Corniglia is the third town of Cinque Terre, in the La Spezia Province, Liguria, along the southern end of the Italian Riviera. It is the quietest of the 5 villages, since it does not have the glamour of a beach front, and cars and other vehicles are not allowed inside the town.
The village is located high above sea level, and is surrounded by beautiful and picturesque vineyards and terraces on all three sides, and by the steep cliffs that hurtle down to the Ligurian waters on the fourth side.
This village differs from other Cinque Terre villages as it does not snuggle down in a cove by the seaside but is located on a cape, elevated above the sea, perched on a ridge that juts proudly into the Tyrrhenian Sea, offering some very commanding coastal panoramas.
It can be reached by climbing 33 flights of 377 brick steps and there is also a road from the railway station that takes you to the village.
Typically colorful, cascading Cinque Terre houses
It is a little cooler than the other Cinque Terre villages and it is the place to relax after passing through the museums, ruins and churches of Italy.
The houses are shorter and colorful, and are located on the Via Fieschi. On one side they look on to the opposite side of the street and on the other, they look out onto the sea.
The remains of a 1556 fortification still can be seen on a cliff that plunges into the sea. The village is connected by hiking trails and by train with the other 4 Cinque Terre towns – Riomaggiore, Vernazza, Monterosso and Manarola.
The more adventuresome can take the 11 km/6.8 miles long trail instead, called Sentiero Azzuro.
A Little Bit of History
A typical tiny street in Corniglia, Cinque Terre
The history of this place dates back to the Roman Age and has its name derived from Gens Cornelia, the Roman family, who owned the land.
During the Middle Ages it was taken over by the counts of Lavagna, the Lords of Carpena and of Luni.
In 1254, the village was given to Nicolo Fieschi by Pope Innocent IV, and he held on to it until 1276, when the village was taken by the Republic of Genoa.
The feast of San Pietro, the patron saint of Corniglia is celebrated with a traditional religious procession through the streets from the Parish of San Pietro to the terrace of Santa Maria.
All participants are offered a taste of the traditional cake.
Where is Corniglia?
- 3.7 miles/ 6 km from Vernazza, Italy
- 7.4 miles/ 12 km from Manarola, Italy
- 22.3 miles/ 36 km from Portovenere, Italy
- 17.3 miles/ 28 km from La Spezia, Italy
- 76.4 miles/ 123 km from Livorno, Italy
- 65.2 miles/ 105 km from Genoa, Italy
- 108.7 miles/ 175 km from Florence, Italy
- 146.6 miles/ 236 km from Milan, Italy
- 69.5 miles/ 112 km from Genoa Airport, Italy
- 68.9 miles/ 111 km from Pisa International Airport, Italy
- 105 miles/ 169 km from Florence Airport, Peretola, Italy
Things to See
- Via Frieschi
- Largo Taragio
- Oratorio di Santa Caterina
- San Pietro
- Santa Maria Belvedere
- Guvano Beach
- Hiking the Cinque Terre villages
- Whale Watching
- Emilia-Romagna region
Corniglia’s charm lies in the fact that it is not frequented by tourists like the other towns of Cinque Terre.
It is characterized by narrow, winding roads and terraces. By visiting this charming village, you can discover the happiness of doing nothing and enjoying the Italian lifestyle.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!