Bernardino, on the top of the mountain behind Corniglia. Alternatively, path no. 7 leads to path n. 1 for Volastra and Manarola.
Events not to be missed
Patron Saints Peter and Paul, June 29th; Feast of Our Lady of Graces at Sanctuary San Bernardino, September 8th. Every Friday, Corniglia hosts the weekly market.