Vernazza is a beautiful medieval town, nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the terraced vineyards of its hillsides. Cinque Terre comprises five villages – Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso – with a population of approximately 4000 residents and a beautiful, fragile territory, known as one of the world’s most beautiful places for hiking.
Stretching 15 km along the coast between Levanto and La Spezia, Cinque Terre is a steep coastal landscape that man has transformed with stone walled terraces for growing grape vines and olive trees.
In 1997, UNESCO recognized Cinque Terre as a World Heritage site:
“a remarkable cultural landscape created by human endeavor over a millennium in a rugged and dramatic natural environment. It represents the harmonious interaction between people and nature to produce a landscape of exceptional scenic quality”.
In 1999, the Cinque Terre territory and towns became the Cinque Terre National Park.
In recent years, Cinque Terre has become perhaps too well known. Rumors fly about introducing rules to limit tourist access and manage tourist flows, but so far nothing has been done. The result? Crowds of day-trippers swarm into the area from 10am to 5pm daily and create overcrowded conditions in the towns, on the trains and on the trails.
Sleep in Vernazza and do a little planning to avoid overcrowding and enjoy Cinque Terre like locals do.
We invite you to explore the Cinque Terre:
We invite you to explore the Cinque Terre:
hike in our vibrant, terraced landscape;
swim and boat in our turquoise waters;
eat our pesto sauce and fresh anchovies;
drink a glass of our famous Cinque Terre DOC white wine and Sciacchetrà; and
experience your own magic in the quiet mornings or under a sky filled with stars.
The best way to arrive in Vernazza is by train: 20 minute train ride from La Spezia (Station: La Spezia Centrale) or 10 minute train ride from Levanto. Trains to Vernazza run at least every hour and every 20 minutes in high season. See train timetables in Italian or English at Trenitalia website.
We do NOT recommend arriving by Car: the road to Vernazza and the parking lots were destroyed by the natural disaster of October 25, 2011. The road to Vernazza is very steep, narrow and winding and can be difficult to drive.
Visitors can park at the new Vernazza Car Park (Vernazza Parcheggio). The cost is €15 per day, payable in cash directly at the parking lot. A FREE Shuttle Service from the parking area to the entrance of Vernazza’s historical center is available from 10.00 to 18.00 to those who pay for parking.
If you have a rental car, we recommend returning it before arriving OR parking it in La Spezia or Levanto then take the train.
Whether you are arriving from north or south, you should exit the autostrada at the exit for LA SPEZIA. Disregard the GPS if it tells you to exit at Levanto because THE ROAD IS STILL CLOSED from that direction.
Trekking to the Cinque Terre:
Riomaggiore – Manarola “Via dell’amore”: CLOSED. Work to be completed in 2019?
Manarola – Corniglia: CLOSED. Work to be completed in 2019?
Corniglia -Vernazza: OPEN
Vernazza – Monterosso: OPEN
All of the other trails in the vast network throughout the Cinque Terre territory are OPEN and FREE. Some of the trails are quite difficult and long, but the trails that connect the towns with their Sanctuaries above are normally open, free, beautiful and uncrowded.
Use your best judgment to hike in Cinque Terre:
- Wear appropriate footwear (NO flip flops or sandals)
- Start early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and the hot sun
- Never hike in rainy weather (these steep trails are potentially dangerous when wet)
Cinque Terre Point
The Cinque Terre Point at the Vernazza train station provides information and sells the Cinque Terre Cards for hiking and train travel. Open 8am – 8pm.
You can also buy the Cinque Terre Cards ONLINE (https://card.parconazionale5terre.it/en) to avoid lines at the Info Points.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, CALL 112
112 is the centralized Italian emergency number for Carabinieri (Police) + Vigili del Fuoco (Fire Department) + Emergenza sanitaria (Medical emergency / Ambulance)
Baggage transport and storage
Accommodations in Vernazza are reached by climbing many steep stairs in the narrow town lanes and inside the buildings. If your accommodation does not offer this service, you can contact the baggage transport service directly.
€4 per bag (center)/€4 per collo (centro)
€5 per bag (outside center)/ €5 per collo (fuori centro)
€1,50 per hour per bag/€1,50 all’ora per ogni collo
€8 daily rate per bag / €8 tariffa giornaliera per collo
€10 overnight 24 hours, per bag / €10 tariffa 24 ore, per ogni collo