Corniglia is the third land of Cinque Terre. It is also the smallest and the highest village of all Five Lands. It is situated about 100 meters above the sea level. Besides, it is the only one which hasn’t got a harbour.
How to reach Corniglia?
- train – to reach Corniglia from the railway station you need to take 377 steps of the Long Stair. You can also take a bus from the train station. A ticket costs 1,50€ and runs after the arrival of trains (the cost of the bus ticket is included in the Cinque Terre Card).
- car – first you should take provincial road SP 32 from La Spezia and then SP 51. It is very panoramic, with rocky coast and views of the Ligurian sea. Follow the signs to Corniglia and at the end, you take SP 30 which leads you to the village.
The village was founded by ancient Romans. In fact, the name of the village came from the name of the Roman family Gens Cornelia, which owned it. In the Middle Ages belonged to the counts of Lavagna, Carpena and Luni. Since 1276 the village had become a part of the Republic of Genoa.
The things to see & do:
Chiesa di San Pietro (St Peter Church)
The building is located on opposite side from the village centre. It was built in 1334 in Ligurian gothic style. Has three naves and marble facade. Inside it is decorated in baroque style.
Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Line)
Next to the church continues the Sentiero Azzurro. It leads to the next village of Cinque Terre, Vernazza (Yes! this part is opened!). It is 3,45 km length and you will need about 1,5h to cover the distance. Before entering the trial you need to pay a toll. If you bought the Cinque Terre Card, the toll is included in the price.
From the St Peter Church you can go down the main street of the village, via Fieschi. Through this street you will find there the principal places of Corniglia:
Largo Taragio (Largo Taragio Square)
It is the central square of the village. You find there restaurants, bars … and shadow 😉 This is my favourite place to take a rest during a visit in the Cinque Terre.
Oratorio di Santa Caterina (Oratory of St Catherine)
The building was created in the 18th century. It is very modest and simple. But the real attraction of Oratory is a huge panoramic terrace which is located behind the building. From the terrace, you can admire the meraviglious view on the sea and Manarola.
Guvano nudist beach
I must admit that I’ve never been there 😉 but I read that this part of the Cinque Terre coast is considered the most beautiful of all. You can access to by going through a disused train tunnel. In any case you can easily find the indications on the train station.
Corniglia was mentioned in Boccaccio’s Decameron. In the chapter that tells about an Abbot of Cluny who was taken as a prisoner by Ghino di Tacco. The abbot was suffering from stomach-ache. The jailer cured the prelate with very special medicine: two slices of good toasted bread served in a white tablecloth and accompanied by a glass of vine Vernaccia di Corniglia 😉
Very soon I’m going to write about a local vine 😉