Vernazza: A Colorful Harbor Town in Cinque Terre

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Vernazza is considered by many as the most picturesque of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre, along the western coast of Italy. Though the competition is steep for this objective title, each of the five villages are visually stunning and unique in their own regard.

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Stepping off the train in Vernazza, visitors are instantly dazzled with the collection of colorful buildings and accents that line the main street.

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Stroll past shops filled with locally hand crafted souvenirs, regional delicacies, and wine. Vineyards can be found throughout the hills of Cinque Terre producing a variety of ‘vino’, including Sciacchetra, a favored white dessert wine.

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Stop off and have a friendly chat with one of the 600 locals who call Vernazza home or simply have a seat, enjoy a glass of wine or some gelato, and watch the people walk by.

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Just a short walk from the train station is the town’s main square, lined with even more quaint shops and restaurants.

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The faded color on the buildings appear vibrant as the bright Mediterranean sun reflects off of the water in the tiny harbor.

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Vernazza has a long history as a bustling fishing village, and to this day, a handful of fishermen still venture out into the sea to gather fresh fish for their families and the local restaurants.

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Located just to the south of Monterosso, Cinque Terre’s northern most village, Vernazza offers a small make-shift pebbled beach with the only waves resulting from the small boats coming and going from the harbor.

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Besides walking the famous hiking trail that goes from village-to-village, regular trains provide transportation between the small towns. Though not the fastest or cheapest way to get between villages, probably your most scenic option is to take the local ferry. (Note: The ferry does not stop in Corniglia, because the town is not easily accessible by the sea.)

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Since the weather couldn’t have been more perfect on the day we visited Vernazza, we made it a priority to enjoy our lunch outside. We snagged a harbor-side table at Bar Baia Saracena Pizzeria, and with a glass of prosecco, a chilled beer, and a spectacular view, we couldn’t have been more happy…

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…until the food arrived! I devoured a pesto pizza and Sam enjoyed his (gluten-free friendly) tuna and caprese salad.

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Because we had limited time in Cinque Terre, we decided to forego hiking the trail between villages. However, we simply couldn’t resist making the short, steep trek just a little ways on the trail to capture a picture-perfect shot of Vernazza from above.

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We purchased the Cinque Terre Card Treno, which provided unlimited train usage during our visit, along with access to the trails. Otherwise we would’ve had to pay a small fee just to get to this portion of the trail. (Even still, it would’ve been worth it for this shot alone!)

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Simply breathtaking!

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Vernazza is just one of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre along the Italian Riviera. Be sure to check out our posts on Monterosso, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore and get inspired to book a trip to this spectacular region.


  1. Nice photos, makes we want to add Vernazza to my must see list.

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