The origins of Corniglia Cinque Terre date all the way back to Roman times. It is the third of the Cinque Terre villages, and is perched on a small cape, 100 meters above the sea offering spectacular views.
It is enclosed on three sides by picturesque vineyards and terraces, while the fourth side descends steeply into the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
CLICK on the image below for a 'Virtual Walk' around the village
It is a tiny village of only 240 people and is perhaps the quietest and most remote of all towns in the Cinque Terre but this fact just adds to its charm.
To reach Corniglia Cinque Terre be prepared to climb the long flight of brick stairs called Lardarina. It is not the easiest of walks as it comprises of 33 flights with 377 steps that zig zag their way to town.
If walking up the stairs is not your thing, there is an alternative way of reaching the villiage – walk the road from the train station or wait for the frequent shuttle busses which are often timed with the arriving trains .
Corniglia Cinque Terre has a long and rich agricultural tradition. It is the only Cinque Terre town, which does not have a direct access to a beachfront, and it somehow feels more connected to the land than to the sea. This feeling is also reinforced by the town’s planning layout; you will notice that the houses here are set lower, making them more similar to those of the inland villages rather than to the tower-houses you'd find in the other small fishing villages of the Cinque Terre like Manarola or Riomaggiore .
The whole of the village of Corniglia Cinque Terre is built along stretch along the
main street called Via Fieschi - some of the brightly coloured houses facing the road while others facing the sea.
Continuing down the road, you will end up at piazzeta Ciapara beyond which you can enter the charming network of narrow alleyways of Corniglia. They will lead you to the main square of the village called Largo Taragio which dates from the eighteenth century and is the home of the Oratory of Santa Caterina. Behind the Oratory there is a football field with benches, ideal to sit down and enjoy a quiet picnic lunch. The town’s ancient well, which was once providing to the locals water from the natural springs, is also located on the square as well as a Memorial to the Fallen Soldiers in the World War I.
The main road will also lead you to the Parish of San Pietro and all the way up to the scenic terrace of the Santa Maria which offers breathtaking views of the entire coast of the Cinque Terre . The Parish was built in 1334 on the remains of an XI century chapel and is considered one of the most interesting Ligurian gothic style monuments in the region. In 1351, a rosette of white marble from Cararra was added to its facade. The rosette is the masterful work of Pistoians Matteo and Pietro da Campigna. Inside the parish, behind the high altar you can admire two colourful stained glass windows, work of trevigliese Trento Longaretti . Beyond the churchyard, you will notice a black stone building with Gothic arches of black stone which is considered part of the ancient post station belonging to the famous Ligurian family Fieschi.
San Pietro is the patron of Corniglia Cinque Terre and is celebrated on June 29th with a traditional religious procession through the streets of the village from the Parish of San Pietro to the terrace of Santa Maria. It is customary to offer all participants of the festival a taste of the traditional cake "Torta dei Fieschi" – a rice cake, made with rice, cheese, eggs and baked in the oven. The Perish is also home every summer of Organ Festival of the 5 Terre.
The scenic terrace of Santa Maria is at the end of the village and offers breathtaking views over the Ligurian Sea and the entire coast of the Cinque Terre. Also looking to the west, you can see the shrine of Our Lady of Grace in the village of San Bernardino. You can visit San Bernadino either by taking a shuttle bus or taking the long uphill trail from Vernazza…
Thank you for visiting our guide… we look forward to welcoming you to Liguria and hope you will love it as much as we do !
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